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New CVWD drought restrictions ban daytime sprinklers and restaurants offering customers water

The Coachella Valley Water District is taking new steps to fight the drought in California.

The water district is entering stage two of six in its water contingency plan and is looking to get customers to conserve with new conservation requirements that include banning sprinklers during the daytime.

CVWD's board of directors voted Tuesday to ban outdoor daytime water use like spray irrigation, or sprinklers, from 10 a.m. to sunset.

"Our climate condition is only going to get worse, it's not going to get better," said board member John Aguilar.

Last month, Gov. Newsom issued executive orders asking water agencies to start saving some water. Last July, the state's water board requested a voluntary 15% reduction. As of February, CVWD had only reduced by 2.4%. Statewide, agencies reduced by 6.4%.

CVWD conservation manager Jenna Shimmin said measures like the ban on daytime irrigation will contribute to conservation efforts, but not without pushback.

"Limiting the time frame, [opponents are] concerned, will lead to plants wilting or potentially dying," Shimmin said. "We tried to find that common area where we still see our water savings but customers are able to keep green landscapes. And so by irrigating up till 10 a.m., they should be able to achieve that."

The board approved several other water use reduction measures Tuesday, including one that would require restaurants to only serve water with meals when requested by customers.

Board member Anthony Bianco said the moves might be too "drastic" for the desert.

"I'll be honest with you, it's really hard for me to tell the public that we need to not water during the day, when there are city councils approving wave parks," Bianco said. "It doesn't make sense to me."

Bianco ultimately voted in favor of the measures, which come as the La Quinta planning commission is considering approving an 18-million-gallon wave basin.

"Now we have to ask for water at a restaurant but it's okay to waste 18 million gallons at a surf park? That's just crazy," said Ramon Baez, a member of La Quinta Residents for Responsible Development.

CVWD officials said projects like the La Quinta surf park have already been approved for water use. "So by conserving water, it helps us meet those long-term supplies that we've already approved and looked into," Shimmin said.

The water district said residents will first get a courtesy notice explaining the new regulations. Later violations could result in monetary citations.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1Xq24wPdJo&list=PL_RXXMrC-MeQuXDLRUyDPMdJrnRJTAFPK&index=2
CVWD Board Meeting 04/12/2022

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Jake Ingrassia

Joining News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 as a reporter, Jake is excited to be launching his broadcasting career here in the desert. Learn more about Jake here.

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