On April 5th, community members celebrated the installation of over 60 water stations and point-of-use filters in south Kern County in response to the safe drinking water challenges facing our community and our state. The event highlighted the progress the communities of Arvin and Lamont have made to improve access to safe drinking water in our schools and neighborhoods but also reminded local and state leaders that much more work remains to be done.
Arvin has violated federal drinking water standards for arsenic for over a decade, and according to the California Annual Compliance Report for Public Water Systems, over one million Californians are impacted by unsafe drinking water each year.
Many residents in the San Joaquin Valley rely on inadequate, contaminated water supplies, which are made even more vulnerable due to the historic drought. Sadly, low-income communities and communities of color face the greatest risks. This inequity cannot continue, which is why we are working together toward interim and lasting solutions in our communities.
The Agua4All event raised awareness about the lack of safe drinking water access in schools and communities and brought the community together to advocate for sustainable long-term solutions to ensure safe drinking water for all.
As part of the Agua4All initiative, which is a partnership with the Community Water Center, The California Endowment, Rural Community Assistance Corporation, Pueblo Unido CDC, and many local partners, over 60 water stations and point-of-use filters have been installed in south Kern County. Local schools, parks, libraries, health clinics, and other community spaces in Arvin, Lamont, and Weedpatch have received these water stations. The event was a great opportunity to celebrate the community partners, schools, local and State officials, funders, and non-profits that made Agua4All happen, and to keep the pressure on for water justice locally and statewide.