“Opening a new front on efforts to improve minority representation on local elected boards, attorneys representing several Latino citizens have accused the Coachella Valley Water District of violating the California Voting Rights Act.”
From The Desert Sun, in a commentary by John Soulliere:
“The Coachella Valley has a unique portfolio of water resources that makes life possible for the residents of our desert community. Our remarkable underground aquifer holds nearly 40 trillion gallons of high-quality water directly below our feet.
“These precious resources cannot be taken for granted. Protecting them is critical to preserving our way of life for future generations.
“With all the focus on the overdrafted Coachella Valley aquifer, the tribal lawsuit against our two largest water districts and concern about the cost of complying with a possible new standard for chromium-6, we expected some excitement in this water board race. But the campaign to fill three seats on the five-member board has been quiet, as usual.”
“The [Coachella] City Council approved 4-0, with no discussion, two emergency construction contracts to repair extensive flood damage at Shady Lane and Avenue 52 caused by thunderstorms that hit the Coachella Valley in August. …
“The storms brought chaos to the eastern part of the valley, where heavy rain flooded several streets, prompting road closures and even inundated some neighborhoods. At the city’s retention basins at Avenue 52 and the intersection of Shady Lane, underground pipes were exposed because of severe erosion during a storm on Aug.
“In an attempt to alleviate pressures on an overused aquifer, the Coachella Valley’s largest water district plans to set more specific goals and establish a timetable for connecting golf courses to pipes carrying recycled water and water from the Colorado River.”
From The Desert Sun, in a commentary by Gretchen Gutierrez:
“In the Coachella Valley, chromium-6 is a naturally occurring element of drinking water with a scientifically determined safe level. However, if the state adopts the proposed 10 ppb standard, approximately half our valley’s wells will require costly treatment.
“Leaders of the Coachella Valley Water District are questioning a state proposal to limit the levels of a toxin that is widely found in California’s drinking water, urging state officials to reassess the costs and consider a less stringent rule.
“CVWD board members and managers held a workshop with dozens of residents on Monday night to explain the state’s proposal and their concerns about it.”
“In a three-month investigation of water levels throughout the Coachella Valley, The Desert Sun found that the average depth of 70 existing wells across the valley in 1970 was 104.4 feet. As of this year, the average depth of 291 wells in the valley had dropped to 159.3 feet. …
“The newspaper obtained depth measurement records for 346 wells from the Coachella Valley Water District and the Desert Water Agency after the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians sued the agencies in federal court.
“Communities in the east Coachella Valley face high, unhealthy levels of air and water pollution, especially when compared with the western part of the region, according to a first-of-its-kind report from UC Davis that local activists say validates what they have been saying for years.