California Rural Legal Assistance and other groups are helping predominantly Latino unincorporated communities in the Central Valley seek clean water.
Patricia Leigh Brown
New York Times (NYT)
November 13, 2012
Link to story
Organizations mentioned/involved: California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc. (CRLA)
Seville, with a population of about 300, is one of dozens of predominantly Latino unincorporated communities in the Central Valley that have faced more than half a century of contamination from chemical fertilizers, animal wastes, pesticides, and other substances that have drained into the groundwater, contaminating aquifers, and eventually finding its way into the tap water. An estimated 20 percent of small public water systems in Tulare County are unable to meet safe nitrate levels, according to a United Nations representative. Nitrates are a broad class of chemicals commonly found in industrial agricultural fertilizers, and also in other industrial products.
In farmworker communities like Seville, where the average yearly income is $14,000, residents like Rebecca Quintana pay double for the water they use: once for the tap water they use to shower and wash clothes, and again for the five-gallon bottles needed to drink, brush their teeth, and cook with.
Phoebe S. Seaton, the director of a community initiative for California Rural Legal Assistance says that most people don’t even know of places like Seville and Tooleville, which lack political influence in major regional and statewide planning and spending decisions.Tags: Children, Health Care, Immigration, Language Access