Though we live in the desert, the Coachella Valley is very fortunate to have high quality, local water resources. Unlike Orange County, San Diego and many other Southern California population centers, which must import water from hundreds of miles away in the northern part of the state, our valley has a remarkable, naturally occurring water source right below our feet.
This source, the Coachella Valley Groundwater Basin, helps keep water service reliable – and water rates affordable – for the 600,000 residents that call the valley home, and the 3.5 million tourists that visit us each year.
COACHELLA VALLEY GROUNDWATER BASIN
The Coachella Valley Groundwater Basin is a large underground aquifer – a body of permeable rock that stores water – 500 to 1,300 feet below the valley floor. The basin is replenished with rainwater, San Jacinto snowmelt, and water from the Colorado River.
It holds about 39 million acre feet of water, or about 13 trillion gallons! That’s enough water to fill 20 million Olympic-sized swimming pools.
Other Water Sources
Colorado River water is channeled into our region by the Coachella Canal, which is operated by Coachella Valley Water District. In addition to basin replenishment, this water is used along with other sources (including recycled water) to irrigate many valley golf courses and farms. Desert Water Agency also treats and distributes surface water from local creeks in Palm Springs.