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That water in California is scarce shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. Drought penalties that will soon be applied to the Coachella Valley Water District’s (CVWD) billing process and go into effect July 1, 2015 could shock many. Carol Trentacosta and Team attended a recent meeting of the CVWD regarding the restrictions and impact on homeowners.

In response to Governor Edmund G. Brown’s Executive Order B-29-15 on April 1, 2015 mandating a 25% statewide reduction in urban water use, the CVWD has adopted a new ordinance that shall remain in effect until the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) is expected to rescind Emergency Regulations on February 28, 2016.

Except where necessary to address an immediate health and safety need or to comply with a term or condition in a permit issued by a state or federal agency, this newly adopted ordinance mandates numerous restrictions.

  • One prohibition that will likely have a significant impact on homeowner associations is the elimination of an increased water budget for over-seeding.
  • New home developments could also be greatly affected if potable water is used to mitigate dust.
  • Contained in this ordinance are also recommended activities, including but not limited to, the encouragement of the irrigation and preservation of trees and shrubs, installation of an irrigation smart (weather based) controller, and discouragement of decorative fountains and water features.

Fines for noncompliance include a first violation written notice, a second violation in the amount of $50.00 a third violation of $100.00, and a fourth violation of $200.00. Subsequent violations could result in discontinued water service.

Water demand varies from location to location and from day to day within a location. It also depends on the time of day, the day of the week, the season of the year, prevailing weather conditions, manufacturing demands, and unusual events, such as, fires or mains breaks. The SWRCB has determined that the CVWD has a residential water use above 215 gallons per person per day and must reduce its outdoor water use by 36%.

Approximately 45% of CVWD’s customers are believed to be in the “penalty zone”. Those who have already taken steps to reduce water use should not be penalized. The goals with this ordinance are to conserve water, deter waste and unreasonable use of water, encourage efficiency, and to help cover the costs related to the investigation, inspection, and administration of the ordinance enforcement.

coachella valley water district water penalties california drought*Note: 1 Ccf (hundred cubic feet) is equivalent to 748 gallons.

Carol Trentacosta and Team recently received the National Association of REALTORS’s GREEN designation. We can help you achieve a healthier, more comfortable home, understand green and energy upgrade opportunities (including turf conversion) that can lower utility bills and maintenance costs, access available rebates and financing, as well as increase your home’s value. Contact us today an let us know how we can help.


~by Hilary Christiansen