Cumulative Impacts of Drinking Water Quality in the San Joaquin Valley

Cumulative Impacts of Drinking Water Quality in the San Joaquin Valley
Organization: 
UC Berkeley
Director: 
Rachel Morello-Frosch

California’s San Joaquin Valley is one of the world’s richest agricultural regions yet it is also home to some of the greatest environmental problems, among which is drinking water contamination. But drinking water contamination is only one of multiple environmental threats facing Valley communities. Air pollution is some of the worst in the nation, and pesticide exposure commonplace. Recognizing these multiple sources of contamination, advocacy groups desire a framework to assess these co-existing problems, often referred to as cumulative impacts (CI). But CI work has generally focused on air and pesticide pollution, and excluded drinking water, both in the SJV and other CI analyses. Our project seeks to leverage two existing university-community partnerships to assess the CI of drinking water contamination in the SJV, and create community-driven solutions. We aim to contribute to the emerging science of CI, help inform policy and regulatory efforts that seek to solve the region’s drinking water problems, and build alliances with other CI efforts in the Valley. Ultimately, our goal is to better protect community health and contribute to solutions for achieving environmental justice.

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Photo: Fresh drinking water for the farm by Deaton Pigot, used under CC BY / Cropped from original