In response to the state's announcement that State Water Resources Control Board will meet with agencies that did not meet their target conservation rates, the district has released the following statement from General Manager Jim Barrett:
Coachella Valley Water District has instituted drought penalties and other water-use restrictions as a way to strongly encourage conservation by our customers. Our customers are responding by showing a significant commitment to conservation. District customers replaced 2.9 million square feet of grass with desert-friendly landscaping in the 2014-15 fiscal year and nearly 6 million since the start of the program. Since April we have received and processed nearly 900 applications for turf conversions for a total of around $3 million in applications.
June's water use showed a 21% decrease when compared to the same month two years prior, and we anticipate that upcoming months will bring additional increases in conservation. We realize that significant additional effort will be required to reach the 36% goal.
Because the drought penalties are the cornerstone of the conservation program and they went into effect in the July billing period, the district will need to review July water use numbers before being able to fully evaluate the effectiveness of this approach. If the July numbers do not reflect an ongoing conservation trend, we will reassess our approach and go back to our board of directors to determine the best course of action.
CVWD remains committed to encouraging water conservation throughout the district.
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