Palm Springs is one of the top water users in the state, despite a historic drought.
“We are probably in the top 10%,” said Ashley Metzger, Director of Public Affairs & Water Planning for Desert Water Agency.
In July, Governor Gavin Newsom called on Californians to voluntarily cut back on water by 15%. Instead, Desert Water Agency said usage in the Coachella Valley went up.
“Usage is actually up a little bit,” said Metzger.
Experts say it’s not unusual to see this trend in Palm Springs, an area with extreme climates and a high tourism population.
“First of all, Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley are very, very hot, dry climates, so for us to be at the top of the list in the state doesn’t have a huge amount of a shock factor there because it takes a lot more water here to keep everything alive,” said Metzger.
Desert Water Agency said habits such as taking shorter showers and turning off water facets are good starting points for water conservation, but those are minor solutions to a much broader conservation problem.
“It’s being mindful of it and also taking a look at what’s happening outside,” said Metzger. “Most water in this area goes to outdoor irrigation, so keeping plants and trees and grass alive in the summer takes quite a bit.”
The U.S. Drought Monitor reports that as of now, Riverside County is experiencing severe to extreme drought, as the drought lingers in its 22-year. Desert Water Agency encourages everyone to do their part to conserve our resources.
“There’s always opportunities to step up and save. And it’s incumbent upon all of us- we live in a desert in the Coachella Valley and we should all work together to protect this resource for future generations,” said Metzger.