Rooted in Love: Adelanto Water Justice Coalition
Water-related issues impact the health and livelihood of communities disproportionately. Unidos Por Un Adelanto Mejor, partners of SCJPF’s Community Building Initiative (CBI), are addressing water justice and quality issues in North Adelanto, a city in San Bernardino County in the high desert region of Southern California. The immediate objective of Unidos Por Un Adelanto Mejor is securing EPA resources to improve the water infrastructure in the area. They collaborated with community partners and worked with the University of Pitzer, a local college that expressed interest in understanding the residents’ issues.
Water quality concerns included discolored, off-smelling, and odd-tasting watering. Additionally, residents voiced concerns about the lack of communication from the City of Adelanto’s Water and Sewer Department and PERC Water Corporation regarding quality and safety.
Unidos Por Un Adelanto Mejor and Pitzer University, along with Immigrant Justice Coalition, El Sol, Robert Redford Conservancy of Southern California Sustainability, and Community Engagement Center grew to form the Adelanto Water Justice Coalition (AWJC). The AWJC’s research was published in a bilingual Community Water Report, an essential detail for organizers as most of Adelanto’s residents are Spanish speakers. The coalition presented findings from the report to the city council.
At the city council meeting, the AWJC outlined actionable recommendations to remedy the water quality issues. As a result, PERC has reviewed the report and the suggestions, and AWJC has met with the city to share the need for town hall meetings and forming a Water Quality Board. AWJC’s diligence has persuaded the city to develop a Water Ad Hoc Committee, ensuring accountability and transparency. Furthermore, PERC created a system to begin water testing and updated its website to be more user-friendly, including adding tools in English and Spanish.
Learn More About Water Justice
AWJC is dedicated to ensuring that the residents of Adelanto have equitable access to clean and safe water. They work to continually improve the health and quality of life of people in Adelanto. The long-term environmental disaster that water injustice poses significant harm to the residents. To learn more about how AWJC is focused on recovering the physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional health of their community, visit their website.