Coachella Valley Water District (CVWD) approved an additional $7.5 million to cover the increase in conservation rebate applications and to encourage customer participation in conservation programs bringing the total investment for fiscal year 2022-2023 to $13.35 million.
As of December 30, $4.6 million has been paid to turf conversion program participants and an additional $6 million is reserved for approved projects. The remaining funds will continue the turf conversion program and other rebate programs including sprinkler nozzle replacements, irrigation upgrades, and smart irrigation controllers.
Drought penalties fund the costs associated with conservation programs, eliminating adverse fiscal impacts on the Domestic Water Fund.
Since July 2022, CVWD customers have replaced about 1.5 million square feet of turf with water-efficient landscaping. CVWD anticipates that 4 million square feet of turf will be converted to desert-friendly landscaping with the $13.35 million allocated this fiscal year. CVWD estimates that replacing turf can result in an annual savings of 55.8 gallons of water per square foot of turf removed.
“This investment in conservation programs aims to encourage long-term water-use efficiency during this critical time of drought in the west. CVWD is responsible for balancing the output and input of water from the aquifer to maintain a sustainable resource,” said CVWD General Manager Jim Barrett.
The measures approved by the CVWD Board of Directors today are in response to the statewide drought and Gov. Gavin Newsom’s May 25 emergency water conservation regulation that requires water agencies across the state to reduce overall water use by 15 percent each month compared to 2020 use. In addition, the order required agencies to adopt Level 2 of their Water Shortage Contingency Plan (WSCP).
Drought penalties and increasing turf rebates are part of CVWD’s Demand Reduction Actions outlined in the WSCP. CVWD proactively adopted Shortage Level 2 and a portion of Level 3 in April. Action from Level 3 included increasing turf replacement rebates from $2 to $3 per square foot.
Other CVWD rebate programs include water-efficient nozzle replacement, smart irrigation controllers, high-efficiency washing machines, and toilet rebates.
Visit cvwd.org/conservation for rebate requirements, drought information and conservation tips.
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, primarily in Riverside County and portions of Imperial and San Diego counties.