Community Water Center

Community-driven water solutions through organizing, education, and advocacy

Kelsey Hinton

CWLN boletin de mayo 2017

Los Condados para crear un Plan sobre la Escasez de Agua en las Comunidades Rurales y Pequeñas.

El informe final “Hacer de la Conservación un Estilo de Vida en California”, fue publicado el mes pasado y describe un plan que implementa la Orden Ejecutiva B-37-16. El plan trata de eliminar los desechos de agua, de actualizar los Planes de Contingencia para la Escasez de Agua Urbana y Agrícola (WSCP, por sus siglas en inglés), de actualizar las normas de eficiencia del agua para los proveedores de agua en las comunidades rurales y de mejorar los planes de escasez de agua para los pequeños proveedores de agua y en las comunidades rurales. A diferencia de la mayoría de los otros componentes que aparecen en el reporte, los caules amplían o actualizan los requisitos existentes, en esta última parte sobre mejorar la planeación sobre la sequía con los pequeños proveedores de agua (incluyendo los pequeños sistemas de agua pública y propietarios con pozos privados es un requisito completamente nuevo para California. Estases una brecha importante en la planeación actual que necesitamos cubrir, porque como demostró esta sequía, los residentes en las zonas rurales están entre los más afectados de las zonas por emergencias de sequías. Además, con el cambio climático, es muy probable que volvamos a experimentar una sequía prolongada como la que acabamos de pasar, por ello, será mejor que tomemos medidas a tiempo para reducir la vulnerabilidad de los residentes en zonas rurales y desarrollar planes de respuesta efectiva para cuando ocurra una emergencia durante la sequía.

El informe especifica que cada condado tendrá que establecer un Plan de Contingencia de Escasez del Agua para aquellas áreas que no están actualmente cubiertas por el Plan de Contingencia de Escasez de Agua Urbana (se requiere para las ciudades con 10 mil habitantes o más). Además de requerir que los planes incluyan una evaluación de vulnerabilidad en los suministros de agua, acciones proactivas para reducir la vulnerabilidad, y un plan reactivo que incluyan protocolos de comunicación cuando surja la escasez de agua. El informe final del gobernador incluye pocos detalles de cómo este requisito tendrá que ser implementado o cómo tendría que verse. Uno de los grupos involucrados en este tema ha comenzado a reunirse para trabajar en los detalles faltantes, y es muy importante que los pequeños sistemas de agua y los propietarios de pozos privados participen para asegurarse que estos esfuerzos cubran las necesidades. El próximo taller público para discutir este componente del plan se llevará a cabo en junio, sin embargo, la fecha exacta todavía no está confirmada.


RECORDATORIO: Discusión de la mesa redonda sobre el agua económica en nuestra red el pasado 23 de mayo y cancelación de la llamada informativa.

Este mes, en lugar de tener nuestra llamada informativa mensual para los miembros de la red cada cuarto jueves del mes, nos estaremos reuniendo en persona para nuestra segunda mesa redonda de la Red Comunitaria de Líderes de Agua para hablar sobre el agua económica el próximo martes 23 de mayo. Asista a esta junta para escuchar sobre dos importantes esfuerzos relacionados con el agua económica que se están discutiendo en Sacramento, las propuestas de ley SB 623 y la AB 401, ¡y comparta sus ideas y comentarios con la Mesa Estatal de Control de Recursos del Agua!

Fecha: El martes 23 de mayo, 2017.

Horario: 6-8 pm (incluye comida).

Lugar: 311 W. Murray Ave., Visalia.

*Debido al evento de la mesa redonda, no tendremos la llamada informativa de la red este mes.


Fondo Rotativo Estatal del Agua Potable: 2017-2018, Periodo de Comentarios del Plan de Uso Previsto.

