Travel to Westside and head to Casa Madrid Apartments. Anderson's apartment is on the north side on the ground floor. Talk to him and pass an Intelligence check to discover the truth behind White's disappearance. If the Intelligence check is failed and the Courier cannot convince him, Anderson will tell them to ask around Westside.
Find Hector, a young boy working on the farms. Pass a Speech check (80) and he will say that Anderson confronted Corporal White. If the Courier's Speech skill is not high enough, follow him on his way to the water well and catch him stealing from the NCR. Then confront him to get some answers.
Keep Westside's secret by taking part of the co-op's profits (10% of earnings, or 20% with a 50 Barter skill). Visit Etienne in the store to receive the first payment. There will be 250-400 caps every day.
Turn Anderson in (this will make him hostile), kill him, and take the note Anderson's confession. Return to Boyd and tell her the truth. She will send troops to stop water from being stolen.
Keep Anderson's secret and tell NCR that White was killed by the Scorpions gang. This increases the Courier's reputation with the Followers of the Apocalypse. Return to Boyd and either do as promised, or tell Boyd the truth.
Convince Anderson to turn himself in via lie in exchange for keeping Westside's secret and receive good karma.
Reward: Access to the NCR MP confiscated goods trunk and about 650 XP.
Get I Put a Spell on You from Colonel James Hsu, then talk to Captain Ronald Curtis. Once this is done, the Courier will be able to talk to Lieutenant Boyd about missing people. After talking about Bryce Anders, there will be an option to ask who else is missing. She will say that Cpl. White has gone missing and will direct the Courier to Dazzle, a prostitute at Gomorrah. Make sure to check Corporal White's things and get Corporal White's journal entry. Then go to the Strip and meet Dazzle, in the Gomorrah courtyard. She will talk about how White used to always talk about the water treatment plant and mention a man named Trent Bascom (the same info can be found on her body, if she is dead). Bascom is located on the east side of the NCR Sharecropper Farms.
Travel to Westside and head to Casa Madrid Apartments. Anderson's apartment is on the north side on the ground floor. Talk to him and pass an Intelligence check (6) to discover the truth behind White's disappearance. Alternatively, if the Courier is on good terms with the Followers of the Apocalypse, they can convince him to tell the truth.
If the Intelligence check is failed and the Courier cannot convince him otherwise, Anderson will tell them to ask around Westside to find out what happened to Corporal White. Hector, a young boy working on the farms, has a Speech check (80) that can be used to get him to tell the Courier that Anderson confronted Corporal White and he thinks something bad happened. Alternatively, one can follow Hector during the day, where they will find him stealing water from the North cistern. Hector blames it on Anderson, and a new objective to interrogate Anderson appears. Find Anderson and confront him to finish the quest by doing one of the following:
Turn Anderson in (this will turn him hostile), kill him, and take the note Anderson's confession. (This might give the Courier a negative reputation towards the Followers; if so, load a previous save and try again, or use a companion to deal the killing blow on him.) If Arcade Gannon is a companion, he will comment on how it was unnecessary to kill him; an Intelligence of 7 can justify how it was for the better. Return to Boyd and tell her the truth. She will send troops to stop water from being stolen. The Courier can then go to the Sharecropper Farms and talk to Trent, who will comment on a sudden increase in water and reward them with 10 maize, 10 banana yucca fruit and 10 coyote tobacco chew.
Keep Anderson's secret by telling the NCR that White was killed by the Scorpions gang. This increases reputation with the Followers of the Apocalypse. If Arcade Gannon is a companion, he will also comment on the issue. Return to Boyd and either keep Anderson's secret, or tell her the truth (if Boyd is told the truth, she will react the same as if the Courier killed Anderson. When going to Sharecroppers Farms and talking to Trent, he will still comment on the rationing of water by the NCR and he and the other farmers are heading back west).
Convince Anderson to turn himself in, by lying to Boyd about a fall out with White over Dazzle (there is no option to tell the truth about the missing water) in exchange for keeping Westside's secret and receive good karma. Trent still complains about the water shortage and talks about leaving.
NOTE: Helping to keep Westside's water secret will open up dialogue allowing one to extort a portion of the co-op's profits (10% of earnings, or 20% with a 50 Barter skill), paid by Clayton Ettienne in the Co-op. There will be 250-400 caps every 24 hours; however, finishing the quest and speaking to Boyd will end this arrangement. Trent still complains about the water shortage and talks about leaving.
