Drought-impacted residents Adela Arellano from East Porterville and Simona Magaña from Seville testified at the December State Water Board meeting to encourage the Board to approve $5 million in drought-related emergency funding for individuals reliant on private wells. Arellano and Magaña were joined by CWC’s Ryan Jensen and Erasto Teran, who also testified in support of this much-needed drought relief funding. The Board approved the use of up to $5 million of the $15 million appropriated to the Cleanup and Abatement Account (CAA) drought funding for developing permanent solutions for households reliant on small water systems (less than 15 connections) and private wells. The State Water Board was directed to use this $5 million by the Governor’s November drought executive order, and the funding will be allocated to non-profit organizations like Self-Help Enterprises and the Rural Community Assistance Corporation to fund and implement interim and permanent solutions for residents reliant on private wells and small water systems. Nonprofit organizations receiving the funding are required to prioritize serving disadvantaged individuals and communities.
This funding comes after significant advocacy by individuals reliant on private well and their allies, including dozens of calls to the Governor’s Office and legislature. We are thrilled to see this funding being appropriated, but we know more funding is needed if we want to ensure residents have lasting access to reliable water and ultimately create drought-resilient communities. Watch the video here (begins at 3:28:00) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-kjB818Zkqk