Neighboring Palm Desert’s Water District to Lift Drought Penalties

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watering lawn

 

CVWD General Manager Jim Barrett called the new regulation a “common-sense approach” that is both “achievable and effective.”

 

The Coachella Valley Water District lifted drought penalties to its customers Tuesday in response to a recent state conservation mandate that takes local water supply into account when assessing penalties to water agencies.

Effective June 1, nearly one year after the district began implementing drought penalties, it will halt penalties that included more than $10,000 per day in potential fines imposed on water wasters.

The drought penalties went into effect last July and were increased in December after the State Water Resources Control Board issued a $61,000 fine to the district for failing to meet the state’s 36 percent conservation mandate.

However, conservation targets were adjusted this month following a new emergency conservation regulation issued by Gov. Jerry Brown’s office, which allowed for different drought standards based on each agency’s specific circumstances, a move lauded by the district and other desert water agencies.

General Manager Jim Barrett called the new regulation a “common-sense approach” that is both “achievable and effective.”

The district will now try to reach a goal of 20 percent reduction by 2020.

“We expect everyone to continue to be mindful of their water use and understand that water-smart behavior is now part of being a Californian,” Barrett said.