A principios de este mes, la Mesa Estatal del Agua publicó un proyecto del Fondo Rotativo Estatal del Agua Potable (DWSRF, por sus siglas en inglés) Plan de Uso Previsto (IUP, por sus siglas en inglés) para el año 2017-2018. El DWSRF otorga préstamos y becas para la planeación y diseño de los sistemas de agua, y construcción de proyectos de mejoramiento de agua potable, incluyendo, pero no limitado a la perforación de nuevos pozos, extensiones en el servicio y el fortalecimiento. El IUP establece las directrices sobre cómo se priorizarán los fondos y quién será elegible para los diferentes tipos de financiación. Por ejemplo, las becas o la exención de la deuda principal sólo están disponibles para las Comunidades Económicamente Desfavorecidas (DACs) y Comunidades Gravemente Desfavorecidas SDACs. Cada año, la Mesa actualiza sus directrices para reflejar sus prioridades actuales y /o la disponibilidad de los fondos emitiendo primero un borrador para recibir comentarios del público y después obtener la versión final. El borrador de este año se puede encontrar en línea.

Como líderes de la comunidad por el agua, es importante entender los cambios del IUP y cómo pueden tener un impacto en su distrito. Además, su experiencia los sitúa de una manera única para proporcionar comentarios sobre cómo mejorar el IUP. La fecha límite para recibir los comentarios es el 5 de junio al mediodía. Para obtener mayor información sobre cómo enviar sus comentarios, incluyendo la dirección postal y las instrucciones de cómo enviarlos por correo electrónico, por favor consulte el aviso oficial del IUP. El IUP se presentará ante la Mesa Estatal del Agua en el taller del 20 de junio en Sacramento, donde la Mesa estará aceptando comentarios del público.


Anuncios Destacados del Mes:

Recursos sobre el Informe de Confianza al Consumidor (CCR)

Por ley, todos los sistemas de agua pública necesitan desarrollar y distribuir un Informe Anual de Confianza al Consumidor (CCR, por sus siglas en inglés) a sus clientes en o antes del 1º de julio del 2017. Los CCRs son muy importantes ya que permiten a los consumidores estar bien informados antes de tomar decisiones sobre cualquier riesgo potencial para la salud relacionado con la calidad, el tratamiento y el manejo del suministro del agua potable, y sabemos lo estresante y tardado que puede ser. Aquí les presentamos algunos de los recursos para ayudarles a que el proceso de este año sea un poco más fácil si todavía se sigue apresurando para hacerlo.

  • El 24 de mayo de 10:00 AM a 12:00 PM ó 2:00 PM a 4:00 PM, la Corporación de Asistencia de Comunidades Rurales (RCAC, por sus siglas en inglés) llevará a cabo una capacitación en línea sobre los CCRs que no sólo puede ayudarle a entender mejor los requisitos sino también le puede ayudar en hacer su CCR juntos. Se puede registrar de forma gratuita en el sitio web de RCAC. Si necesita un lugar para hacer el entrenamiento estamos encantados en ayudarle con el entrenamiento en nuestra sala de conferencias en Visalia.
  • La Agencia de Protección Ambiental (EPA, por sus siglas en inglés) tiene una guía de referencia rápida que es útil tener a la mano mientras prepara su informe. Usted puede encontrar la guía aquí.
  • La Mesa Estatal de Control de Recursos del Agua en California tiene un documento de orientación sobre los CCRs para proveedores de agua, y lo puede encontrar en su sitio web junto con información sobre la traducción del CCR y ejemplos que puede usar a su conveniencia.

¡Aparta el día!: Taller sobre el Plan de Sostenibilidad del Agua Subterránea que se llevará a cabo el 24 de junio.

¿Perdiste el taller del Plan de Sostenibilidad del Agua Subterránea que se llevó a cabo en abril? Asista el 24 de junio de 10 AM - 2:30 PM a la repetición del taller en nuestro seminario gratuito, que durará medio día en el Café 210 en Visalia. Bajo la nueva Ley de Manejo Sostenible de las Aguas Subterráneas, o SGMA, se necesitan de manera crucial los Planes de Sostenibilidad de las Aguas Subterráneas para asegurar que en el futuro su comunidad cuente con agua sana, limpia y económica. Como representante de un pequeño sistema de agua, su voz es importante en el proceso SGMA y nos queremos asegurar de que tenga las herramientas y la información necesaria para participar sin ningún problema. Este taller está diseñado para pequeños sistemas de agua potable en el Valle Central y le ayudará a preparar a directores y al personal para que participen activamente en el desarrollo del Plan de Sostenibilidad del Agua Subterránea (SPG) en su área. Llame a Kristin al 559-733-0219 para reservar su lugar. El cupo es limitado.


