West Sacramento, Calif. — Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC)’s Agua4All   Program was awarded $93,000 by the Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment to support  the installation of water bottle filling stations with Point of Use filtration throughout two Disadvantaged Communities (DACs) in California’s Central Valley.

The grant comes from the Rose Foundation’s “Central Valley Disadvantaged Community Water Quality Grants.”  The filtration stations will be in Caruthers and Riverdale, which both have arsenic contamination. RCAC will collaborate with the city councils and school districts to identify locations for the filling stations which are designed to filter out arsenic, as the name implies, at the point of use.

This project will serve communities marginalized by poverty and health issues. These filters are unique because, unlike other arsenic treatment methods that often create hazardous waste as a treatment byproduct, these systems have replaceable cartridges that can be discarded in the normal trash. The POU program complements another RCAC program, Agua4All, which aims to increase access to and consumption of safe drinking water by children and youth in California’s schools and low-income rural areas. Agua4All staff will conduct outreach to inform residents on the newly available safe water, as well as educate them on the health benefits of drinking water.

The need for safe drinking water in Caruthers and Riverdale is urgent, but the necessary long-term solutions are financially challenging and will take years to implement. RCAC’s POU program is cost-effective and fits well into an overall strategy for watershed contaminant mitigation by providing both an interim measure that results in immediate access to safe drinking water and long-term infrastructure in the form of state-of-the-art water bottle filling stations.

“We cannot encourage children to drink more water to improve health and learning if the water is not safe to drink,” said Stan Keasling, RCAC’s CEO. “These funds will provide the opportunity to do both in these small rural communities.”

Founded in 1978, RCAC provides training, technical and financial resources and advocacy so rural communities can achieve their goals and visions. RCAC serves rural communities in 13 western states and the Pacific islands. RCAC provides a broad range of community and economic development services and lending to support local efforts. About RCAC.

Contact: Julia Helmreich
Director, Communications, Development & Events
(916) 447-9832 ext. 1008