CVWD Begins Water Overuse Drought Penalties in August

Ceci Partridge

CVWD customers could see a spike in their September water bills after the Coachella Valley Water Board of Directors voted Tuesday to adopt drought penalties.

The move stems from a statewide mandate, issued May 25th, to reduce water consumption by 15%.

In the mandate, urban water suppliers are required to enact Shortage Level 2 of their Water Shortage Contingency Plan. CVWD proactively adopted Shortage Level 2 and a portion of Level 3 in April.

The drought penalties will go into affect in August for customers whose outdoor water use does not fall 10% below the Tier 2 water outdoor budget. Water use above 90 percent of Tier 2 budgets will be assessed a drought penalty of 29 cents per unit of water. Tiers 3, 4 and 5 will see per unit penalty rates of $1.80, $3.16 and $6.44, respectively.

Mandatory Conservation Actions in Levels 2 and 3 of the WSCP include:

  • *No overspray irrigation during daylight hours, except when checking for leaks.
  • *Drinking water in eating or drinking establishments is only served upon request. Businesses can order table tents here.
  • *Reduce outdoor water budgets.
  • *Discourage overseeding.
  • *Increase water waste patrols.
  • *Increase public outreach campaign.
  • *Expand rebate program. CVWD increased its Turf Conversion rebate from $2 to $3. Pre-approval is required. Customers can visit to apply or for details.

Exceptions to the above restrictions are available when an immediate health, safety or sanitation need exists. After a written warning, customers may be responsible for fines on their bill starting at $50.

“A sustainable aquifer is essential for the future economic prosperity of the Coachella Valley,” said CVWD Board President John Powell, Jr. “These conservation actions will encourage water-use efficiency and move us toward meeting the state’s goal of a 15% overall reduction in water use.”

According to CVWD, this will not impact 60% of efficient water users, and revenue from drought penalties will be used to pay for additional customer conservation programs such as turf replacement rebates.

CVWD has committed $2 million in turf conversion rebates since July 1 including turf conversions spurred by the District’s partnership with the City of Rancho Mirage offering $6 per square foot to customers who live within its city.

The state has also imposed a ban on watering of non-functional or decorative grass at commercial, industrial, institutional sites and HOAs with fines up to $500 per day possible.

It does not include areas that are used for recreation or civic community events or turf areas with trees.

More information about drought penalties and about water use restrictions is available at

Suscribe Form Desktop


Submit your suggestions and questions

Nbc Palm Spring Logo

Download our App

Apple Store Logo

Play Store Logo