Drought Updates 

Governor Newsom lifts 15% conservation directive20230321_ca_drought map

On March 24, 2023, Governor Newsom lifted the 15% conservation directive. He also announced water suppliers could move back to Level 1 of their Water Shortage Contingency Plan (WSCP).

However, a ban on watering ornamental grass on commercial properties remains in place.

Drought penalties are no longer active.

The CVWD Board will officially adopt removal at the April 11 board meetingDrought penalties will be retroactive to April 1. The board will also discuss moving back to Level 1 of the Water Shortage Contingency Plan, which is always in effect.

Drought Penalty Chart Drought Penalty Chart

* 1 ccf equals one hundred cubic feet or 748 gallons and is also 1 unit of water. 

Level 2 & 3 mandatory water conservation actions 

  • Spray irrigation is prohibited during daylight hours. See recommended watering schedule.
  • Reduce outdoor budgets by 10%. 
  • CVWD discourages overseeding. Let your lawn go golden this fall but continue watering plants and trees. 
  • Water waste patrols will be increased.
  • Restaurants can serve water only on request. Order table tents for your restaurant.
  • Expand rebate program. CVWD increased its Turf Conversion rebate from $2 to $3. Pre-approval is required. Apply now. 

CVWD will prioritize working with customers to resolve violations quickly. After a written warning, customers may be responsible for fines on their bill starting at $50. The goal is to eliminate water waste and save water for future generations.

State ban on watering ornamental grass remains in effect:

  1. Irrigation of non-functional turf is prohibited at commercial, industrial and institutional sites including HOAs.
  2. Non-functional/ornamental means turf that is solely decorative. It does not include areas that are used for recreation or civic community events or turf areas with trees.
  3. Fines up to $500 per day may be imposed.  

How to increase water efficiency at home: Woman adjusting irrigation  Opens in new window

  1. Reduce outdoor water use by eliminating water waste. The most common causes of water waste are over watering and leaks. Watch a video on How to Reduce Outdoor Water Waste
  2. Apply for a conservation rebate
  3. Be a role model and convert your yard into a water-efficient landscape. Turf conversion rebatesare now $3 per square-foot. 
  4. Avoid watering during daylight hours. See recommended watering schedule.
  5. Consider not overseeding your lawn or learn how to Overseed Without Wasting Water
  6. Use CVWD’s watering guide. Or install a weather-based irrigation controller.
  7. Run your irrigation system while you are home and watch each cycle to find any problems such as leaks or broken sprinkler heads.

Long-term water management plans outline the supplies we have and how we manage them. Some of the top issues addressed in these plans include:

  • Water demand projections including city and county masterplans for development. 
  • 5-year drought risk assessments
  • Seismic risk assessment
  • Water shortage contingency plans
  • Climate change assessments

Water Supply Assessments for new developments 
Here is some information on how new developments are approved and who is responsible for approving them. For more information, visit our Water Supply Assessments & Verifications webpage. Or read these Frequently Asked Questions regarding CVWD’s role in land use planning within its service area.

Additional Resources
Here are some key resources to help you save water:

If you’ve taken advantage of all these resources and still need help, give us a call at (760) 398-2651. We’re here to help you conserve.

Watch a video on Drought Penalties

Watch a video on How to read your water bill

Watch a video to Learn How to Check for Indoor Leaks

Watch a video on How to Read Your Water Meter 

Colorado River 

In August 2021, for the first time in history, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) announced a water shortage on the Colorado River resulting in mandatory water consumption cuts as stated in the Drought Contingency Plan (DCP).

The DCP is an action plan generated in 2019 to address ongoing historic drought conditions and reduce risk of Lakes Powell and Mead declining to critical elevations. USBR expects Lake Mead to hit the elevation threshold of the DCP of 1,090 feet in January 2022 triggering Tier 1 cuts that will affect Arizona, Nevada and Mexico.

Deeper reductions (Tier 2 and Tier 3) may be necessary if declines in Lake Mead continue. California does not take cuts in either Tiers 2 or 3 as agreed to in the 2007 Interim DCP Guidelines. However, the 2019 DCP includes additional contributions that California and CVWD have to make when Lake Mead gets to 1,045 feet and below.

Hoover Dam with Lake Mead elevation at 1088_14 feet above sea level_03_2018U.S. Bureau of Reclamation photo of water intakes at Lake Mead in 2018

Ensuring sustainable supplies
CVWD has taken a leadership role in contingency planning with other western states in the case of ongoing severe drought.
Local water efficiency practices are always a priority for us regardless of state or nationwide water levels. CVWD also actively participates in several long-term water management planning efforts.