Beyond Flint: This Town Is A Test Case For Water As A Human Right

The small town of Matheny Tract is the first town to benefit from a new law in California that makes clean water the responsibility of the state.
Posted at 5:05 PM, Jun 08, 2016

Matheny Tract, California, is a small town of about 1,000 people in the Central Valley. A majority of its residents are immigrants who live under the poverty line. And many of them can't remember the last time they had access to clean water. This town is a test case for the idea that water is a human right — the responsibility of the state to provide to its citizens. For eight years, Matheny Tract residents lived with poisonous water, contaminated by arsenic and by pesticides from nearby fields. 

This week is the first week the town has access to clean water. That's because of SB88 in California, a new law that makes providing clean water the responsibility of the state and gives California the ability to force nearby cities like Tulare to share its clean water supply with impoverished communities like Matheny Tract. Just as they have for the past eight years, Matheny Tract pays for its water, but now, it's water they can use.

Music provided courtesy of APM Music.