For immediate release:
June 28, 2016
Ari Neumann, Assistant Director
RCAC Community & Environmental Services
(916) 447-9832 ext. 1032
Asha Kreiling, Policy & Communications Analyst
Community Water Center
California budget includes crucial funds for water in schools
More than one hundred thousand California students will have access to safe drinking water
Sacramento, Calif. -- Yesterday, Gov. Jerry Brown signed the $107.9 billion 2016-2017 state budget and supporting trailer bills including a $10 million additional investment to increase Californians’ access to clean, safe and affordable drinking water.
The Drinking Water Advocates Coalition, which represents rural water advocates, urban water districts, education and children’s organizations, and environmental justice, health and equity organizations applauds the Governor and Legislature for taking these important steps to address California’s drinking water crisis. We especially appreciate the work of Assemblymembers Bloom and Ting for helping secure this much needed funding. Their leadership along with their colleagues from the Senate and staff from all three branches helped to make this a reality.
The investments included in the budget will provide safe drinking water for more than one hundred thousand California students. For many students who live in small, low-income communities impacted by unsafe drinking water, school is the only option for access to free, fresh drinking water, which is essential to health and educational attainment.
The budget includes $9.5 million for improved water access and quality in schools and an additional $500,000 for nonprofit organizations to provide support for outreach and technical assistance. Additionally, $565,000 was allocated for four new positions at the State Water Resources Control Board to improve drinking water monitoring and data collection.
The coalition expressed its gratitude for these critical investments, while pledging to continue its work to advance the Human Right to Water. More than one million Californians are impacted by unsafe drinking water each year. Sustainable solutions are still necessary to address communities’ long-term drinking water needs, including water system operation and maintenance, metering and leak detection for small, low-income communities and households, and funds for low-income Californians reliant on small water systems and private wells impacted by unsafe or unreliable water.
Statements on these budget investments are available here from members of the Drinking Water Advocates Coalition.
Rural Community Assistance Corporation
RCAC is a nonprofit organization that provides training, technical and financial resources and advocacy so rural communities can achieve their goals and visions. Headquartered in West Sacramento, California, RCAC serves rural communities in the western United States and the Pacific islands. RCAC has strong core services and expertise in housing, environmental infrastructure (water, wastewater and solid waste), leadership training, economic development and financing. To find out more about RCAC, visit www.rcac.org.
Community Water Center
The Community Water Center (CWC) is a non-profit environmental justice organization based in California’s San Joaquin Valley, whose mission is to act as a catalyst for community-driven water solutions through organizing, education, and advocacy. CWC’s fundamental goal is to ensure that all communities have access to safe, clean, and affordable water. CWC helps build strategic grassroots capacity to address water challenges in small, rural, low-income communities and communities of color. For more information, visit CWC’s website at www.communitywatercenter.org.