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Desert Water Agency Forced To Adopt Mandatory Water Restrictions

August 6th, 2014

Desert Water Agency (DWA) serves the communities of Palm Springs and Cathedral City. They’ve been the subject of ongoing controversy because of their perceived reluctance to enact, promote, monitor and enforce significant water conservation measures needed to address the state-wide emergency drought needs. However, the State of California recently required all local water agencies to activate their emergency water ordinances. The Desert Sun local newspaper reported in their recent “Desert Water Agency adopts mandatory water restrictions” story that the DWA board has finally recognized the need to address the drought conservation needs.

The newspaper’s story could also have been titled “Desert Water Agency Forced To Adopt Mandatory Water Restrictions“. It’s a simple fact that Desert Water Agency (DWA) did not want to impose any form of mandatory water conservation measures. They finally did so because California water officials ordered all local water agencies to implement their emergency drought water ordinances.

The DWA emergency water ordinance is one of the least restrictive in the state. It covers the minimum that should be done to address water drought conditions. The agency’s Board of Directors could have added some teeth to their 1980’s emergency ordinance but instead chose to do nothing in terms of amendment to add needed provisions.

The DWA board could have added provisions to address irrigation water runoff into gutters – but they didn’t!

The DWA board could have added provisions to address water waste that will occur during the upcoming grass scalping season – but they didn’t!

The DWA board could have added provisions to enforce their “mandatory” restrictions ordinance – but they didn’t!

The DWA board could have held a meeting in which they genuinely sought public input that would receive their attention and foster meaningful actions on their part – but they didn’t!

Instead of producing an ordinance the fully addresses the current drought’s need for strong and effective mandatory water use restrictions, DWA has passed the buck to the City of Palm Springs. They plan to encourage Palm Springs officials to enact all the water restriction measures that DWA failed to address.

I applaud the State of California for addressing the state-wide drought and forcing local water agencies to implement mandatory water use controls.

I applaud the City of Palm Springs for the steps they have already taken to address water conservation issues in our community.

I applaud the fact that a few water conservation use restrictions are now in place.

Kudos to all those genuinely responsible for these timely and necessary actions.

August 6, 2014

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