Note: The photo that appears with this release pre-dates the Covid-19 pandemic and associated mask mandates.
Coachella Valley Water District’s (CVWD) Board of Directors on Tuesday approved providing additional temporary supplemental drinking water to residents at Oasis Mobile Home Park.
The water will be delivered through a water tender at the park, which is on tribal land and not connected to the CVWD system. The water from the park’s private well has periodically been found to be out of compliance with federal arsenic standards.
Five residents from the park spoke to the board in Spanish through an interpreter about the need for additional supplemental water, which has been provided in the past by CVWD and Riverside County.
“We are providing this water because it’s the right thing to do to help these families,” said Vice President Cástulo R. Estrada, who also thanked in Spanish each of the residents for sharing their stories with the board. “We’re here to be helpful in any way we can recognizing that this not something that we’re fully tasked with resolving.”
Estrada expressed gratitude to the entities, including Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia and Supervisor V. Manuel Perez and Leadership Council, that are working to help the residents. Efforts also include finding additional affordable housing with access to clean drinking water.
“We need the federal agencies and our Congressman to help us find a long-term solution,” Estrada added. “I’m looking forward to hearing their perspectives on how to solve this issue.”
Issues arose in August of 2019 when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) deemed the water system at Oasis Mobile Home Park to be out of compliance with the federal arsenic standards in the Safe Drinking Water Act. CVWD and Riverside County have stepped in to provide temporary supplemental drinking water assistance to residents several times since then.
It costs about $3,700 per week to fund the supplemental water service through domestic water non-rate revenue. The assistance is contingent on receipt of payment by the park owner or other sources, and it is anticipated that this additional water will be provided for a period of no more than six months.
CVWD continues to focus on seeking grant funding to build the infrastructure required to permanently connect dozens of small water systems in the region to CVWD.
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 stormwater 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.