No matter who you are, nor where you live, you should be able to drink a glass of water from a tap in your home or neighborhood and not worry that it will make you sick. Unfortunately, this isn't a reality for many Californians, especially for those in rural areas. The Agua4All project aims to change this in a substantial and sustainable way.
In many rural California communities, contaminated water and aging utility systems are commonplace. This is the situation in the major agricultural areas of South Kern County and Eastern Coachella in California’s Central Valley. Many of the low-income residents of these areas are Latino farmworkers who are the backbone for a multi-million dollar agribusiness economy, yet their living conditions rival those of developing countries. Their poor water quality is not only a health hazard, but also an economic burden for residents of these communities as they are forced to either purchase bottled water or risk disease.
Despite state and federal laws that require schools to provide free, readily available water to children during meal times, about 25 percent of California schools do not meet this mandate. This means about 1.6 million children do not have adequate access. The resulting limited water consumption may also increase the risk for obesity and type 2 diabetes because, without water, the nearest and most affordable drink may be a sugary beverage.
To address these issues, Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC) is partnering with The California Endowment and two local community organizations - Community Water Center in South Kern and Pueblo Unido CDC in Eastern Coachella - in the pilot for Agua4All, an innovative project that will eventually increase access to and consumption of clean drinking water in rural communities throughout California. In this first stage of the campaign, RCAC is installing 145 water bottle filling stations in schools and other public places throughout South Kern and Eastern Coachella. Where needed, these “taps” will also provide treatment to filter out arsenic and other contaminants, so that residents will finally have access to potable water. Reusable bottles will also be made available to optimize access and reduce the environmental impact of disposable plastic containers.
In addition, RCAC will be conducting outreach and education in each community where the water bottle filling stations are located to help break down existing community barriers to water consumption. These include negative perceptions associated with tap water in general and concerns about contamination.
The Agua4All campaign seeks to provide a vital interim solution to the need to provide rural Californians with access to clean, safe drinking water while long-term solutions are being developed. Funding is needed to complete the current pilot and to expand the program across the state.
- $0 Funding still needed
- $0 Total project cost
No funding requests have been made yet.
|Community Cash Contribution||$6,275||$0||$0|
|Community In-Kind Contribution (cash value)||$302,006||$0||$0|
|Other Existing Funding||$0||$0||$0|
|Total Funding Needed||$||$||$|
Improved Drinking Water
|Improved Drinking Water||45,000||45,000||60,000|
|Heightened awareness of the health benefits of drinking water||45,000||45,000||60,000|
|Increased access to safe, affordable drinking water||45,000||45,000||60,000|
|Increased consumption of water as the healthiest beverage choice||45,000||45,000||60,000|
Locations & Outputs
advocacy, capacity building, point-of-use water filters, pro-poor approaches, public/community buildings, rural water supply, schools, water purification
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