Próximos Eventos y Entrenamientos:

  • El 23 de mayo, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM. Entrenamiento de RCAC en línea. Aspectos Básicos de la Junta: Planificación de mejoras del capital. Regístrese gratis en www.events.rcac.org
  • El 24 de mayo, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM ó 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM. Entrenamiento de RCAC en línea. Informes de Confianza al Consumidor. Regístrese gratis en www.events.rcac.org
  • El 31 de mayo, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM. Entrenamiento de RCAC en línea. Aspectos Básicos de la Junta: Ajuste de la tarifa. Regístrese gratis en www.events.rcac.org
  • El 5 de junio, 12:00 PM. Comentarios del público para el Plan de Uso Previsto del 2017 para el Fondo Rotativo Estatal del Agua Potable (DWSRF). Para más información visite: http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/public_notices/comments/index.shtml o comuníquese al (916) 327-9978.
  • El 6 de junio, 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM. Comité Coordinador de Financiamiento en California 2017 (CFCC, por sus siglas en inglés) y el Centro de Educación de Energía Edison del Sur de California. Plática sobre el financiamiento justo (4175 S. Laspina, Tulare, CA 93274). Regístrese gratis en http://www.cfcc.ca.gov/funding-fairs/.
  • Del 29-30 de junio. Taller de la Red del Centro de Finanzas Ambientales. Taller de liderazgo a través de la toma de decisiones y la comunicación para pequeños sistemas de agua en Rancho Cucamonga. Regístrese gratis en: http://efcnetwork.org/events/california-leadership- decision-making-communication- workshop-small-water-systems /

Encuentre más eventos en línea de los Líderes de la Comunidad por el Agua, en nuestro calendario que se encuentran en: http://www.communitywatercenter.org/water_leaders_network


Revisando el Estudio del Agua en las Comunidades Económicamente Desfavorecidas (DAC, por sus siglas en inglés) de la Cuenca del Lago de Tulare en el 2014.

En la conferencia telefónica de la Red Informativa del mes de abril, discutimos el Estudio del Agua en las Comunidades Económicamente en Desaventajada de la Cuenca del Lago de Tulare del 2014 y qué tan útiles han sido las recomendaciones recibidas en las mesas locales sobre el agua después de tres años.

El estudio, que resultó de una donación de $ 2 millones recibida por Departamento de Recursos del Agua del Condado de Tulare para desarrollar un plan para el agua a nivel regional y las aguas residuales en las comunidades económicamente desfavorecidas (DACs, por sus siglas en inglés) en la Cuenca del Lago de Tulare, incluyendo las áreas del Condado de Fresno, Kern, Reyes y Tulare. Informados por un proceso de participación extensiva por los grupos interesados en el tema, el estudio identificó cuáles son las principales prioridades que limitan el acceso a soluciones al agua potable y las aguas residuales de la región, incluyendo: la falta de financiación para compensar los altos costos de operaciones y de mantenimiento en gran parte por la falta de la economía de escala; la falta de capacidad técnica, administrativa y financiera (TMF) por los proveedores de agua y aguas residuales; la poca calidad del agua; la falta o el alto costo de financiación o las restricciones de financiación para realizar mejoras; la falta de residentes informados, capacitados o comprometidos; la falta de visión y planificación integrada para desarrollar soluciones; la inadecuada infraestructura existente; la falta de información sobre las DAC; el cambio regulatorio del ambiente; y, la cantidad insuficiente de agua.

