Desert Water Agency transitioned from at-large to division elections with the first division election in November 2020. The second division election will be held in November of 2022.
DWA had an at-large system that allowed customers to elect all five members of the Board of Directors. Elections by division – also referred to as districts – apportions the service area into five divisions with customers voting only for candidates from within their own division.
The move to voting by division avoids a potentially costly lawsuit. Various Coachella Valley cities and school districts have moved to district elections in recent years for similar reasons.
To assist in the process, DWA hired National Demographics Corporation, the firm that did work for Palm Springs and Cathedral City in their districting efforts.
FAQs on Transition
Click on each question to see the answer.
Why did DWA transition to divisions?
Desert Water Agency received a letter from a law firm compelling us to voluntarily change our system from at large to by division. This law firm has sent many such letters and sued various cities and agencies. Each time the city or agency has had to change its election system voluntarily or risk a lawsuit that it would almost certainly lose. Those who went through lawsuits spent a great deal of money on legal fees and none have been successful in retaining at-large elections.
How does this affect me?
Were past DWA elections unfair?
Will the Agency get new Board members?
Two of the five seats on the Board were up for election in 2020, Divisions 4 and 5. The remaining three seats, Divisions 1, 2 and 3, will be up for election in 2022. As with every election, it is possible the Agency will have new board members.