Monday, September 16, 2013
FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — A new study finds people living in poverty in California's rural San Joaquin Valley pay more than two percent of their income on tap water — above the threshold of affordability set in a state law.
The Fresno Bee reports the research shows two of every five households — nearly 4,000 customers — pay more than they can afford for tap water.
Bills climb even higher for those who also buy bottled water to protect their families from the Valley's underground water contamination.
The study sampled 51 small water systems across Fresno, Tulare and Kings counties.
Researchers hope to convince legislators to craft new laws that help people cope with poverty, arsenic contamination and the added expense of bottled water.
The study was produced by the Community Water Center, Fresno State and the nonprofit Pacific Institute.