The Coachella Valley Water District Board of Directors has unanimously voted in favor of a one-year extension to its existing lease agreement with Riverside County for the use of Lake Cahuilla Veterans Regional Park.
The lease was set to expire in March 2021, and the extension will give the county and the water district, as well as partnering organizations, more time to work on solutions to protect the waterbody from quagga mussels and ultimately pursue a long-term agreement.
Supervisor V. Manuel Perez sought the extension from CVWD to keep Lake Cahuilla open, and made an opening statement at the meeting highlighting the recreational value it provides, the successful partnerships that have been built and his personal experiences growing up with Lake Cahuilla.
“Lake Cahuilla has had an impact on many peoples’ lives, in the immediate area and afar,” said Supervisor Perez. “I appreciate the Coachella Valley Water District and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation for granting us this extension so that we can continue to negotiate and work together to ensure the future of Lake Cahuilla Veterans Regional Park to be open to the public.”
Lake Cahuilla Veterans Regional Park is operated by the Riverside County Regional Park and Open-Space District via a lease with the Coachella Valley Water District and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.
Coachella Valley Water District Board Vice President Cástulo Estrada stated: “I’m very pleased we were able to extend the agreement so that we can keep working together on this issue. Lake Cahuilla is an important water distribution facility and an important recreational facility. By bringing all the right parties together, we can find a solution that balances everyone’s needs. Thank you to everyone who has been so attentive to this issue and I look forward to continuing to work with you.”
The motion approved by the Coachella Valley Water District Board of Directors also directs Riverside County to install signage to make it clear that boating is not allowed on the lake and to provide education materials concerning the quagga mussel to every visitor to the park.
The one-year lease extension agreement will next go to the Riverside County Board of Supervisors for approval.