California Preparing For Another Drought? Local Experts Say The Coachella Valley Is Prepared

Nico Payne

California has experienced another consecutive dry winter, which has some state officials concerned that we could face drought-like conditions as we head into the Summer season.

The state has adjusted its initial state water project allocation from 10% to 5%, but here in the Coachella Valley officials tell NBC Palm Springs we are prepared for the long-term.

“When I say long-term I mean 40 or 50 years. We look at how we are going to supply enough water to meet the demand of our customers, residences, businesses, agriculture, it’s really a long-term plan,” explained Katie Evans, Director of Communications and Conservation with the Coachella Valley Water District.

As parts of the state continue to struggle with little to no rainfall, The California Department of Water Resources saying they are preparing for another drought.

“It’s important to note that this is a second dry year and in fact last year, 2020 was the third driest year on record. in reality it’s mother nature that tends to decide when we have a drought and what the governor does is proclaim a state of emergency of emergency due to drought if that’s necessary,” said Jeanine Jones, Interstate Resources Manager for The Department of Water Resources.

Officials from the Coachella Valley Water District explaining how one or two years of less-than-average rain is less impactful locally, as the valley is ready with water sources.

“We import water from other areas and we put that water back into the ground, 100% of our domestic water which is residential or commercial use, gets pumped out of the ground for use. so in wet years we are able to take extra water and put it in the ground,” said Evans.

That extra water is stored for future use in the case of emergencies like statewide mandates.

“What we saw during our last drought in 2011-16, as well as what we have seen in the years since then was just very elevated wildfire risk. The bar for a state of emergency is fairly high and right now things aren’t looking that bad, it’s certainly dry,” explained Jones.

“If the state does issue a state of emergency or do a drought declaration we could end up in a situation where we are going to have to take action based on a state mandate. Again at this time in the Coachella Valley, our water supplies are sufficient to meet the demands and we are planning long term,” said Evans.

No official state of emergency has been declared by the governor yet, but experts say it’s inevitable.

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