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Jul 13

Board reminded of drought … past, present and future

Posted on July 13, 2021 at 2:19 PM by Diane Carmony

The CVWD Board of Directors heard an update July 13 on the State’s drought emergency and the District’s potential actions if Gov. Gavin Newsom expands the emergency to include Riverside County.

Of the State’s 58 counties, Riverside is one of eight counties, mostly in Southern California, not under a regional drought state of emergency.   

The District “is not seeing immediate effects because of our long-term planning,” said Katie Evans, Director of Communication and Conservation.

Since the early 2000s, CVWD has stressed conservation messaging, programs, and rebates, and created strict landscape ordinances. Budget-based tiered rates and penalties established during the 2015 drought set the path for conservation successes.

Now, Evans said, CVWD will refocus on voluntary conservation efforts, available programs and rebates, and increase television advertising.

If Newsom includes Riverside County in the state of emergency, Evans said, the Board might need to implement Stage 2 of the Water Shortage Contingency Plan. Stage 2 indicates a 20 percent shortage level, or slightly limited water supplies, and restricts outdoor water use on time of day. Also, the District could reorganize staff to expedite conservation efforts and water waste patrols and approve additional funding for messaging and conservation.

The Board also approved:

  • Increasing the stipend from $100 to $150 for the Help2Others customer assistance program, effective Aug. 1. Eligible residential customers can receive one pledge every 12 months.  CVWD offers the program in partnership with United Way of the Desert and other water agencies.
  • Special assessment and tax levies to cover debt service and administrative costs for three assessment districts and one community facilities district.
  • Proposed Canal Construction Meter Rates for fiscal years 2022 through 2026.
  • Repealing previous water use ordinances and replacing them with an ordinance adopting the Water Shortage Contingency Plan.  

 

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