By a unanimous vote today (4-0), the Coachella Valley Water District (CVWD) Board approved the remaining agreements for the Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan (DCP), thereby having the ability to participate when the legislation is completed. By another 4-0 vote, the CVWD Board also provided their support for federal legislation so that the rules of the DCP can be implemented by the Secretary of the Interior.
The DCP has been collaboratively crafted among the seven Colorado River Basin States and the United States to ensure that the Colorado River will continue to be a reliable source of water for the over 40 million water users in the Southwest, including Southern California.
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 agreed-on volumes of water in Lake Mead, largely through municipal and agricultural conservation efforts, if the lake reaches certain levels.
The plan is voluntary and it does not interfere with any water rights.
The DCP has been approved by Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, and Arizona. Approvals from a few California water agencies and Congress are needed 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.