Run Dry Video Gallery
These videos represent some of the interviews that we have been conducting in the San Joaquin Valley about water scarcity and water contamination.
Run Dry Trailer
Fighting for clean, affordable, accessible water in California's Central Valley.
Sandra Garcia, Fighting for Clean Water
Sandra Garcia lives in the small town of Poplar, in the San Joaquin Valley of California. Surrounded by agriculture, her community faces drinking water contamination problems. She tells the story of her family's history as Braceros and a personal story of loss. Given her experiences, she fights for clean water and a healthy environment as a promatora, member of the AGUA coalition, and a founding member of the Community Water Center. In her story she blends personal struggles with struggles of the greater community, and advocates for others to join her in the fight.
Cristobal Chavez, Trying to Survive
Cristobal Chavez lives on a small ranch in Porterville, CA in the San Joaquin Valley. He moved his family from Los Angeles so that they could be self-sufficient on their ranch, growing their own vegetables, raising cattle and goats. His well is contaminated by nitrates and manure from the neighboring large scale contained animal feeding operation -- basically thousands of cows confined to one site. His family cannot bathe, cook or clean with the water and must rely on bottled water. He sees no solution to the problem, yet his farm is his means of survival. Spanish with English subtitles.
Nelly Servin, Every Drop We Get
Nelly Servin lives in California's Central Valley in a rural area just south of Fresno. She lives with her family in a home on a deeply rutted unimproved road across from a mature almond grove and surrounded by a few homes, some of which are in need of repair. Her home is just a block or two outside of a proposed municipal water system. She has been without water since April 2014, filling barrels with water from friends' hoses - those who still have water - and using bottled water for drinking and cooking. When her well had water, it was tested and found positive for uranium, nitrate and coliform bacteria (feces). She lives in a home owned by her mother who was a farmworker. When her well went dry, her ill mother was moved from her home because there wasn't water to properly care for her. Nelly's mother returned in her final days to her home where she passed. The day we visited, Nelly received a 2600 gallon water tank from Self-Help Enterprises, and we witnessed her response when water flowed from her kitchen faucet for the the first time in a year and a half. English with Spanish subtitles.
Tomas Garcia, For the Whole Community
Tomas and his family have been living without water in their well for almost two years while they wait to get connect to the municipal water system just across the street. He is a community organizer, and has travelled to Sacramento to speak on behalf of his community in the San Joaquin Valley. He and his family volunteer within their community. Although his well is dry and they are living with a water tank in their front yard, he optimistically speaks about the Tule River, once dry, running again and how this may recharge his well. English with Spanish subtitles.
Delia Martinez, But How Do We Know?
Delia Martinez lives with her mother and family in a modest house in Seville, CA, a small, low-income community of about 77 homes. With a public water system that is approximately 100 years old, she and her neighbors live with water barely flowing from their faucets and what did flow was contaminated. The private system was taken over by the county and a new well dug in 2014 that provides greater water pressure, but is only temporary. The system of pipes is still old, rusty and crumbling. The repairs are not comprehensive, the water is intermittent and currently unsafe to drink without boiling. It is especially hard on Delia to properly care for her ailing mother without water. She even says warning them ahead of time when the water is going to be turned off would be helpful. The residents are also being charged a flat monthly fee of $60 for their water, regardless if it is running or clean. Many poor residents are months if not years behind, putting their homes in danger of seizure. Currently the communities in the area are trying to consolidate to drill a new well to provide safe drinking water. The cost of a new well is 1.5 million dollars, but overhauling the entire system will be several million. English with Spanish subtitles
Mary Shaffer, This Happens to Real People
Mary Shaffer's small community of Cameron Creek in California's Central Valley ran out of water in their private, domestic wells. With the unique collaboration of the community, the nearby city of Farmersville, Self-Help Enterprises, and state and federal funding, they were able to connect to the municipal water system. Mary recounts several months of mental and physical hardship while living without water, including the financial, emotional and physical impacts of life without water. English with Spanish subtitles.
Groundwater & Contamination Animation
Run Dry produced this animation in collaboration with the Community Water Center that illustrates the concepts of groundwater, pumping for domestic and agricultural production, and contamination. The San Joaquin Valley, with its Latino and low-income communities, has the most concentrated level of contaminants from pesticides, fertilizers and mega-dairies than any other place in California. English with Spanish subtitles.