Generations of Californians have taken for granted how water is engineered to enable the grand agricultural nature of this state.

Now our water system suffers from severe drought and reduced snowpacks. The Colorado River is in peril. Wells are going dry. Water is getting contaminated. Land is losing value. People are losing livelihoods.

Such dilemmas are exacerbated in disadvantaged communities. Large Central Valley growers overpump water from wells in direct violation of the state’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. Meanwhile, families in farmworker towns go without clean and affordable water. They still pay high water bills while resorting to bottled water to cook, bathe and drink provided by government, nonprofits and labor unions.

Victor Griego is the founder of Water Education for Latino Leaders.

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