Groundwater levels have increased in most of the Coachella Valley Water District (CVWD) service area since 2009, according to a new report presented to the Board of Directors on April 26.
The 2022-2023 Engineer’s Report summarizes the condition of groundwater supplies, need for replenishment and replenishment assessment charges (RACs).
The West Whitewater River Subbasin showed elevation increases up to 100 feet. East Whitewater River Subbasin long-term changes reached the 80-foot level. The Mission Creek Subbasin records changes up to 20 feet.
“It all goes to show that our replenishment efforts are working,” said Board President John Powell Jr.
Large groundwater users that pump more than 25 acre-feet from the aquifer in a year pay RAC fees. The report recommends RAC increases in two of the three subbasins.
Rates in the West Whitewater River Subbasin would increase 19% from $167.79 per acre-foot to $196.79 per acre-foot. East Whitewater River Subbasin charges would increase 8.5 % from $72.27 per acre-foot to $78.41 per acre-foot.
The report suggests no rate increases for the Mission Creek Subbasin.
Rates are based on specific replenishment projects and programs provided in each area. Among payers are farms, nurseries, golf courses and public water system purveyors, including CVWD.
RAC revenue funds groundwater replenishment with imported water and other projects and programs to protect and conserve groundwater supplies and reduce groundwater pumping. The board will conduct a public hearing on June 14 to consider RAC increases.