Para abordar estas cuestiones prioritarias, el estudio propuso 59 recomendaciones específicas para lograr soluciones de agua en comunidades sostenibles. De estas recomendaciones, a continuación, presentamos las que fueron dirigidas a los proveedores de agua locales:

  • Asegurar que se conozcan los detalles específicos de la existente infraestructura. Tener acceso a los registros y mantenerlos.
  • Realizar una revisión fiscal anual para determinar los niveles necesarios de los recursos para el reemplazo/mantenimiento y el periodo de tiempo/plan de financiamiento apropiado.
  • Asistir a programas de capacitación y alentar o requerir que los miembros de la mesa directiva y el personal asistan a programas de capacitación.
  • Incluso fuera de los proyectos más grandes sobre infraestructura, desarrollar procesos para compartir recursos comunes y otras formas de consolidación para ayudar a reducir los costos de O & M y mejorar la capacidad TMF.
  • Las alternativas del proyecto deben ser analizadas para minimizar los costos de O & M.
  • Evaluar las tarifas cada tres a cinco años y modificarlas según convenga para alcanzar los objetivos financieros.
  • Buscar fondos para instalar medidores, tener acceso a leer los medidores a distancia y considerar acuerdos con asociaciones de vecinos para apoyar los costos.
  • Establecer tarifas apropiadas a cualquier nueva conexión para apoyar las mejoras del capital necesarias y poder atender las nuevas conexiones.
  • Desarrollar un plan de O & M.
  • No permitir nuevas conexiones si la capacidad del servicio no está confirmada.
  • Asistir a talleres sobre la solicitud de subvenciones.
  • Participar en las reuniones del grupo IRWM y considerar en interesarse por ser parte del grupo.
  • Proporcionar a la comunidad toda la información que sea posible y darle a conocer pronta información para que aporten con ideas.
  • Intente entrar en contacto con la comunidad en persona, por teléfono o por correo postal. El correo electrónico y el sitio web no es suficiente.
  • Ampliar el compromiso de la comunidad con el desarrollo de proyectos
  • Implementar una orden que prohíba la perforación de nuevos pozos dentro del límite de PWS y notificar al condado sobre la orden.

Continuaremos hablando acerca de cómo estas y otras recomendaciones para los sistemas de agua en el valle se pueden implementar potencialmente para abordar temas prioritarios hoy en el 2017. Si desea obtener más información sobre el estudio, puede encontrar todos los documentos del estudio aquí.


Tema de acción: Apoya la Ley 623 del Senado - Creación de un nuevo fondo estatal para tener agua sana, segura y económica.

El 19 de abril, la Ley 623 del Senado (liderada por el senador Bill Monning) recibió un voto unánime por parte de los miembros del Comité sobre la Calidad Ambiental del Senado. Este voto monumental significa que el proyecto de ley pasó la primera etapa para convertirse en ley, pero todavía hay más votos por delante que esperar. El siguiente paso para el proyecto de ley será un voto por el Comité de Apropiaciones del Senado y luego un voto por parte de todo el Senado, que probablemente ocurrirá para antes del 2 de junio. Su ayuda es necesaria para asegurar que el voto sea igual de exitoso como el anterior.

La SB 623 establecería un nuevo Fondo para el Agua Potable y Económica. El Fondo estaría autorizado para proporcionar sistemas provisionales de agua potable y financiar soluciones de agua potable a largo plazo, incluyendo los costos de O & M, para las comunidades de bajos ingresos que necesitan tratamiento del agua potable. El Fondo sería administrado por la Oficina de Soluciones Sustentables del Agua en la Mesa Estatal de Control de Recursos del Agua, y también podría ser usado para financiar un programa estatal de agua potable a bajos costos.

