Coachella Valley Water District (CVWD) has hired a security firm to patrol the Whitewater River area near Interstate 10 to prevent people from trespassing in and near the water.
Southwest Protective Services will provide security services daily from sunrise to sunset beginning May 20 and through Sept. 30 during the desert’s hottest months. The board approved a contract for $52,562 for the service. A contingency amount of $7,438 brought the total authorization to $60,000.
“CVWD has repeatedly reminded residents and visitors that it is unlawful to enter the Whitewater River channel and area canals,” said Katie Evans, director of Communications and Conservation for the district. “We decided to take this additional step to further protect the public during the hot months when the temptation to visit the water is especially high.”
The extra security is in addition to CVWD’s ongoing work with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department to keep people away from the two areas.
Both areas pose extreme danger, which is why it is unlawful to enter them. At the Whitewater River area near Windy Point on either side of Interstate 10, the flow rate has the capacity to reach 720 cubic feet per second, which can easily knock an adult person off their feet leading to injury or death.
There is a danger to anyone who enters the water. Similarly, the Coachella Canal that brings Colorado River water to the valley is extremely dangerous and should not be entered.
Trespassers risk prosecution, which could lead to fines and jail time – but most importantly, they risk their lives.
The Coachella Valley Water District is a public agency governed by a five-member board of directors. The district provides domestic and irrigation water, agricultural drainage, wastewater treatment and reclamation services, regional storm water protection, groundwater management and water conservation. It serves approximately 108,000 residential and business customers across 1,000 square miles, located primarily in Riverside County, but also in portions of Imperial and San Diego counties.