Long-Standing Water Access Issues Linked to Decades of Racist Policies

Teresa Cotsirilos’ story, For one historically Black California town, a century of water access denied,” published with California Report, describes how drought has exacerbated long-standing water access issues that in many Central Valley communities can be traced back to decades of neglect and racist policies. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Allensworth. But the town is fighting back, coming up with ways to tap sustainable, clean drinking water supplies, creating a potential model for others to follow.

The story was shared on ehn.org and dailyclimate.org. It was also shared on the Our Community Now blog (local community news), as well as the Planet’s Water blog (water source news), in Maven’s Notebook (California water blog), and in a newsletter from the California Department of Water Resources. And the story was recommended by Joanne Kenen (Politico and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health) on Kaiser Health News‘ ‘What the Health’ podcast. The web version of this podcast was picked up by outlets such as The Grand Island Independent (Central Nebraska’s largest news source and media company), St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and Healthcare Now Radio.

On Twitter, we saw engagement around the story from Carbon Brief (award-winning journalism focused on climate change, 133,000 followers), Texas Observer (74,600 followers), Sarah Yasin (managing editor at LA Times, 32,300 followers), R.A. Becks (environment reporter at CalMatters, 5,900 followers), Jeremy B. White (journalist at Politico, 22,600 followers), S.E. Smith (journalist, 23,700 followers), Craig Kohlruss (story photographer, 2,500 followers), Carmen Kohlruss (Fresno Bee reporter, 3,500 followers), Sasha Khokha (host of California Report, 2,500 followers), East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice (2,900 followers), Sightline Institute (15,400 followers), FoodPrint (60,000 followers), Mary Grant (campaign director for Food & Water Watch, 2,500 followers), Edward Barrera (communications director for California Senate, 1,000 followers), and E. Joaquin Esquivel (California State Water Resources Control Board, 2,800 followers).

Our media partner for this story, KQED’s California Report, is broadcast on more than 60 public radio stations in California, with more than 330,000 listeners.

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