Empty shelves are the new normal at grocery stores. People are hoarding bottled water because of the COVID-19 crisis. While it’s a good idea to have at least two-weeks’ worth of bottled water for emergencies like an earthquake, it is unnecessary to use bottled water during this pandemic. 

Tap water remains safe and reliable for everyday uses, like drinking and cleaning, during the coronavirus emergency. It’s also a lot less expensive than bottled water.

Water agencies in the Coachella Valley add chlorine to drinking water to disinfect the water system and kill germs.

The World Health Organization recently put out a report that emphasizes the effectiveness of standard drinking water chlorination in safeguarding against the transmission of COVID-19. The CDC indicated COVID-19 has not been found in drinking water.

In our desert, about 99 percent of the drinking water delivered to homes comes from the underground aquifer straight into the pipeline system.

Our local tap water goes through thousands of tests each year to ensure it’s safe to drink and meets California’s strict drinking water standards which are some of the toughest in the nation and the world.

Even with the shelter-in-place orders, tap water is reliable and will be there when you turn on your faucet. Water agency employees are disaster service workers and are allowed to work under the shelter-in-place orders because water is an essential service and making sure water continues to flow is a priority.

Many water agencies have satellite and radio communication capabilities and special access to water facilities to allow for critical services during emergencies. And many facilities can be operated remotely.

So even during this COVID-19 crisis you can continue to drink tap water, cook with it and use it for any day-to-day purpose – including that all too important hand-washing.