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.
According to the district $4.6 million has already 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.
The district says that since July 2022, CVWD customers have replaced about 1.5 million square feet of turf with water-efficient landscaping and they anticipate that number to reach 4 million square feet of turf with the $13.35 million allocated this fiscal year.
“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.
Drought penalties and increasing turf rebates are part of CVWD’s Demand Reduction Actions outlined in the WSCP. CVWD adopted Shortage Level 2 and a portion of Level 3 last April. Action from Level 3 included increasing turf replacement rebates from $2 to $3 per square foot.