A Million Californians Don't Have Clean Drinking Water
Californians have been concerned about water quantity and quality for years now. Four years ago, already-bad drought conditions worsened due an unusually low amount of winter snowfall.
That snowmelt is what the state relies on to refill its water reservoirs. Despite water restrictions beginning, some 2,000 wells ran dry.
Fortunately, the seven-year drought officially ended this year. But an estimated 1 million Californians don't have clean drinking water.
The most common contaminants are nitrates from nearby farming and naturally occurring arsenic. Testers have found contaminants in 277 community water systems throughout the state.
Farming Communities Most Affected
Many of those living in farming communities don't drink or cook with water from their taps. Because it contains potentially harmful chemical compounds.
But they need this tap water for washing dishes and clothes, and for bathing. So, they exhaust about $75 a month for it.
An analysis of data from California Healthline revealed this. Only 17 of the state's 58 counties have local water systems that all comply with state and federal drinking water standards.
One way the state is trying to deal with the situation is the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund. It allocates $130 million to upgrade, replace and consolidate water systems.
'Excessive Amounts of Pollutants'
The McClatchy publishing company conducted an investigation in 2018.
They determined that 6 million California residents receive their water from operators who have been fined for violating the state's clean water laws in recent years.
Here's what the Sacramento Bee newspaper reported. "In many communities, people drink, shower, cook and wash dishes with water containing excessive amounts of pollutants."
Currently, the state has an overflow in its general fund. But so far, legislators have not allocated those funds to help solve the water problem.
Some Turn to Vending Machines
How are some Californians dealing with the water crisis? Some are getting their drinking water out of vending machines.
In a San Diego strip mall, you can fill your water jug for between 25 to 35 cents per gallon.
But that is much higher than tap water, at about an 8,000 percent markup. But it's much lower than individually sealed bottles you can get in a store.
And most say it tastes better than what comes out of faucets in many homes. But the million-dollar question is, how safe is it?
Machines Growing in Popularity
Water vending machines in California are not new. The state's department of public health has licensed them since 1989.
But they've become much more popular in recent years, as information about tap water quality becomes better known.
Currently there are 9,200 water vending machines in the Golden State. A little over one-half of them are in Southern California.
The water they dispense is actually city tap water deemed safe by federal standards. But before it's dispensed, it is run through a filtration system that removes chemicals.
Are the Machines Clean Enough?
In other words, this water has the same quality Californians would get from their own tap water. If they had a home water filtration system.
But that's only if vending machine operators obey the law. By cleaning and sanitizing their machines monthly.
A news outlet called Voice of San Diego investigated the situation. Midway through 2019, the public health department had not inspected any of the machines in San Diego County.
Plus, studies have shown that water in water vending machines don't match claims regarding contaminants.
One water official said, "You're safer drinking the tap water. Not only are you safer, but you're paying, oh, let's see, about 250 times less per gallon."
A Basic Human Right
Seven years ago, California passed the Human Right to Water Act. It declared citizens have "the right to safe, clean, affordable and accessible water adequate for human consumption, cooking and sanitary purposes."
It's true. Clean drinking water should be a basic human right. But let's face it. It hasn't worked out that way in California. Not to mention the other 49 states.
According to the National Resources Defense Council, nearly 40 percent of people in the U.S. are obtaining water from a system that's in violation of the Safe Water Drinking Act.
It's very likely you have contaminants in your tap water. And just because officials tell you that levels of contamination are not high enough to cause concern doesn't always mean they're right.
So What's The Solution?
Right now, California is in the nation's spotlight for its water contamination problem. Before that it was Newark, New Jersey, then Flint, Michigan, and many others.
It may be just a matter of time before water contamination hits your town. And that's assuming it hasn't happened already.
Tens of millions of Americans are exposed to unsafe drinking water each year, according to a recent article in USA Today.
It's becoming more and more clear that the government is not able to protect your family when it comes to the water supply.
You must take matters into your own hands if you want to ensure your family always has clean, pure water to drink.
That's why I'm excited to tell you about a revolutionary new water pitcher our buddy Jeff over at Patriot Health Alliance introduced to us.
It gives you all the convenience of a water pitcher that fits directly in your fridge.
Yet it can filter out truly scary stuff that other pitcher brands fall short on removing that can really do a number on your body...