Agua Caliente Band faces pressure to withdraw water lawsuit

The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians of California said it was open to dialogue but wouldn't drop its water rights lawsuit amid pressure from two local agencies.

The tribe sued the Coachella Valley Water District and the Desert Water Agency last month in order to protect its water rights and the safety of the water supply. The agencies claim the filing of the case has caused uncertainty but Chairman Jeff L. Grubbe said it wouldn't be withdrawn.

"We have long been open to constructive engagement and waited over a year to bring our lawsuit in the hope the DWA and CVWD would come to the table,'' Grubbe said in a statement that was quoted by local media. "We continue to be open to discussions now. But let's not forget the record here. The water districts steadfastly rejected our overtures to engage in discussions to resolve these issues.''

As part of its case, the tribe is citing a study by the U.S. Geological Survey that found higher levels of contaminants in Coachella Valley aquifers compared to the rest of the state. Arsenic, boron, fluoride and radioactive elements were among the chemicals found, according to the report.

Get the Story:
Water agencies press Agua Caliente to drop lawsuit (The Palm Springs Desert Sun 6/5)
Tribe responds after agencies ask lawsuit over Valley's water rights be dropped (KESQ-TV 6/4)

Related Stories
Editorial: Agua Caliente Band stirs a great water rights debate (6/3)
Opinion: Agua Caliente Band seeks to profit from water suit (5/27)
Jeff Grubbe: Agua Caliente Band takes action to protect water (05/20)
Agua Caliente Band sues agencies to safeguard water rights (5/15)

Join the Conversation