CVWD News

Posted on: November 30, 2015

New irrigation restriction, increased drought penalties go into effect Dec. 1

Adjusting irrigation clock

The Coachella Valley Water District (CVWD) wants to remind domestic water customers that starting tomorrow, Dec. 1, and through March 31, 2016, outdoor irrigation is prohibited on Mondays and Thursdays.

CVWD adopted the new irrigation restriction after the State Water Resources Control Board issued the district a $61,000 fine because customers did not reduce water use enough to meet the State's 36% conservation mandate. In addition, drought penalties were increased for those in the top three tiers.

"Our customers have done a great job by reducing water use by a monthly average of 27% compared to 2013 and have saved approximately 5 billion gallons of water from June 1 to Oct. 31. Obviously, a majority of the residents and business owners are doing their part to conserve during this historic drought or we wouldn't be seeing this kind of success," said CVWD General Manager Jim Barrett. "However, the state doesn't think that's enough."

The state is requiring CVWD customers to reduce overall domestic water use by 36% when compared to the same month in 2013. To accomplish this, CVWD is asking everyone to limit water use to 36% below their normal outdoor monthly budget or pay drought penalties.

Drought penalties went into effect June 1, 2015. On average, 75% of customers are avoiding penalties by meeting this new drought budget each month. Increased drought penalty rates go into effect tomorrow, Dec. 1 for January bills:

Water use in Tier 1:
Water use in Tier 2, up to 64% 
Water use in Tier 2, above 64%
Water use in Tier 3
Water use in Tier 4
Water use in Tier 5:
No Penalty
No Penalty
Regular rate + $2.51/unit
Regular rate + $5/unit (up from $3.34)
Regular rate + $10/unit (up from $5.01)
Regular rate + $20/unit  (up from $10.03)

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.

Report water waste online at www.cvwd.org. All reports are investigated and, if confirmed, the responsible party is contacted. More than 650 reports have been investigated in the past six months with a majority of the violations being fixed in a timely manner. However, be advised that fines have been issued and staff is stepping up efforts to confirm that problems remain fixed.

CVWD has posted an instructional video on its website at www.cvwd.org for anyone needing help programming a sprinkler controller to stop watering on Mondays and Thursdays.

For more information about how drought penalties work, a complete list of water-use restrictions, information about conservation rebate programs, tips and more, visit  www.cvwd.org.

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. It serves approximately 108,000 residential and business customers across 1,000 square miles, located primarily in Riverside County, but also in portions of Imperial and San Diego counties.

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