Valley water agency taking pro-active role to combat California drought

Desert Water Agency stressing conservation

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - While a majority of California is experiencing extreme drought conditions, the Desert Water Agency wants people to know the Coachella Valley is not yet in dire straights when it comes to water reserves.  The reason: the Valley draws most of its water from its aquifer.
"The great thing about the aquifer is it can be a buffer for our regular ongoing use of water year after year," said Craig Ewing, president of the Desert Water Agency Board of Directors.  "When nature only provides highs and lows for one year to the next, it creates a sort of bank account for us to use during dry times, and refill during wet times."

Still, with the state so dry, the Desert Water Agency wants to stay out in front of the water supply and is stressing water conservation.  In fact, it is waiting for a staff report on how the agency can improve and have more customers take advantage of its conservation program.

"We're going to look at things that can be done through education and incentives before we go into the regulatory side where we're policing peoples water use.  That's the last place we want to go," said Ewing.
Desert Hot Springs resident Jim Gennete said he's concerned about the drought conditions and pointed out, Mother Nature will ultimately have final say on whether extremes like water rationing would ever have to be taken.
"Hoping we'll get some rain.  Hoping we'll get some snow, hopefully we'll get cooler weather," said Gennete.

The Desert Water Agency will be holding a water conservation conference Feb. 22 at the Palm Springs Convention Center.  It will run from 9-11 a.m., and is open to the public.

For more information, go to www.dwa.org.

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