Topic: Drinking water, environmental justice, human right to water

Industrial, agricultural, and natural processes in California (CA) have led to elevated levels of chemical contaminants in drinking water sources including nitrate, arsenic, pesticides, and chromium. Among rural, agricultural, and disadvantaged communities, insufficient infrastructure and a lack of resources to treat groundwater contamination results in drinking water that consistently does not meet regulatory standards for health and safety. The WESS addresses chemical hazards in CA drinking water among domestic well communities and under-resourced community water systems by advancing research to characterize drinking water quality threats to groundwater reliant communities and develop policy-relevant tools to inform efforts to achieve the Human Right to Water.

Research Team:
Lara Cushing, PhD
Rachel, Morello-Frosch, PhD, MPH

Community Partner: Community Water Center

Funding Source: National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, grant # P42ES004705


  • Pace C, Balazs C, Bangia K, Depsky N, Renteria A, Morello-Frosch R, Cushing LJ. Inequities in Drinking Water Quality Among Domestic Well Communities and Community Water Systems, California, 2011‒2019. American Journal of Public Health. 2022;112(1):88-97. PMCID: PMC8713636.
  • Pace C, Fencl A, Baehner L, Lukacs H, Cushing LJ, Morello-Frosch R. The Drinking Water Tool: A Community-Driven Data Visualization Tool for Policy Implementation. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2022;19(3):1419. PMCID: PMC8834844.