Su mesa puede ayudar a que esta fuente de financiamiento sostenible para las comunidades sea una realidad con una aprobación de apoyo a la resolución. Agende este tema para su próxima junta y pregunte a sus miembros si están dispuestos en apoyar la propuesta sobre el Fondo para el Agua Potable y Económica. Nuestro sitio web tiene un enlace a la resolución SB 623 con un ejemplar que puede usar para apoyarla. Las resoluciones presentadas en mayo tendrán un mayor impacto en la votación del Senado, pero las resoluciones recibidas en junio y julio seguirán siendo útiles a medida que el proyecto de ley llegue a la Asamblea. Si su consejo adopta una resolución, podemos ayudarle a enviar la resolución por usted, o proporcionarle la información para que lo pueda hacer usted mismo. ¡Por favor, comuníquese con el equipo de CWC si tiene preguntas o le gustaría saber de otras maneras para apoyar esta importante campaña para tener agua sana, segura y económica!


 


CWLN boletin de abril 2017

Resumen del taller de GSP

La Red Comunitaria de Líderes por el Agua organizó su primer taller el pasado 1o. de abril. En el evento, representantes de once diferentes comunidades que dependen delas aguas subterráneas en el Valle Central aprendieron sobre el proceso para desarrollar el Plan de Sostenibilidad de Aguas Subterráneas, un componente clave de la Ley de Manejo Sustentable de Aguas Subterráneas, conocido por sus siglas en inglés como SGMA.

Los Planes de Sostenibilidad de Aguas Subterráneas, que para la mayoría de las áreas en el Valle vencen en el año 2020, tendrán tres componentes centrales: 1) Descripción de la zona donde se efectuará y las condiciones actuales del agua subterránea, 2) Criterios de Sostenibilidad que establecen estándares mínimos y el manejo de una dirección objetiva de las cuencas del agua subterránea, y 3) Proyectos, manejo de las medidas y un plan de monitoreo para lograr la sostenibilidad.

Los que participaron en el taller de GSP practicaron los criterios para establecer la sostenibilidad en “resultados no deseables” o en impactos negativos por sobre bombear las aguas subterráneas regulados por la SMGA, y calcularon el vencimiento de la cuenca del agua subterránea utilizando los números del modelo de aguas subterráneas del Valle Central del Estado. También realizaron una lluvia de ideas para realizar preguntas a los consultores, y discutieron sobre cómo los modelos de las aguas subterráneas pueden y no pueden ayudarnos en el proceso de la SGMA.

¡Gracias a todos los que participaron y ayudaron a que el taller fuera un éxito! El taller tuvo tanto éxito, al grado de que estamos muy contentos en anunciar que estaremos organizando otro taller en el mes de junio para aquellos que no pudieron asistir en el primer taller. Se les dará a conocer la fecha tan pronto esté confirmada.


Tema de acción: Proyecto de Ley 623 del Senado – Creación de un Nuevo Fondo para el Agua Potable, Sana, y Económica.

Como varios miembros del CWLN saben bien, los pequeños sistemas de agua a menudo no pueden cumplir con los estándares de agua potable porque no pueden pagar el costo del tratamiento del agua potable. Si bien, las subvenciones federales y estatales están disponibles para ayudar a construir las instalaciones necesarias para el tratamiento del agua, actualmente no hay apoyo disponible para los costos de operación y mantenimiento en curso. Esto puede resultar en que el tratamiento no se instale en absoluto, o que en las comunidades eleven las tarifas del agua por encima de lo que los residentes pueden pagar para sostener el proyecto de tratar el agua potable.

Por años, la Mesa Estatal del Agua ha pedido la creación de una fuente de financiamiento sostenible para ayudar a llenar esta brecha y apoyar las necesidades de obtener un agua potable, sana, y económica en las comunidades más pequeñas de California. Este año, el Centro Comunitario por el Agua y otros defensores del agua potable han hecho que este fondo sea una prioridad absoluta – pero necesitamos de tu ayuda para tener éxito.

Estamos apoyando la Ley 623 del Senado (creada por el Senador Bill Monning), la cual establecería un nuevo Fondo para el Agua Potable, Sana, y Económica. El Fondo estaría autorizado para suministrar provisionalmente agua potable y para para financiar soluciones de agua potable a largo plazo, incluyendo los costos de O&M para las comunidades de bajos ingresos que necesitan el tratamiento de agua potable. El Fondo sería administrado por la Oficina de Soluciones Sustentables de Agua que pertenece a la Mesa Estatal de Control de Recursos del Agua, y también podría ser usado para financiar el programa estatal para obtener agua potable a un bajo costo.

