According to a new survey released today and commissioned by SOURCE Global, PBC, America’s communities of color are increasingly concerned about the safety of the water they drink.
The survey showed that people in communities of color:
Are far less confident in the quality and safety of their water
Just 24 percent of Black Americans and 19 percent of Hispanic Americans are “very confident” they can drink their tap water without any negative side effects, in comparison to 43 percent of white Americans.
Are more concerned about access to clean water and contamination than any other demographic group
When asked if access to clean water is a problem in the U.S., Black Americans were the most likely, out of any demographic, to say it is a major problem at 35 percent. Hispanic Americans closely followed this at 32 percent. That compares to white Americans at just 28 percent.
Rely more on bottled water to meet their needs
Following this lack of confidence in tap water, the data also found that 26 percent of Black Americans drink more bottled water now at home during the pandemic, followed closely by 20% of Hispanic Americans and only 10% of white Americans.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency and other agencies, these concerns are well-founded.
At the beginning of 2019, more than 30 million people in the U.S. lived in areas where water violated safety rules. Drinking water systems that constantly violate the law are 40 percent more likely to serve people of color, according to EPA data from 2010-2016, and it takes far longer for these systems to come back into compliance.
“It’s clear that our nation’s water issues pose an immediate and quickly worsening health risk, and that’s especially true for BIPOC communities, who are also dealing with an outsized impact from COVID-19,” said Cody Friesen, founder and CEO, SOURCE Global.
As the Biden administration prepares to act on climate change with a focus on environmental justice, this data raises awareness of the disparity in water access and safety in the United States. In fact, the survey found that 46 percent of Americans consider water scarcity to be among the most important water-related climate change issues in need of immediate government support.
“We’re fighting two battles: climate change is increasingly threatening our access to water, and the way we live is contaminating water in ways even the most modern water infrastructure can’t handle, let alone the countless water systems that lack funding for up-to-date infrastructure,” said Friesen. “We firmly believe that safe water is a fundamental human right, not a matter of where you live or the color of your skin, which is why we need to focus our efforts on delivering renewable, climate-resilient resources across the globe, independent of infrastructure, to help mitigate this critical issue.”
One solution for providing relief to these communities is hydropanel technology, which uses the warmth of the sun to draw clean, pollutant-free water vapor out of the sky and deliver safe, high-quality drinking water directly to the taps. Eco-hospitality businesses, schools, hospitals, worksites and underserved communities all over the world are already using hydropanels to sustainably produce clean, safe drinking water.
“While tackling climate change will take decades, we have the technology and know-how to fix our water issues right now,” Friesen said. “In a time of so many daunting and complex challenges, that’s good news for America, and the world. “
About SOURCE Global, PBC
SOURCE Global, PBC’s mission is to make drinking water an unlimited resource. The company’s SOURCE® Hydropanels create drinking water from the sky, using sunlight and air as the only inputs, putting the power of safe, high-quality water production into the hands of every person in nearly every climate and corner of the world. A Public Benefit Corporation, SOURCE is on Fast Company’s 2020 list of most innovative social good companies. Headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, the company operates across 45 countries and six continents. SOURCE is a registered trademark of SOURCE Global, PBC. For more information, visit www.source.co and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.
About the Survey & Methodology
The survey was fielded February 5-8, 2021 and was completed by a total of n=1,319 U.S. adults (18+). It was conducted using an online interview administered to members of the YouGov Plc panel of individuals who have agreed to take part in surveys.