Tiene que nacer un niño azul o tiene que morir los niños para que nos ayuden.
A baby needs to be born blue or children need to die in order for them to help us.
- Maria Elena Orozco, resident of East Orosi.
East Orosi is an unincorporated community in Tulare County of approximately 500 people, nearly all of whom are low-income Latino farmworker families. East Orosi is served by the East Orosi Community Service District, and almost all the groundwater supplies in the area are contaminated.
Residents haven't had safe drinking water intermittently for 10 years. The groundwater in the area has nitrate levels that regularly exceed the federal health standard. Because of this, residents in East Orosi have to pay for water twice - once for water from their tap that they cannot drink, and again when they drive long distances to buy large jugs of potable water for their families.
CWC has supported East Orosi in securing funding and creating long-term solutions. East Orosi secured Prop. 84 funding to rehabilitate their existing wells; this project was expected to be completed by September 2015 but is still underway. The community is also seeking funding to install water meters to help track and conserve their water supply. Additionally, plans are underway to consolidate East Orosi’s water system with nearby city of Orosi’s and to build a new well that will serve both communities.