Fresno Bee

Valley communities lost water in last drought. Are small water systems ready this time?

BY DANIELLE BERGSTROM

May 26, 2021

Arturo Rodriguez and his colleagues on the Poplar Community Services District board are responsible for keeping clean water flowing to 2,500 residents in the middle of a global pandemic and drought.

Of the community’s three wells, two are in production right now, although Rodriguez doesn’t know how long they’ll last through another drought. The other well is inactive because it is contaminated with nitrates. As the aquifer lowers this summer, even if the wells don’t run dry, they run a greater risk of becoming contaminated. Water suppliers are often forced to choose between a contaminated well or no running water.

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