Local

UN Rep. investigates Seville's water troubles

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

The unincorporated community of Seville is located off Avenue 384 near Highway 63 in Tulare County, and it's seen its share of water problems.

A United Nations representative toured an antiquated, 100-year-old water system that runs through an irrigation ditch in the small unincorporated, Tulare County community of Seville.

She's a long way from her home in Portugal, but Catarina De Albuquerque hopes her visit to Seville makes a big difference. "What I've realized is that the best way to promote change is to partner with the people that are working inside the country."

Seville will be part of a report De Albuquerque is presenting to the United Nations in September. The report details how countries of all sizes aren't providing safe drinking water to all of its citizens. "I've been to Japan I've been to Slovenia now I'm here."

De Albuquerque was appointed by the United Nations to monitor how countries provide clean water and sanitation to their citizens. When Community Water Center in Visalia heard she was coming to California, they urged her to come to the south valley.

Laurel Firestone said, "We have some of the most number of drinking water systems that don't have access to safe drinking water on an ongoing basis."

Becky Quintana said, "Speechless I mean how often do you get somebody from the UN to come to your community."

Seville resident Becky Quintana says their water is filled with sand, nitrates and other chemicals. At Stone Corral School, students only drink bottled water.

Residents hope that the 100-year-old water infrastructure and the fact that these fountains don't even work because there's no safe drinking water, are highlighted in the report.

Whether De Albuquerque's report and the United Nations can actually help change Seville's water situation is another story. De Albuquerque hopes it can at least bring international attention to Seville's water problems. "People have an advocacy document that they can use in order to make sure that change happens."

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seville, tulare county, local, jessica peres
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