Arid Environment

Palm Springs, Coachella Valley water use among top in California

Three Coachella Valley water agencies are among the state’s top five residential water users this winter so far, according to state data released last week amid growing concerns about serious drought.

Tiny Myoma Dunes Water District — which serves Bermuda Dunes and a corner of La Quinta — ranked first in January, producing 217 gallons a day per residential customer. The Coachella Valley Water District, which serves Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Thousand Palms, Indian Wells, La Quinta, Thermal and the Salton Sea communities, came in third with nearly 188 gallons a day per customer. Desert Water Agency, which serves Palm Springs and Cathedral City, ranked fifth with nearly 178 gallons a day per customer.

Related:Californians don’t cut back water as state braces for another dry year

Statewide, the average amount of water produced per customer was 66 gallons per day in January, but many areas in the Coachella Valley are at nearly three times that amount.

And despite Gov. Gavin Newsom’s call in July 2021 for Californians to reduce usage by 15%, the Desert Water Agency actually increased the amount by 0.6% from then through January, though Myoma Dunes has done better, with a nearly 7% reduction. Statewide water use declined just 2.6% during that period.

Drought-tolerant landscaping at a Palm Springs Unified School District building.

Less state supply will be available

On Friday, the Department of Water Resources announced it must reduce State Water Project allocations to just 5% of requested supplies for 2022. It previously set the allocation at 15% but a historically dry January and February, with no significant storms forecast for March, requires a reduction in the allocation to conserve available water supply, officials said.

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