As usual, the human right to water was the most popular theme. It went to Sacramento and in 2012 was passed as Assembly Bill 685 guaranteeing the human right to water. That was a successful bill,inspired by Dr. Albequerque's visit and a political movement of water access folks.
Despite all the energy around drinking water, there wasn't much ground gained for the human right to sanitation. There are still many California residents who do NOT have access to functioning sanitation. The UN report recommends placing the human rights to water and sanitation equally at the center of policy formulation.
As topics go, water is always more popular than sanitation. The UNMD goal for water is met for most nations while many have not met the sanitation goal. I saw this popularity first hand in the Haiti disaster response where most first responding NGOs focused on water while leaving millions without any place to deposit their feces. Clean water advocates need to keep this trend in mind. Drinking water is important, but drinking water is also contaminated by feces. Sanitation should be addressed before water disinfection.
My reason for writing this note is to focus on one important quote from the UN report:
"In the United States, it is often the poorest and the most marginalized groups that lack access to sanitation. Without proper sanitation, human excreta contaminate drinking water sources, with severe public health implications."This is true for the Eastern Coachella Valley, some parts of the Western Coachella Valley and other areas with wastewater infrastructure built to accommodate temporary homes and not the multi-family living quarters that use the infrastructure.