The U.S. water crisis hot spots

These areas with poor access to clean water reveal who’s taking the hit from the growing water crisis.

Struggling with access to safe drinking water for years

The Navajo Nation is 1 of 6 American hotspots with severe water access problems according to a 2-year study from DigDeep and U.S. Water Alliance. Shanna Yazzie is one of over 2 million Americans living without access to running water or indoor plumbing. Native American families are 19x more likely than white households to lack indoor plumbing. The study found low income and minority communities are most impacted.

This is Yazzie’s morning routine to shower:

“As you can see, I use a five-gallon bucket of warm water. I don’t fill it all the way up, it only goes up to two and a half gallons and that’s all I use daily. I learn to use less and less all the time, quicker showers,” Shanna Yazzie tells Brut.


In McDowell County, West Virginia, 1/3 of residents live in poverty according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Many homes lack water access and aren’t connected to sewer systems. Residents collect water from mine shafts from mountain sides and streams — which are polluted by industrial runoff.

Rural South

In Lowndes County, Alabama — which is 73% black — only 20% of homes are connected to sewer systems. Failing septic systems and wastewater lagoons expose people to raw sewage. 34.5% of residents who took part in a study tested positive for hookworm based on data from Baylor College of Medicine.

Texas Colonias

In the majority Latino Texas colonies, near the Mexico border, families must haul water by car or foot. They can also buy water that’s trucked in, but it's unsafe to drink. The homes were built on plots of land outside city limits without basic water infrastructure. Puerto Rico’s water systems are old and underfunded, leaving residents in rural and urban areas without water and sanitation access. High bacteria rates in surface water indicate widespread wastewater issues.

California’s Central Valley

California's Tulare County Is home to mostly lower-income Latino farmworker families. They live with unsafe drinking water because of groundwater contamination from arsenic and other chemicals.


01/09/2020 12:57 PM
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  • Melissa R.
    2 days

    Tulare County is mentioned toward the end😳

  • Zena L.
    2 days

    Isn't it up to the Nation to put in plumbing. They are a land unto their own?

  • Crystal L.
    3 days

    I agree people need water but these are very different situations and all local government issues.

  • Kim P.
    4 days

    Why.... so very sad

  • Kimmy B.
    4 days them please..America..what are we fighting for? Each other...♥️♥️🌈

  • Vanessa H.
    4 days

    No running water by me neityer, need to haul it in. Its sad but what dan we do when under ground wells run dry.

  • Iasinto M.
    4 days

    Wow great idea good job

  • Maskini M.
    5 days

    Hate the music

  • Andrea C.
    5 days

    This is the real national emergency people

  • Lindsy B.
    6 days

    Why is this the case?

  • Margaret R.
    7 days

    Wow incredible that people in the US have to go through this

  • Jesus S.
    02/16/2020 17:44

    No word's

  • Norma A.
    02/15/2020 03:35

    It’s hard to believe that we are in US, and you are the real American, it’s unbelievable. 😞😞😞😞😞😞

  • Laura B.
    02/13/2020 01:20

    Unbelievable ❗️

  • Yeidy C.
    02/13/2020 00:58


  • Erika H.
    02/12/2020 23:03

    For everyone wanting to help please turn your words into action by donating to the Dig Deep organization

  • Mo C.
    02/12/2020 17:26

    Why do they have plumbing fixtures in the house?

  • Elda D.
    02/12/2020 02:22

    Is this really in USA? , I never thought this can be possible. No running water , nor electricity? I am speechless, this country that is always helping other countries, and is not helping its own American people. I am puzzled.

  • Shannon R.
    02/09/2020 21:22

    thought of you and your studies!

  • Ashley M.
    02/09/2020 20:38

    Puerto Rico es uno