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Posted on: December 7, 2021

CVWD adopts groundwater management plans

CVWD Palm Desert Groundwater Replenishment Facility

Coachella Valley Water District (CVWD) today (Dec. 7) adopted the 2022 Indio Subbasin Water Management Plan Update and the 2022 Mission Creek Subbasin Alternative Plan Update. 

The updates, adopted after a public hearing for each one, outline how local water managers plan to meet current and future water demands, sustainably manage groundwater, protect water quality and manage future costs. 

Land use changes, projected growth, future water supplies, climate change and many other factors are considered in the plan updates, which look ahead to 2045. Water managers took a conservative approach to climate change, planning for lower State Water Project reliability and contributions to the Colorado River under the Drought Contingency Plan.

Groundwater management programs have replenished 4 million acre-feet of imported water into the Coachella Valley Groundwater Basin. Over the past 10 years, groundwater levels have increased or stabilized over most of the Indio and Mission Creek Subbasins, and overdraft has been eliminated, a sign that the programs are working. The plan updates build on decades of work to sustainably manage the Indio and Mission Creek Subbasins.

State officials previously announced that the Coachella Valley Water Management Plan, submitted as an Alternative to a Groundwater Sustainability Plan for the Indio Subbasin, met the requirements of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), the 2014 legislation designed to halt overdraft and bring groundwater basins into balanced levels of pumping and recharge. The 2013 Mission Creek/Garnet Hill Water Management Plan, submitted as an Alternative for the Mission Creek Subbasin, also met the requirements. The state asked for updates for both plans by January 1, 2022.

The Water Management Plan has guided local water management since the plan was first completed in 2002, and along with annual reports and the current update, will continue to guide management of the subbasins. The Indio Subbasin Groundwater Sustainability Agencies are CVWD, Desert Water Agency (DWA), Coachella Water Authority, and Indio Water Authority. The Mission Creek Subbasin Management Committee includes CVWD, DWA and Mission Springs Water District.  

The Indio Subbasin underlies the cities of Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, La Quinta, Indio and Coachella, and the unincorporated communities of Thousand Palms, Thermal, Bermuda Dunes, Oasis and Mecca. The Mission Creek Subbasin underlies the city of Desert Hot Springs. 

To view the 2022 Indio Subbasin Water Management Plan Update, visit www.indiosubbasinsgma.org. To view the 2022 Mission Creek Subbasin Alternative Plan Update, visit www.missioncreeksubbasinsgma.org.

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