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Water Access in Schools & Communities






Water Access in Schools & Communities



Posted on September 28, 2016


Access to safe drinking water is essential in building and sustaining healthy communities. However, in small, disadvantaged rural communities where the ongoing drought has had a significant impact, the availability of drinking water becomes scarce. Frequently, local water supplies in these communities are contaminated with substances such as arsenic and nitrates.

However, even in communities where the water meets federal and state requirements, adults and children alike often do not use the drinking fountains in schools, parks and other public places because of the stigma that comes along with drinking tap water or water fountains are either broken, dirty and unappealing, or are not filtered for contaminants that might be known to the area. When reluctant to drink the water supply, the consumption of sugary drinks and/or plastic bottled water increases.

agua4allAs a response to these issues, Self-Help Enterprises has partnered with the Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC) to implement the Agua4All program. Agua4All is an innovative program to encourage students and communities to increase access to and consumption of safe drinking water in rural areas in California. Agua4All raises awareness about the lack of safe drinking water access in many schools and communities; creates unique public-private partnerships to install water bottle filling stations equipped, where needed, with contaminant filtration systems; and advocates for sustainable long-term solutions to ensure safe drinking water for all.

Self-Help Enterprises will be installing up to 50 water bottle filling stations in:

  • Plainview Park
  • Reef Sunset School District
  • Parlier High School
  • Riverdale
  • Maple School in Kern County
  • McFarland School District
  • Wasco School District
  • Sanger Unified School District
  • Greenfield School District
  • Alta Vista Elementary School District

In addition to installing water bottle filling stations in schools and other easily accessible public places in rural communities, Self-Help Enterprises will work with RCAC to distribute reusable water bottles to students and conduct outreach and education to encourage water consumption and create positive community perceptions to drinking filtered tap water.