Coachella Valley Water District first ventured into providing drinking water to Coachella Valley residents in 1961, when it took over the operations of 2 privately held water companies. At the time it served only 1,100 active water meters.
Today, the District is the largest provider of drinking water in the Coachella Valley. It operates more than 95 active wells and serves a population of 290,000 from Cathedral City to the Salton Sea. Daily demand for drinking water averages 78.5 million gallons, or 240.9 acre-feet.
Drinking water, also known as domestic water, comes from the Coachella Valley's own aquifer. This water is pumped from wells up to 1,200 feet deep and stored until needed in more than 63 distribution reservoirs. From there it is delivered to approximately 108,000 homes and businesses via a network of nearly 2,015 miles of distribution piping.
Domestic rates paid by customers offset the costs of providing customer service, operating wells and reservoirs, maintaining pipelines and replenishing the aquifer. Because CVWD is a public agency, the cost of water to the customer must not exceed the cost CVWD incurs in providing it.
Groundwater pumped from the aquifer and delivered to customers is nearly pristine and requires no or minimal treatment to meet state and federal water quality standards. Throughout most of the Coachella Valley, only a small amount of chlorine is added as a precautionary measure to ensure compliance with drinking water regulations.
CVWD staff annually collects more than 22,000 water samples and tests for more than 100 regulated and unregulated substances at its own state-certified water quality laboratory and elsewhere. Results from these water quality tests are mailed to all customers in the district each June as part of CVWD's annual reports.
Use & Conservation
Pumped groundwater is used by all residential customers and most large landscape customers for all outdoor irrigation purposes. Nearly 80% of all water used by CVWD domestic customers is used in their yards and gardens. For this reason, outdoor water conservation is the focus of the District’s public outreach programs.
While the aquifer has an estimated capacity of 39 million acre-feet, the Coachella Valley currently finds itself in an overdraft situation. That is, more water has been pumped out from the groundwater basin in recent decades than has been naturally or artificially replenished. To help alleviate groundwater overdraft, the District owns and operates 4 groundwater replenishment facilities.
What You Can Do
- Reduce your household’s outdoor water usage. The most common causes of water waste are overwatering yards and gardens. CVWD offers a number of conservation rebates and discounts such as a smart controller discount, an irrigation guide and lawn conversion tips.
- Stop the leaks. A sudden spike in your water bill often indicates a leak inside your home or in your outdoor irrigation system. Leaks can waste hundreds of gallons of water per day. Read CVWD’s Water Wise at Home Guide (PDF) for help finding leaks.
- Learn more about CVWD’s conservation programs. Attend an upcoming workshop or check if you qualify for a landscape rebate.