The Coachella Valley Water District (CVWD) acknowledged today that it has been fined $61,000 by the state for falling short of the state water conservation mandate.
“Our customers have made a significant commitment to conservation and we applaud those efforts,” said Jim Barrett, general manager. “Because our overall numbers have fallen short of the state’s conservation mandate, we are developing new approaches to encourage increased conservation. We will be bringing those options to the next CVWD Board of Directors meeting.”
The state is requiring CVWD to reduce overall water use by 36% when compared to the same month in 2013 or face penalties of up to $10,000 per day.
The state considers a month-to-month rolling average when evaluating a district’s conservation efforts. CVWD customers saved 21.3% in June, 40.6% in July, 26.5% in August, and 16.4% less water in September. The average over the four-month period is 26.2%.
To date, CVWD has asked customers to limit water use to 36% below their monthly outdoor water budget. Customers who fail to do so are subject to drought penalties.
The CVWD Board of Directors also adopted the state’s mandatory water-use restrictions plus additional restrictions and recommendations for increased conservation. Customers who violate water-use restrictions can be liable for fines on their bill starting at $50 and up to $200.
CVWD has encouraged conservation through a variety of means including print, radio and television advertising; media interviews; direct mail pieces, door hangars, fact sheets and flyers; speaking engagements and attendance at community events; newsletter columns in partner publications; billboards and social media. Some of this outreach was conducted in Spanish.
District customers have removed about 6.6 million square feet of grass since the program started. The next scheduled CVWD board meeting is at 9 a.m. Nov. 10 at the Steve Robbins Administration Building, 75515 Hovley Lane East in Palm Desert.