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How California drought will likely impact water usage in Coachella Valley

California is going into its third straight year of a drought so more water restrictions will likely be put in place to conserve water. State officials met today to discuss the drought outlook in California.

The drought won't affect the valley in the same way as it would it other parts of the state. 

"In a drought, storage of any kind is good. And the Coachella Valley is fortunate to be sitting on a very large amount of groundwater storage which is their long-term drought buffer for them," said the interstate resources manager at the state's Department of Water Resources, Jeanine Jones. "Coachella is in a very good position storage-wise in comparison to other areas of the state that don't have that kind of storage available to it."

Ashley Metzger with Desert Water Agency said 99% of the drinking water for the valley comes from the aquifer beneath it. While most water for agriculture irrigation comes from the Colorado River. 

"The way the drought impacts us is we're not able to import as much water to bring as much water in from other places to offset the use here," said Metzger.

She compares the aquifer to a savings account: a water supply we can rely on as needed.

"So we need to do what we can now to make sure that our water supply for the future is sustainable," said Metzger.

That means conserving water.

"Water conservation as a way of life. And that includes things such as setting standards, essentially for indoor and outdoor water use," said Jones.

Desert Water Agency said it doesn't expect its customers to see an impact on the amount that they pay for each unit of water.

"We want to make sure that we can work with our customers and do everything we can to support them to make water conservation. Easy, and simple and actionable," said Metzger.

The state water board is expected to announce water restrictions any day now with local water agencies putting measures into place in June. Those restrictions could mainly impact whether or not you're allowed to water in the daytime. 

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Miyoshi Price

Miyoshi joined KESQ News Channel 3 in April 2022. Learn more about Miyoshi here.

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Marian Bouchot

Marian Bouchot is the weekend morning anchor and a reporter for KESQ News Channel 3. Learn more about Marian here.


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