Jennifer Real: Protecting Clean Water

This PTA mom is leading the fight against toxic waste in her Texas hometown.
Jennifer Real

“We all need water to live, that’s the bottom line,” says Jennifer Real. She knows that truth all too well—her mother-in-law died from exposure to toxins in contaminated water. That’s why PTA-mom-turned-activist Real is leading the fight against plans for toxic waste storage near her home in Montgomery County, Texas.

The site Texcom Gulf Disposal plans to use for the waste injection wells is an old oil field. It has fissures and corroded well casings that could leak industrial waste into the Gulf Coast Aquifer—which supplies water for people in 54 counties.

The permit for drilling has been granted, but after a five-year campaign to save their water supply, Real and her neighbors aren’t about to give up. They plan to appeal the decision.

“She is very much engaged in doing what’s right for the community and the long-term needs of our children and grandchildren,” says fellow activist Karen Darcy. “We call her a mom on a mission.”


  • How the state’s fight for clean water is reshaping its political landscape.

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  • Around the world, people are taking control of their water supply.
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