Coachella Valley Water Districts Prepare for State Reduction Requirements

Carmela Karcher

June 21st is the official start of summer.

And already, California is in its driest year to date.

“You really can’t talk about water in one specific location in California without talking about all of California when it comes to water,” Mission Springs Water District Programs and Public Affairs Manager, Marion Champion, said.

Currently, about 60% of the state is in extreme drought and nearly 12% is under exceptional drought.

This has forced water agencies to take action.

“Recognizing the ongoing drought here in California, our board yesterday made the decision to move to Level 2 of our Water Shortage Contingency Plan,” Champion shared. “The main restriction that’s going to impact homeowners is that outdoor water use for spray irrigation is going to be prohibited during daylight hours. If you do it in the evening hours or in the early morning, you’ll have less evaporation so we’ll be able to save some water there.”

Mission Springs Water District covers Desert Hot Springs and some unincorporated areas of the county.

Along with irrigation restrictions, the district is also requiring restaurants to serve water only upon request, discourage overseeding, expand public outreach and increase waste patrols.

It also encourages the use of non-potable water for construction if available.

“When we talk about water for construction purposes, we are talking about dust mitigation efforts,” Marion continued. “While we don’t currently have any recycled water available to our construction customers, it is something that we are pursuing especially with our new reclamation facility which we are breaking ground this month.”

Because of the ongoing drought, the state required cities and water districts to submit a drought response plan  based on how much water is available.

And to avoid any confusion about restrictions, all Coachella Valley water districts are implementing similar measures so the messaging across the desert is universal.

All with the same goal in mind: to save water.

“The governor has asked that all Californians help out and conserve water and so we are doing our part by implementing these stage two restrictions,” Champion said.

The State Water Resources Control Board is requiring all urban water suppliers to carry out their Level 2 reduction actions by June 10th.

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