Our California program works with communities in the San Joaquin Valley that have contaminated drinking water. Most communities rely on groundwater for their drinking water supply. Throughout the Valley, extensive and ancient groundwater deposits are being depleted and contaminated with runoff from farms, dairies and other animal feeding operations, food processing plants, sewage and septic systems. In addition, naturally occurring contaminants like arsenic, manganese, and uranium also contaminate groundwater as a result of wasteful irrigation practices of agricultural operations.
Since World War II, chemicals (pesticides and fertilizer) have been heavily used to increase agricultural yield. As a result, the upper layers of the Valley's groundwater aquifers have become increasingly contaminated. Cities can afford to sink deep wells that pump older, clean groundwater; they can also blend different water sources, using dilution to reduce contamination. Smaller rural communities that often rely on just one or two wells for their entire supply are having more and more problems providing safe and affordable drinking water to their residents.
Clean Water Action's Central Valley Drinking Water Program works to improve drinking water quality by helping residents become more informed about drinking water supply and governance. We are assisting communities in the following ways:
Clean Water Action is committed to the improvement of water quality, in particular for those communities dependent upon a single source of water. Safe drinking water is a right, not a privilege.
Founded in 1972, Clean Water Action is a national advocacy organization with 17 regional offices. Together with our education and research affiliate, Clean Water Fund, our organization's mission is to empower people to take action to protect America's waters and build healthy communities.
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