“A short drive from Portland, thousands of people, a rural health clinic, businesses, and senior housing are without safe tap water, while some places don’t have running water at all.”
That’s what Oregon Public Broadcasting recently reported from the Warm Springs Reservation. 19 new cases of COVID-19 were reported on the reservation last week, making the lack of water and low water pressure even more urgent. The latest shortage is partially attributed to a break near where a repair was made to address the Warm Springs water crisis in 2019, but infrastructure issues have persisted for many years.
Water is life, especially during the present public health crisis of COVID-19. While the federal government fails to act, you can help support the Warm Springs reservation by donating to the MRG Foundation’s Chúush Fund, which accepts contributions from foundations and individuals to directly benefit the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs as they work to restore their access and infrastructure for clean water.
From Amanda Squiemphen-Yazzie, an enrolled member of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs in a Facebook post: “In our culture, water is used for prayer, and of course to fuel our bodies every single day. It is used just like you use it, showering, watering plants, gardens and animals. This is all happening in the middle of a pandemic and every single one of us have a responsibility to help them.”
Learn more about the Warm Springs water crisis and take action:
- MRG Foundation Chúush Fund in partnership with the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs
- Water Crisis Returns To Warm Springs As Virus Cases Rise (OPB, 6/30/20)
- Oregon Senators Introduce Tribal Water Quality Bill (OPB, 12/13/19)
- After Long-Awaited Repairs, Even More Water Problems Arise In Warm Springs (OPB,6/20/19)