Coachella Valley Water District (CVWD) customers used an impressive 35% less water in January 2016 when compared to the same month in 2013.
"This number represents a strong commitment to conservation by our customers," said Jim Barrett, CVWD general manager. "Our customers clearly adhered to the new ban on irrigation on Mondays and Thursdays and responded to recent El Niño rains by turning off irrigation for 48 hours. These cutbacks in irrigation and the continued enthusiastic participation in our conservation programs have made a difference."
The state has been requiring CVWD to reduce overall cumulative residential water use by 36% each month when compared to the same month in 2013 or face penalties of up to $10,000 per day. On Tuesday, the State Water Resources Control Board voted to allow a climate credit that will reduce CVWD's conservation mandate to 32% effective March 1, 2016.
CVWD currently asks customers to limit water use to 36% below their monthly outdoor water budget. CVWD customers who fail to limit outdoor water use to 36% below their monthly budget are subject to drought penalties. Approximately 75% of customers are meeting this temporary drought budget each month and are not paying penalties.
The CVWD Board of Directors will consider whether to adjust the temporary drought budgets for customers because of the change in the state mandate from 36% to 32%. A staff presentation will be made on this topic at the next board meeting at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 9 at the Steve Robbins Administration Building, 75515 Hovley Lane East in Palm Desert. A public hearing and final decision are expected to follow on Feb. 23 at CVWD's Forbes Auditorium in Coachella. Additional information about board meetings is available on CVWD's website.
The CVWD board also adopted the state's mandatory water-use restrictions, plus additional restrictions including a recent ban on irrigation on Mondays and Thursdays. Customers who violate water-use restrictions can be liable for fines on their bill starting at $50 and up to $200.
January's strong performance followed a disappointing month in December with a water conservation of 3.6% compared to the same month in 2013. The rolling average through January, which is what the state uses to judge performance, is 25.5%. This is in line with the statewide average.
"We are thankful for the efforts of our customers and urge them to continue their impressive commitment to conservation," Barrett said.
This commitment to conservation by CVWD customers also is seen through these January statistics:
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.