Reclamation issues updated Colorado River Basin projections

Coachella Valley Water District commits to reducing demand on Colorado River

Coachella Valley Water District (CVWD) has announced their commitment to take additional measures to reduce water demands on the drought-stricken Colorado River alongside 30 other water agencies from municipal and public water providers in the Upper and Lower Colorado River Basin.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was delivered to U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Camille Touton to affirm commitments to implement comprehensive and innovative water conservation programs.

“CVWD is well-positioned to join our colleagues in a larger effort to reduce demand on the River thanks to the water-efficiency actions we have implemented over the years,” said CVWD Board President John Powell Jr.” We are committed to continuing our efforts to bring the supply and use of the river into balance for future generations and to support our local economy.”

CVWD’s past actions are consistent with the MOU, such as adopting a tiered rate billing structure, implementing a number of various conservation rebates, expanding rebate offerings, and hosting numerous community events to teach best practices for efficient indoor and outdoor water use.

Through the MOU, some of the actions CVWD will specifically commit to include:

  • Reduce the quantity of non-functional turf grass by 30% through replacement with drought-resilient landscaping, while maintaining vital urban landscapes and tree canopies that benefit our communities, wildlife, and the environment.
  • Increase water reuse and recycling programs where feasible, contingent on the dependability and security of our existing Colorado River supplies essential to support these efforts.
  • Transform outdoor landscapes and urban environments in a manner that improves climate resilience and promotes an ethic of wise water use through mandatory watering schedules and compliance enforcement, incentivized turf removal, and limitations on new turf.
  •  Accelerating water loss control by prioritizing supply considerations in asset management programs and exploring water loss control regulations to minimize water loss.

CVWD also committed to curtail replenishment at its Thomas E. Levy Groundwater Replenishment Facility (Levy) for the remainder of 2022.

CVWD’s federal Colorado River water order is 399,000 acre-feet for 2022, which is about 9% of the state’s allocation. About 260,000 acre-feet of this is delivered to local farms, and the balance is delivered for environmental mitigation, groundwater replenishment, large landscape irrigation, and for use by other agencies.

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