Posted on: March 7, 2017

Statement from CVWD about Federal Appeals Court Ruling in groundwater case

CVWD Board Room

Coachella Valley Water District (CVWD) is reviewing today’s federal appeals court ruling that found the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians has impliedly reserved federal rights to groundwater in the Coachella Valley.

“The CVWD board will discuss next steps in this case that could ultimately determine control over the region’s groundwater,” said Jim Barrett, CVWD general manager. “Because this is ongoing litigation, this conversation will take place in closed session.”

The litigation process began in 2013 when Agua Caliente filed a lawsuit against CVWD and Desert Water Agency (DWA) seeking unprecedented rights to groundwater. The initial ruling determined that Agua Caliente does have impliedly reserved rights, opening up the door for court-approved control of the groundwater basin.

CVWD and DWA appealed that lower court ruling to the federal appeals court, which issued its ruling today.

The CVWD Board of Directors next regularly scheduled meeting is at 8 a.m. Tuesday, March 14, at the Steve Robbins Administration Building, 75515 Hovley Lane East, Palm Desert.

Additional information about the lawsuit is available at

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