Fresno Bee: Access to Clean Water Supply Remains a Major Issue during the Pandemic

May 26, 2020

As the world continues to grapple with the most devastating public health crises in modern history, the San Joaquin Valley has been hit particularly hard, resulting in mass disarray. Small rural regions and underserved communities are now experiencing threefold the challenges that existed prior to the pandemic. Pre-pandemic life for the average family in the Valley was already marred with an unemployment rate above the national average, inadequate access to clean water as well as limited health care services.

Fast forward to 2020 – 4.5 million Californians have filed for unemployment benefits since mid-March. So you may ask, how’s the Valley doing? Unfortunately, all the pre-pandemic challenges still apply with regards to clean water and jobs and now our most basic human needs are undergoing additional threats.

For example, just last year, reports announced that Fresno, Tulare and Kings Counties made it at the top of the list for the nation’s most successful agriculture producing counties. Supplying a third of the country’s vegetables and two-thirds of the country’s fruits and nuts, the Central Valley as a whole is a critical region for the nation and helps fuel California’s number one industry. Despite being considered the mecca for food production and farmworkers being deemed by the Governor as “essential”, the delivery of clean water supply continues to still be a big question mark in California’s plans.

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