Your Water is Our Promise

Your Water is Our Promise: The CVWD Blog

Mar 15

Your garden in March

Posted on March 15, 2023 at 4:06 PM by Jesse Ruiz

CVWD Yard SignMarch welcomes smiles from plant lovers as Coachella Valley gardens bloom. Warm, mild weather promotes rapid and sometimes excessive plant growth.

The annuals you planted in the fall will reach peak bloom in March. Keep the flowery scene as long as possible by thinning crowded plants. You still have time to plant if you missed the fall planting season. You want to get those plants established before summer heat arrives.

Fertilize citrus, lawns, perennials and vegetables.

Of course, with temperatures rising, plants will need more water and you should reset irrigation systems. It’s smart to have a smart controller for your irrigation system. It adjusts to conditions automatically. Visit CVWD rebates to learn how to apply for a free device.

Here are chores for March:

  • Plant two-year-old citrus trees in the ground now so the trees develop a strong root system before the summer’s high temperatures.
  • Plant warm-season vegetable seeds. Green beans, corn, eggplant, and melons are some options. Continue to set out warm-season transplants.
  • Wait to prune frost-damaged trees/shrubs until the first branch leaves emerge so you can tell where the damage begins and not cut live wood.

H20 for HOAs

What: A free water conservation summit & expo and vendor expo with discussions on drought and water supply, water budgets, rebates, drought-friendly landscape design for HOAs, and best irrigation practices.

When: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on April 5

Where: Steve Robbins Administration Building, Coachella Valley Water District, 75515 Hovley Lane East, Palm Desert

Questions: Email

To register: Water Conservation Summit & Expo: H2O for HOAs

Feb 16

MidCanal Storage Project funding approved

Posted on February 16, 2023 at 12:11 PM by Jesse Ruiz

CVWD Board Room - YouTube ThumbnailCVWD Board of Directors authorized payment agreements Feb. 14 to move a step closer to awarding construction of the MidCanal Storage Project, Phase 2.

The project will create a storage reservoir of up to 728 acre-feet to improve canal water management and efficiency. It will remove the concrete lining in the 4.9-mile section of the canal between Mile Post 54.6 and Mile Post 59.5 and the berm between the existing and original earthen canal.

The project is estimated to cost $7.5 million. The board approved a loan agreement with the Bureau of Reclamation and funding agreements with San Diego County Water Authority and San Luis Rey River Indian Water Authority.

The board also:

  • Learned the NEXGEN Computerized Maintenance Management System was implemented on Feb. 6. The system has identified and recorded 310,000 CVWD assets. Other factors included preventative maintenance requirements of every asset, their condition, remaining useful life, and how likely they are to fail. This data will help the District decide what capital investments to make.
  • Heard a presentation outlining the Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Program that reduces levels of salt in water that reaches the lower Colorado River. Measures in place reduce the annual salt load of the river by more than 1.2 million tons. However, the quantified damages to U.S. users are approximately $354 million per year. They are projected to increase by $671 million per year by 2040 if the program is not aggressively continued.
  • Adopted the District’s strategic initiatives for fiscal year 2024. Some of those include:
    1. Analyze acquiring a zero-emission fleet, including cost and infrastructure such as charging stations or hydrogen refueling stations.
    2. Evaluate security at critical infrastructure sites.
    3. Develop a training program for supervisors, including cross training, mentorships and apprenticeships.
  • Approved a water supply assessment and water supply verification for a residential development In Indio. The Desert Retreat Project plans 1,500 single-family homes on 377.7 acres between Madison and Jefferson streets. Nonpotable water would irrigate non-residential outdoor areas.
  • Recognized the 20-year anniversary of Customer Service Representative III Suzahana Davila.
Feb 02

February in your desert garden

Posted on February 2, 2023 at 11:06 AM by Jesse Ruiz

Citrus Part 2What to plant

This is your last chance to plant smaller cool-season vegetable seeds -- root crops, leaf crops and peas. Choose slow-bolt varieties to keep them from going to seed as spring moves toward summer. 

You might have better luck for a crop if you plant winter vegetable seedlings -- leafy lettuce, beets, broccoli, cabbage, chard, peas, green onions and spinach. 

You can plant trees in February. Citrus that have high heat requirements such as grapefruit and Valencia oranges, Eureka and Lisbon lemons, Fairchild and Daisy mandarins and tangelos are a few of the well-suited citrus for this area. 

You can set out warm-season transplants after mid-February, but watch for a frost weather report and protect from late season frost with a frost blanket.

It is an excellent time to plant shallow-rooted ground covers, native plants and other low-water use plants. 

Hold off planting frost tender plants such as bougainvillea until March to avoid possible late frost.


  • Finish pruning roses and deciduous fruit trees.
  • Prune citrus lightly and keep the canopy skirt 1 foot above the ground, but remove dead wood, crossovers and any suckers growing from below the bud union.
  • Fertilize deciduous and citrus fruit trees with a complete slow-release fertilizer.
  • Look for aphids. Control with insecticidal soap.
  • Begin deep watering trees and shrubs at their drip line in anticipation of a spring growth surge.

Have no idea what to plant?

The 160-page book, “Lush and Efficient: Desert-Friendly Landscaping in the Coachella Valley,” lists more than 300 plants with over 800 photos. You can search by several dozen categories.  

You can pick up a free copy at CVWD’s Coachella office at 50-501 Tyler St., or CVWD’s Palm Desert office at 75-525 Hovley Lane East (same building where you pay your bill). You can also find the book at for PDF download.  

 More help

This simple site can get you going: The California Native Plant Society’s Calscape Garden Planner at You start by answering four easy questions:

  1. In what city is your garden located?
  2. Which garden style best reflects your garden goals (choose from 4)?
  3. How sunny is your designated planting area?
  4. What is your biggest priority in creating a native garden (chose from 4)?

The site cogitates your answers and pops up a suggested plant list of annual herbs, perennial herbs, shrubs, trees, and suggested design ideas.