Posted on: November 10, 2015

CVWD increases conservation programs, drought penalties

Conservation programs collage

The Coachella Valley Water District (CVWD) Board of Directors today committed additional money for rebate programs, adopted a ban on irrigation on certain days of the week, and increased drought penalties.

The new measures were adopted to help CVWD meet its state water conservation mandate. The state is requiring CVWD customers to reduce overall domestic water use by 36% when compared to the same month in 2013 or face penalties of up to $10,000 per day.

The board approved $2 million in additional conservation funding with most of it going to CVWD’s conservation rebate programs. In addition, a consultant will be hired to perform comprehensive water audits for some of the district’s largest water users, and academic consultants would be hired to perform targeted research and public education messaging to promote reduced water use.

The board approved new day-of-use restrictions for irrigation. Starting Dec. 1 and through March 31, outdoor irrigation for CVWD domestic customers will be prohibited on Mondays and Thursdays.

Drought penalties were increased for water use in tiers 3-5. The increased drought penalties will go into effect with December water use for bills produced in January. 

Under the increased drought penalties, residents who do not limit their outdoor water use to 36% below their monthly budget are subject to drought penalties structured as follows:

Water use in Tier 1:                             No Penalty
Water use in Tier 2, up to 64%            No Penalty
Water use in Tier 2, above 64%          Regular rate + $2.51/unit
Water use in Tier 3                              Regular rate + $5/unit
Water use in Tier 4                              Regular rate + $10/unit
Water use in Tier 5:                             Regular rate + $20/unit

About 76% of CVWD customers currently are meeting the drought budgets. As a result, about 5 billion gallons of water have been saved by CVWD domestic customers compared to water use in 2013.
Statewide mandatory water-use restrictions remain in effect, including prohibiting water runoff and irrigation during and 48 hours following rain. In addition, CVWD requires sprinklers to be fixed within 24 hours and leaks to be fixed as soon as possible.

CVWD continues to strongly discourage overseeding during the drought.

The state considers a month-to-month rolling average when considering a district’s conservation efforts. CVWD customers saved 21.3% in June, 40.6% in July, 26.5% in August, 16.4% less water in September, and 27.7%  less water in October. The average over the five-month period is 27%.

For conservation rebate programs, tips and additional information, visit

The Coachella Valley Water District is a public agency governed by a five-member board of directors. The district provides domestic and irrigation water, agricultural drainage, wastewater treatment and reclamation services, regional storm water protection, groundwater management and water conservation.

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