No matter which option is chosen, Boyd will reward the Courier with the key to the MP confiscated goods trunk, located across from Boyd's office in the jail. In the trunk will be magazines, a super stimpak, doctor bags, mentats and possibly antivenom.
(Optional) Look through Corporal White's personal effects in his locker in the McCarran Concourse area.
Find out what Trent Bascom knows about Corporal White.
Speak with Lieutenant Romanowski about Corporal White.
Ask Tom Anderson about Corporal White's whereabouts.
Find someone else in Westside who may have seen Corporal White.
Follow Hector during the day and find out where he's getting his water.
Confront Anderson about Corporal White's disappearance.
Speak with Etienne to complete your "Business" arrangement with Anderson.
Tell Lieutenant Boyd what happened to Corporal White.
The Courier may need to talk to Colonel James Hsu about the missing Ranger Bryce Anders, if not, the conversation option with Boyd about the missing people will not appear and the quest cannot start. Hsu also asks the Courier to talk to Boyd during the quest I Put a Spell on You, which will then open up the conversation option about the missing people.
There is a dialogue path with Lt. Boyd about Anderson asking to increase water flow to Freeside and taking it to Colonel Hsu, that may get someone else to stumble into the water numbers discrepancy, no noticeable effects in the game though.
This quest is tied to Arcade Gannon's personal quest For Auld Lang Syne. It is possible to get 3 of the 5 "points" needed for Arcade to talk about the Remnants. See the quest page for more info.
This quest originally involved a step that required the Courier to speak to a cut character named Wrench to learn more about the water shortage. The character and his quest stage were removed for unknown reasons.
Westside thugs were meant to harass the Courier after confronting Hector in a cistern but were eventually cut from the quest. The thugs are still in the game's files along dialogue for accosting the Courier and attacking them if depending on choices.
The following is based on unverified behind the scenes information and may be inaccurate.
This quest contains a few references to the 1974 film Chinatown. Like the movie, the mystery involves water, which is also referenced in the quest's title. A character present in the quest named Romanowski is a portmanteau of the name Roman Polanski, the director of Chinatown.
End of information based on unverified behind the scenes information.
Boyd won't talk about the missing people if the unmarked quest Silus Treatment is completed. For PC users, the quest can be started with the console command setstage f0629 10. [verified]
It may still be possible to receive and finish this quest after completing Silus Treatment if I Put a Spell on You is not completed, as speaking with Boyd about this quest will open up multiple dialogue options with her in spite of the initial, "Haven't you done enough," greeting. [verified]
For some reason, if choosing to turn Anderson in (or letting him turn himself in), he can be seen walking around Camp McCarran some days later. He can be talked to, but is also found in the cells relentlessly pacing. [verified]
If one acquires Corporal White's journal entry before speaking to Boyd, the optional task "search Corporal White's personal locker" cannot be completed. This might lead to a savegame issue where the loading screen dialogue says that the memory device is no longer present due to inaccessible DLC objects. The game will then restart upon loading dialogue confirmation. This repeats with the next loading attempt, rendering the savegame useless. [verified]
Tom Anderson can disappear into the wall, though he still shows up on the radar. Without talking to him, the quest cannot be completed. This MAY however be resolved by normal reloading procedures or even exiting and re-entering the building. [verified]
Upon triggering a hostile conversation option, such as telling him that the Courier won't keep Westside's secret, or they'll "take him out", Anderson will say the Courier has "left him no choice", and turn hostile. However, if he is seated during this encounter, he will simply stand up, turn hostile, and then sit back down before turning non-hostile again. He can still be talked to as though he were a normal non-player character, and he will not attack. If one wants him to turn hostile and have one of their companions kill him without losing any reputation with the Followers, then attack him until he turns hostile. [verified]
In the German version, Lt. Boyd won't have a dialogue to tell her that White was killed by a gang. This happens if the truth is uncovered about White via both dialogue options with Anderson, as well as following Hector. Not tested on other platforms. [verified]
↑"I really like "The White Wash" quest. It was really well done and left with a moral dilemma that still screws over someone (The NCR, who's approaching a food shortage or Westside, who're trying to be self-sufficient). Can you give props to who wrote it?" Joshua Sawyer:"Thanks. Jeff Husges and I created The White Wash. I like how the dilemma played out, but the mechanics/flow of the quest were not that great (my fault, not Jeff's)." (JESawyer Formspring 10 June, 2012)