The Desert Water Agency has released its annual water quality report, which details its testing of water samples and says that tap water complies with all state and federal standards for drinking water.
The Coachella Valley Water District released a similar water quality report with similar results, and said that while its tap water contains naturally occurring chromium-6, it is at levels well within national and state standards.
The reports would appear run-of-the-mill in any typical year. But the water agencies are now putting special emphasis on the reports as they face a federal lawsuit by the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians.
The tribe says in the lawsuit that the water agencies have allowed groundwater supplies to be tainted with “inferior” Colorado River water that has higher levels of salinity and total dissolved solids. The water agencies say that the dissolved solids in the imported water may affect taste somewhat but don’t compromise the safety of the water supply.
Craig Ewing, a member of the DWA Board, said the water quality report should “put to rest some of the statements out there that have no basis in fact.”
Leader of the tribe say they are concerned about contaminants in the water supply, and are expected to lay out their arguments in court.
Meanwhile, the Desert Water Agency will hold a public hearing at its next meeting on July 16 to discuss its water quality report and accept public comments.