By Elizabeth Zach, RCAC staff writer

glass of waterDespite California’s economic prowess, nearly one million residents in the state cannot safely drink their tap water. Another million, say experts, rely on water from small, untested and unregulated wells.

According to California Healthline, which analyzed data from California’s State Water Resources Control Board, more than 10 percent of residents in 12 counties have unsafe tap water. Among those is rural Alpine County where half of the population doesn’t have safe water. This is the worst in the state. These counties often lack the financial resources to improve their situations.

“You can have unsafe water anywhere,” Jennifer Clary, the California water programs manager for Clean Water Action, an environmental advocacy group told California Healthline. “But typically it’s in low-income communities of color in a rural area.”

The 2019 – 2020 state budget includes $130 million per year to assist these counties to upgrade, replace or consolidate their water systems.

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