Valley city works to conserve water


COACHELLA, Calif. - The state of California is in the worst drought we've seen in years. But, one valley city is working hard to help the state change that. 

The city if Coachella is doing its part to keep the state hydrated. 

"Back in, I believe it was, 2009 the state came back and asked us to reduce water by 20 percent by the year 2020," said Kirk Cloyd, Utilities General Manager for the city of Coachella. 

A request the city fulfilled several years ago. In January, Governor Jerry Brown asked Californians, again, to cut water usage by another 20 percent.

"We've found that we've actually reduced our water usage again by another 6.7%," said Cloyd. "So it's been an ongoing conservation effort that staff and the public have been working together in partnership along with the other four water agencies."

It's significantly more than other cities, but they do have an advantage.

"We're kind of a bedroom community so it's going to be easier for us to meet it I think," added Cloyd. "We don't have the golf courses or the resorts that use a little bit more water."

But still, the city works just as hard to meet its goal. It increased water rates for the first time in ten years.

"Water being that cheap people tend to not look at it as a valuable commodity," said Cloyd. "We are actually now charging for what it actually costs us so it was being subsidized prior to that."

The city also offers community outreach programs to help people better conserve water. Berlinda Blackburn is the city's Environmental/Regulatory Programs Manager. 

"We are doing quite well the outreach opportunities have been great we've let folks know programs are available and that there's no cost to them except the labor involved," said Blackburn.

All funded by Proposition 84 grant money. Another mandate that will help conserve... 

"We now have the obligation to go out and fine you $500 per incident and if we don't oversee that program then the state can come in and fine us 10,000 dollars per incident," added Blackburn.

Click here for more information on how the city is working to save water and how you can help.  

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