While much of the work of Blue Planet Network members is in third world countries, there are several counties in California that do not have safe drinking water. This is due to the heavy agriculture, dairy farms, use of pesticides, and other detrimental behavior that occurs in the area. On November 1, 2012, I went to Seville, one of several cities in this region that has water unsafe to drink because of its levels of nitrates. I documented various aspects of this and the people affected. I also went to neighboring Monson and East Orosi, which have the same water contamination issues. Community Water Center, a local non-profit and member of Blue Planet Network, is working to provide better infrastructure as well as water filtration systems for the residents in order to provide a safe and long-term solution to this on-going issue.
AB 685 was signed in September shortly before my time in Seville. It established access to clean drinking water as a human right in California. This was not considered a human right prior.
I am hoping this pushes the changes needed in order for this community and many others to live in a way that many of us take for granted.
I wish to thank the residents of these areas who allowed me into their lives and shared their moving stories with me. I also want to thank Blue Planet Network for their important work here and elsewhere, as well as Community Water Center for their work locally.