Community Water Center

Community-driven water solutions through organizing, education, and advocacy

Cutler: Surrounded by contamination


The only thing that changes on the health notice is the date.
- Veronica Mendoza, resident of Cutler

The Cutler Public Utility District (CPUD) provides Cutler's water. Although technically their back up well is contaminated, the district uses it as a supplementary source of drinking water when water levels in the primary well are too low, often during the summer. CPUD has also closed numerous wells due to nitrate contamination.

The struggle: Residents of Cutler are served contaminated groundwater with levels of the pesticide DBCP over the federal health standards.

The people impacted: Cutler is an unincorporated community of approximately 4,491 people, nearly all of whom are farmworker families, located in Tulare County.

The solution: Cutler has had trouble finding a source of groundwater that is uncontaminated, so they must access surface water supplies. The nearby Alta Irrigation District is considering building a plant to treat surface water from the Friant-Kern Canal. This water would supplement the drinking water of Cutler and other neighboring communities.

The cost: $3 million for a new well and blending tank.

Related News & Resources

More News