CVWD Drought Penalties

To Encourage Water Conservation, Drought Penalties Have Been Increased

By Heather Engel
Director of Communication & Conservation, Coachella Valley Water District


About 76% of CVWD customers currently are meeting the drought budgets set by CVWD.

Unfortunately, this isn’t good enough. The state is requiring CVWD customers to reduce overall domestic water use by 36% when compared to the same month in 2013 or face penalties of up to $10,000 per day. The month-to-month rolling average for CVWD customers, which the state considers to determine if the conservation mandate is being met, is 27%.

To further encourage conservation, CVWD’s board of directors took these actions at its Nov. 10 meeting:

  • Approved $2 million in additional conservation funding with most of it going to CVWD’s conservation rebate programs.
  • Prohibited outdoor irrigation for CVWD domestic customers on Mondays and Thursdays from Dec. 1 through March 31.
  • Increased drought penalties for water use in tiers 3-5. The increased drought penalties will go into effect with December water use for bills mailed in January.

Under the increased drought penalties, residents who do not limit their outdoor water use to 36% below their monthly budget are subject to drought penalties 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
Water use in Tier 3                              Regular rate + $5/unit
Water use in Tier 4                              Regular rate + $10/unit
Water use in Tier 5:                             Regular rate + $20/unit

Statewide mandatory water-use restrictions remain in effect, including prohibiting water runoff and irrigation during and 48 hours following rain. In addition, CVWD requires sprinklers to be fixed within 24 hours and leaks to be fixed as soon as possible.

If you need assistance making changes to conserve water, we can help. For conservation rebate programs, tips, a plant guide and additional information, visit Our water management staff also can meet with HOA managers or your residents to provide additional advice and guidance. Thank you for doing your part to conserve water during the ongoing drought.

Heather Engel is the director of Communication & Conservation for the Coachella Valley Water District. She can be reached at or at (760) 398-2661.