Coachella Valley Water District (CVWD) customers continue to use less water despite the elimination of mandatory conservation, showing their commitment to permanent changes in water use.
CVWD customers used 7.3% less water in October 2016 compared to 2013, the year the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) continues to use as a benchmark. CVWD's cumulative conservation since June 2015 is approximately 23%, the same as the statewide cumulative reduction.
"A modest uptick in water use is expected as Californians shift away from the extreme conservation required last year to more meaningful changes that will result in permanent water savings," said General Manager Jim Barrett. "This shows our customers continue to care about water efficiency."
When asked to make mandatory cuts in water use in 2015 due to California's emergency drought situation, CVWD adopted water-use restrictions and implemented drought penalties to encourage customers to conserve. Many customers responded by taking extensive measures, including letting lawns go brown.
"State conservation mandates have now been lifted for the Coachella Valley with more emphasis on long-term planning for future droughts," Barrett said. "It's important to maintain water-wise practices and continue making permanent changes to the way we use water so we can remain efficient and resilient."
CVWD spent nearly $7 million last fiscal year in conservation rebate and incentive programs that help customers make changes that will result in permanent water savings.
"We have committed another $7 million this fiscal year to fund these valuable programs that support permanent reductions in water use. I encourage all customers to take advantage of these programs and embrace conservation as the new California lifestyle," Barrett said.
CVWD recently submitted to the State its certified water supply data, which is the factor now being used in calculating mandatory conservation targets. Because the Coachella Valley has a healthy groundwater supply and imported water for groundwater replenishment, the region is prepared for future drought and no longer under a state-mandated conservation target. Water waste restrictions remain in effect.
The Coachella Valley Water Management Plan, a blueprint for long-term sustainability that was first adopted in 2002, calls for a 20% reduction in water use by 2020. The Urban Water Management Plan, mandated by the state to be updated this summer, also calls for 20% reduction by 2020.
For a complete list of conservation programs, tips for reducing water use and existing water-use restrictions, visit www.cvwd.org/conservation.
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 109,000 residential and business customers across 1,000 square miles, located primarily in Riverside County, but also in portions of Imperial and San Diego counties.