Predominantly Latino communities in California are facing huge obstacles in getting clean drinking water.
This is an issue that affects 5.25 million people across California according to the Environmental Working Group where there are fewer customers to charge for more advanced filtration systems.
Symptoms from water contamination are wide-ranging and it is difficult to prove that a particular chemical or substance might cause a specific illness. The main concern is nitrate levels that exceed the standard set by the EPA. Since 2015, water systems have exceeded the federal legal limit for nitrates 15 times over.
Nitrates make oxygen less available to the body. It’s an issue prevalent in the Central Valley, California’s breadbasket where big agriculture reigns. Advocates in the region believe the fertilizer runoff and manure from the large-scale farming operations and dairies have contaminated the groundwater. More than 90% of nitrates in all drinking water come from agriculture. Clean water advocates believe the solution lies in consolidation. In 2015, legislation was passed that gave the state water board authority to force one community water system to join with smaller community’s water systems.
Seems like a perfect solution, however, frequent droughts leave neighborhoods with safe drinking water hesitating when it comes to tapping into their resource and sharing it with other less-fortunate neighboring communities.
Legal battles ensue further prolonging a process that has already taken too long.
with information from: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/feb/28/california-east-orosi-toxic-america-water