Coachella Valley residents and businesses located in unincorporated areas will now be eligible for an additional five percent discount—up from 15 to 20 percent—on their flood insurance premiums thanks to flood protection activities that promote safer communities.
Residents or businesses located in a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) mapped Special Flood Hazard Area, are required by law to carry flood insurance when carrying a federally backed mortgage. The Coachella Valley has the highest population of folks in Riverside County impacted by flood insurance rates.
FEMA recognized CVWD and Riverside County Flood Control at a County Board of Supervisor’s meeting this week for achieving Class 6 of the Community Rating System (CRS). According to FEMA, there are 22,500 communities in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and only 251 are considered Class 6 communities, which is only about 1% of groups in the national program.
The CRS Program is part of FEMA’s NFIP that encourages local officials to complete flood protection activities that can save lives and prevent damage to property when a flood occurs. The program assigns credit points for each activity and incentivizes local communities with discounts on insurance. Riverside County was formerly at a Class 7 (Class 1 being the best out of 10) which only allowed for a 15% discount. CVWD worked closely with the County and FEMA’s auditor to improve its documentation, floodplain mapping and public awareness.
Activities listed below achieved the most points for the County’s new Class 6 rating:
- Protection and preservation of the floodplain designating some land non-developable open space.
- High regulatory standards above and beyond the NFIP minimums such as building elevation requirements, protection of critical community facilities and local drainage protection.
- Inspection and maintenance of the county’s stormwater drainage system and implementing ongoing capital improvement programs.
- Ongoing public outreach to the residents, businesses and realtors to bring awareness of the safety and importance of the ongoing work.
CVWD is responsible for protecting 590 square miles of land in the Coachella Valley and has more than 17 stormwater protection facilities including a 50-mile channel that stretches from north Palm Springs to the Salton Sea known as the Coachella Valley Stormwater Channel. All the tributary regional storm water facilities discharge into that channel.
While the valley doesn’t get much rain annually, flash flooding from the hills and mountains does occur and can be dangerous and unpredictable. CVWD is committed to improving public safety through long-term planning and building flood control facilities to move floodwater away from homes and businesses.
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 stormwater protection, groundwater management and water conservation. It serves approximately 113,000 residential and business customers across 1,000 square miles located primarily in Riverside County, but also in portions of Imperial and San Diego counties.