The Coachella Valley Water District (CVWD) Board of Directors today approved an additional $1.5 million in funding for conservation programs.
The additional funding will allow customers to be able to receive turf removal rebates through approximately Dec. 1, 2015. When funds are depleted, applications will be held and then considered for approval beginning July 1, 2016.
“Our customers have made a strong commitment to water conservation during this time of statewide drought,” said Heather Engel, director of Communication & Conservation for the district. “This additional funding will help our customers continue these significant and important efforts toward conservation.”
CVWD already had committed $3.2 million for conservation programs in the 2015-16 fiscal year. Since July 1, 2015, CVWD has approved more than 5 million square feet of turf conversion projects at a rebate amount of $1 per square foot. When those projects are completed, approximately 11 million square feet of turf will have removed through the program since 2008.
Research shows that converting from spray-irrigated turf to desert-friendly, drip-irrigated landscapes reduces outdoor water use by 70-80 percent. A properly designed and maintained desert-friendly landscape also eliminates run-off to adjacent properties, reduces street and building exterior maintenance costs, and reduces landscape maintenance costs.
The demand for CVWD’s turf rebate and other conservation programs has been high as the public has responded to the combination of extreme drought in California, Gov. Jerry Brown’s statewide drought emergency declaration, the CVWD Board of Directors’ Resolution for mandated water-use restrictions and drought penalties, and CVWD’s increased public outreach efforts.
As a result of the conservation efforts, CVWD customers used 27% less water in August 2015 when compared to the same month in 2013. Customers had previously used 41% less in July and 21% less in June when compared to the same months in 2013. The average reduction over the three-month period is 30%.
The state is requiring CVWD to reduce overall 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. Customers will need to stay 36% below the outdoor water budget each month to avoid penalties.
For additional information about CVWD’s current water-use restrictions, drought penalties and conservation programs, visit www.cvwd.org
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.