Despite 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.
While recent wildfires in California have destroyed land and structures, and killed residents, their threat to water districts has received less attention but is just as devastating.
Although Congress and the White House have assured Americans of a plan to invest in drinking water pipes and sewage treatment plants, both rural and urban communities are for now relying on existing loans and grants. Meanwhile, drinking water costs are rising, albeit incrementally.
Low-income workers throughout the country–in 99 percent of counties–cannot afford housing, say researchers in an annual report by the National Low Income housing Coalition (NLIHC).
The Camp Fire in Paradise California killed more than 80 residents, destroyed 19,000 buildings, and six months afterward, the rural community is struggling to rebuild—only to learn more recently that its water pipes contain cancer-causing benzene.