Document Type

Senior Thesis

Publication Date



California, the eighth largest economy in the world, has nearly one million residents that lack daily access to clean drinking water, yet it recently became the first state in the US to declare water a human right through the passage of 2013 Assembly Bill 685. The majority of water quality violations take place in the rural San Joaquin Valley in unincorporated, low-income communities, which have difficulties accessing clean, drinking water due to issues including quality, affordability, and physical accessibility. The role of community integration in improving water poverty has been studied extensively in developing countries but its impact is infrequently studied in the developed world. This study uses a comparative case study approach to ask the question: How does community integration affect access to drinking water in the San Joaquin Valley? The study finds that local community participation, interaction with non-profits, and public resources can improve the quality of drinking water in rural, disadvantaged communities.


Political Science Honors Program

Advisor: Dr. Candice Ortbals

Library Research Award for Best Undergraduate Project (2015)

See author's related presentation slides.

Galik Essay.docx (123 kB)
Library Research Award Essay