When you think of people with little or no access to clean water, usually developing countries come to mind, but many residents of the USA near the borderlands of Mexico are also suffering due to being cut off from their basic water needs.
It was recently reported that at least 90,000 people are believed to live without running water on the Texas-Mexico border, but no one is sure.
Most of the affected residents are low-income Hispanics, often living on isolated pockets of land no one else wanted.
Water Online reports:
“In the 1980s, when the border population surged, the government made efforts to fix the problem, building pipelines and treatment infrastructure. But many people still lack service.
For instance, the community of Las Pampas, TX, “is so remote that it has never been worth the cost to run pipes to just a few dozen homes. Residents are left to haul their water from miles away,” the report said. And in the Texas village of Vintonhave, many residents “hoped for decades to give up contaminated groundwater wells and pipe in clean water from big-city neighbor El Paso. But local political infighting got in the way,” the report continued.
In Rio Bravo and El Cenizo, “a brand-new water treatment plant was supposed to provide nearly 10,000 people with clean drinking water. But local leaders never mustered the political will or dollars necessary to run it properly, and last year eight workers were indicted for allegedly faking water quality reports,” the report said.”
There has been a debate in the USA in the past year about citizens ‘rights’ to clean drinkable water.
That US towns do not have clean drinkable water in 2015 is puzzling, given the clearly evident economic wealth and engineering capability of the USA.
Inframanage.com is aware of the requirements of the US Safe Drinking Water Act administered by the US EPA.
It seems that the towns outlined in the Water Online article have ‘fallen below the radar’ of these requirements.
Long-term infrastructure asset management planning is needed to make sure that these communities and others are supplied with the same kind of modern water infrastructure as the rest of the country before long-term consequences become irrevocable.
This may include intervention by Federal or State/Regional government agencies to facilitate progress.