Al Jazeera America reported Monday that a sizable portion of California’s population does not have reliable access to fresh water because of high levels of arsenic in the soil. California is 4 years into a historic drought that now has forced over a million residents to spend as much as a tenth of their income just on bottled water.
“Tap water that comes mostly from wells in these communities violated maximum contaminant level standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency at least once in 2012 – the most recent annual compliance report by the state’s drinking water program.
The number of violations with potential direct public health impact may affect even more people because of insufficient regulation and under-reporting, especially in areas served by small systems, said Heather Lukacs, project director at the Community Water Center.
More than 100 areas with fewer than 10,000 people had arsenic violations. Most are small, poor communities with a predominantly Hispanic population, some of whom are forced to spend up to 10 percent of household income on bottled water.” – Al Jazeera America, April 6, 2015
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