Title

Thicker Than Water: The Inequality of Water Distribution in California's Central Valley

Poster Number

22B

Lead Author Major

Sociology

Lead Author Status

Junior

Format

Poster Presentation

Faculty Mentor Name

Ahmed Kanna

Faculty Mentor Email

akanna@pacific.edu

Faculty Mentor Department

School of International Studies

Abstract/Artist Statement

The primary focus of this research paper is the distribution of water across California's Central Valley and how this process shapes the geography and demographics of cities, especially in regards to the impact of race and class on the availability of resources. Water is a resource essential to life and urbanization often congregates in areas closest to bodies of water, yet clean and safe water is often one of the most unattainable resources. The first factor of this concentrates on the geographical trends of areas where a water distribution system is crucial for the continued creation of cities. Three cities in the Central Valley draw special attention: Stockton, Fresno, Modesto. Each exhibits past failures in standard water quality tests. Investigating the law, policy, and infrastructure the city government places to alleviate or possibly encourage failures in water quality and water distribution are essential to better understand continuing arguments over both. For example, structures such as the California aqueduct were built to secure water needs, however, this could not be done without controversy regarding who has the rights to what natural resources. This parallels the fight over other desirable natural resources, most notably land as the two are linked. Where these resources are ultimately distributed and to whom signifies powerful cultural and social dynamics. The secondary focus of this research is identifying patterns of inequality potentially regarding SES (Socio-economic status) and race. Lastly, water shapes the daily social life and interactions of communities that have been neglected by the allocation of safe or unsafe drinking water, especially how this impact communities of color in the United States.

Location

DeRosa University Center, Ballroom

Start Date

28-4-2018 10:00 AM

End Date

28-4-2018 12:00 PM

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Apr 28th, 10:00 AM Apr 28th, 12:00 PM

Thicker Than Water: The Inequality of Water Distribution in California's Central Valley

DeRosa University Center, Ballroom

The primary focus of this research paper is the distribution of water across California's Central Valley and how this process shapes the geography and demographics of cities, especially in regards to the impact of race and class on the availability of resources. Water is a resource essential to life and urbanization often congregates in areas closest to bodies of water, yet clean and safe water is often one of the most unattainable resources. The first factor of this concentrates on the geographical trends of areas where a water distribution system is crucial for the continued creation of cities. Three cities in the Central Valley draw special attention: Stockton, Fresno, Modesto. Each exhibits past failures in standard water quality tests. Investigating the law, policy, and infrastructure the city government places to alleviate or possibly encourage failures in water quality and water distribution are essential to better understand continuing arguments over both. For example, structures such as the California aqueduct were built to secure water needs, however, this could not be done without controversy regarding who has the rights to what natural resources. This parallels the fight over other desirable natural resources, most notably land as the two are linked. Where these resources are ultimately distributed and to whom signifies powerful cultural and social dynamics. The secondary focus of this research is identifying patterns of inequality potentially regarding SES (Socio-economic status) and race. Lastly, water shapes the daily social life and interactions of communities that have been neglected by the allocation of safe or unsafe drinking water, especially how this impact communities of color in the United States.