The Coachella Valley Water District (CVWD) today approved one component of a plan among the seven Colorado River Basin States to ensure that the Colorado River will remain a reliable source of water for Southern California and the Southwest region.
During a special meeting today, the Board approved (4-0) Amendment No. 2 to the California Agreement for the Creation and Delivery of Extraordinary Conservation Intentionally Created Surplus (EC ICS). The Board will continue to discuss additional agreements, amendments, and exhibits related to the Drought Contingency Plan (DCP) in the coming weeks.
“The Drought Contingency Plan will help protect the crucial water supply that the Colorado River provides to cities and farms across the Southwest,” said John Powell Jr., president of the CVWD board. “The plan will help keep reservoirs from reaching critically low levels that would trigger severe delivery cuts, threaten power generation at Hoover and Parker dams, and prevent water agencies from accessing conserved water stored in Lake Mead.”
Nearly 20 years of drought, climate change and growing demands have caused river flows and storage levels in the system’s two largest reservoirs – Lake Mead and Lake Powell – to drop dramatically.
Under the plan, the Lower Colorado River Basin states of California, Arizona and Nevada agree to store defined volumes of water in Lake Mead, largely through conservation, if the lake reaches certain levels.
The DCP has been approved by Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Nevada. Approvals are still needed from Arizona, and several California water agencies, and Congress before the plan can be fully implemented.
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.