Latest Western Water Looks at Giving the Homeless a Voice On Water, and Rafting Down the Colorado River
Southern California ethnographic study believed to be one of the first of its kind in California
The homeless face myriad challenges, not the least of which is gaining access to clean water for drinking and sanitation. Western Water writer Gary Pitzer takes a look at a new effort in Southern California that could help water agencies find solutions to the vexing challenges the homeless face in gaining access to clean water.
The Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority in Southern California has embarked on a comprehensive and collaborative effort aimed at assessing strengths and needs as it relates to water services for people (including the homeless) within its 2,840 square-mile area that extends from the San Bernardino Mountains to the Orange County coast.
SAWPA has enlisted the services of anthropologists with the University of California, Irvine, as part of a team that in January began a three-year study of how water is thought of, used and conserved by people living and working within its boundaries. It is believed to be one of the first of its kind in California. A key part of the effort: seeking out and listening to the people who face daily water challenges who may have nowhere to live but in a tent.
In an On the Road article, Western Water explores how a raft trip down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon gives visitors a firsthand look at geology, the awe-inspiring beauty of nature and the passage of time.