As part of the Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) Program, the Coachella Valley IRWM Group was recently awarded $3.8 million in Proposition 1 grant funding by the California Department of Water Resources. Of that grant funding, $1.38 million is for the CV Water Counts Regional Conservation Program and will fund the implementation of turf removal, toilet rebates, and conservation outreach, as well as the construction of two demonstration gardens. This grant funding, coupled with agency funding and customer spending, is projected to invest $2.4 million in water conservation.
The turf removal component will offer turf rebates at $2.00 per square feet for replacing existing turf with low-water desert landscaping. The specific grant funding for each agency for the turf removal components, and toilet rebates for some, are:
- Coachella Valley Water District (CVWD) – $208,000
- Coachella Water Authority (CWA) – $200,000
- Desert Water Agency (DWA) – $290,000
- Indio Water Authority (IWA) – $250,000
- Mission Springs Water District (MSWD) – $60,000
The balance of the grant funding will be used for the construction of demonstration gardens on the CV Link by CVWD and at the main entrance of Palm Springs International Airport by DWA. These locations receive more than 2 million visitors each year. The gardens will showcase native plants and sustainable landscaping techniques appropriate to the Coachella Valley and provide learning opportunities for residents and visitors alike.
This grant will spearhead a landscape transformation initiative that will replace up to 511,700 square feet of turf and save 28.6 million gallons of water annually. This is significant because outdoor water use in the Coachella Valley, largely for turf irrigation, accounts for 80% of use for a typical customer.
The ultimate goal of our conservation efforts is to preserve the high-quality groundwater supply. Since 2015, our customers have saved more than 56.6 billion gallons of water; that is roughly eight (8) years of water supply for the Valley’s largest city, Indio. The benefits of conserving water are multi-faceted. In addition to leaving more water in the local aquifer for future use, conservation contributes to water affordability by:
- lowering operational costs and moderating rate increases through the reduction in energy cost associated with groundwater pumping, and
- offsetting the costs of new infrastructure or supplemental water to meet growth and higher demands.
Please stay tuned for more information about the turf removal program and toilet rebate programs by visiting the CV Water Counts Water Map page here. For agency specific details, you can also visit your water provider’s website at the links below: