CVWD’s New Drought Penalties Start in July 2015

To help meet the 36 percent water savings requirement from the state during this historic drought, the Coachella Valley Water District (CVWD) Board of Directors approved drought penalties that will be reflected in July bills. Penalties are expected to affect about 45 percent of the district’s more inefficient users.

California is facing a historical drought. Even though our supply here in the Coachella Valley is more reliable than other areas of the state, thanks to years of responsible management of the groundwater basin, the district must answer the governor’s call to conserve.

CVWD incorporated the drought penalties into the existing water budget-based tiered rate structure. All domestic customers are being asked to limit water use to 36 percent below their outdoor (tier 2) water budget. This approach rewards more than half of the customers who have already taken steps to reduce water use and only affects the more inefficient water users.

Customers who want to determine if they will be penalized can visit and use a copy of their previous water bill and the Drought Penalty Calculator to estimate any penalties. The district’s drought penalties are due to expire when the state rescinds the conservation mandates. If CVWD customers don’t achieve 36 percent savings the district may face fines up to $10,000 per day.

The drought penalties are structured as follows:

• Water use in Tier 1 No penalty

• Water use in Tier 2, up to 64% - No penalty

• Water use in Tier 2 above 64% regular rate +$2.51/unit>/p>

• Water use in Tier 3 regular rate +$3.34/unit

• Water use in Tier 4 regular rate +$5.01/unit

• Water use in Tier 5 regular rate +$10.03/unit

CVWD customers who need assistance reducing their water use are encouraged to take advantage of one of our many rebate and incentive programs. We also have several resources on our website, including conservation tips and a desert-friendly plant database.

Go to for a complete list of conservation programs, resources and more information about drought penalties.