The money that we are spending on safe drinking water could be used on educational material instead.
- Rebecca Quintana, Seville school board member
Seville is a small, low-income community in Tulare county of approximately 74 homes, one elementary school, and a small store; the majority of residents are farmworkers and the median household income is about $14,000 a year. Seville has been without safe drinking water for over 50 years. Residents are served contaminated groundwater with nitrate levels over the federal health standards, face consistent water shortages and substandard water infrastructure. Seville has old, leaky pipes, and water faucets clogged with sand and rocks.
The local elementary school, Stone Corral Elementary, is California’s poorest school. In 2014, Seville finally got a new well. Prior to this, Stone Corral Elementary was forced to spend $500- $600 a month on bottled water for children. Plans are currently underway to consolidate with the nearby community of Yettem’s water system. Yettem is also struggling with high nitrate levels, but consolidation of these two systems would give both communities a more secure supply of safe drinking water.
CWC has been working with Seville since December of 2008. CWC helped the community establish the community-based organization Committee for a Better Seville, and helped the community address funding hurdles and secure planning money. CWC also helped the community lobby the County of Tulare to have the county act as their receiver, and Tulare County now operates the water provision in Seville which eases the strain on this overburdened community.