‘A Tragedy’: Hundreds of Thousands of California Residents Exposed to Contaminated Water

NBC Bay Area The latest data from California’s Water Resources Control Board show 700,000 Californians are currently being exposed to contaminated water at home or at school.
In addition to those with contaminated water, another 3,511 California households reported having wells that are still dry according to state data released in January, 2017.
“We found that the majority of those drought impacted public water systems were serving disadvantaged communities.” Five years ago Jerry Brown signed legislation making California the first state in the nation to declare that access to clean, safe drinking water is a fundamental human right.
“They’re all in crisis,” Firestone said.
Having toxic water coming out of your tap, not being able to access water in schools, this is really basic.” State data shows 292 different California water systems currently contain levels of contaminants so high they violate safe drinking water standards.
“I think a lot of people forget that.” Tulare County resident Esperanza Venegas remembers when the well providing water for her family dried up last year.
In unincorporated East Porterville, thousands of residents have had no running water for nearly three years.
Though local and state officials recently began connecting some East Porterville residents to a nearby public water system, there are about 800 eligible homes still waiting to be hooked up.
"The public water systems have a lot of local control over the sources of water and how they manage it.
“We’ve got to be thinking about it if our goal is to get clean, safe and affordable drinking water to all Californians.” None of these efforts can come fast enough for residents struggling to get by with dry taps or contaminated water.

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