Como representante y poseedor de un pequeño sistema de agua, usted está en una posición única para hablar sobre la necesidad de una financiación sostenible. A continuación, le presentamos lo que usted puede hacer este mes para ayudarnos en apoyar la SB 623:

  1. Resoluciones de Apoyo – ¡Necesitamos resoluciones de apoyo para la SB 623 por parte de las Mesas sobre el Agua! Agende este tema para la próxima junta con su Mesa Directiva y pregunte a su comité si están dispuestos en apoyar la propuesta del Fondo de Agua Potable, Sana y Económica. Le puede dar un click a este enlace para que vea un ejemplo sobre la resolución de la SB 623 que puede usar. Para tener el mayor impacto posible en el proceso legislativo, las resoluciones son necesarias tenerlas listas para finales de mayo. Una vez que haya sido aprobado por su Mesa Directiva, podemos ayudarle a presentar la resolución por usted, o proporcionarle información para que usted mismo lo pueda hacer. Por favor, comuníquese con el equipo de CWC si usted tiene preguntas o si desea discutir en detalle este tema de acción.
  2. Cartas de apoyo de los miembros de la Mesa Directiva – Aunque las resoluciones formales de apoyo de las Mesas Directivas son más eficaces porque llevan el peso de su agencia pública, las cartas de apoyo de las personas son también influyentes, especialmente cuando vienen de parte de los líderes comunitarios que son miembros de la Mesa y son oficiales escolares. Si no tiene suficiente tiempo para obtener una resolución de su Mesa Directiva o su Comité no quiere tomar una posición formal, escribir una carta es una buena opción para mostrar su apoyo a la financiación de operaciones y mantenimiento. Aquí le mostramos un ejemplo de una carta de apoyo, o también puede escribir una carta propia. Una vez firmada la carta, le podemos ayudar a enviar la carta por usted, o le podemos proporcionar la información para que usted mismo lo haga. Por favor, comuníquese con el equipo de CWC si tiene preguntas o si desea discutir en detalle este tema.

Aparta el día: Mesa Redonda sobre el Acceso al Agua al alcance de todos, el 23 de mayo.

 Desde hace aproximadamente un año, la Mesa Estatal de Control de Recursos del Agua ha estado trabajando en el desarrollo de un plan para crear un programa de asistencia que permita mantener el precio del agua bajo y asegurar que las familias de California no se vean obligadas en escoger entre pagar el agua u otras necesidades básicas. Ya existen algunos programas similares para la electricidad y las telecomunicaciones, y ahora es el momento para que el agua, siendo el servicio más fundamental que recibimos, sea añadida a esta lista. Entre este trabajo y la campaña legislativa para la asistencia con las operaciones y el mantenimiento en los pequeños sistemas, el acceso al agua para el alcance de todos es un tema muy importante en la actualidad. ¡Y es exactamente por esta razón que hemos decidido que en nuestra siguiente mesa redonda hablemos de este tema!

¡El 23 de mayo únase a nuestra mesa redonda de 6 a 8 pm en nuestra oficina de Visalia para discutir sobre el acceso al agua para el alcance de todos! Esta importante conversación (donde se ofrecerá cena) reunirá a los miembros de la mesa directiva de los distritos con agua potable, la gente del Ayuntamiento, y el personal de la Mesa Estatal del Agua, y tendrá la oportunidad para evaluar cómo se desarrollan estos esfuerzos y escuchar lo que otras comunidades del Valle ya están haciendo. Con emoción, seremos uno de los primeros en recibir información de la Mesa Estatal del Agua sobre el análisis que hicieron durante la primavera y el invierno, y sus recomendaciones de los resultados obtenidos mientras se preparan en organizar su próximo taller al público en junio sobre el proceso de la AB 401.

¡Invita a tus compañeros y miembros de la Mesa y el resto del equipo para asistir a nuestra Mesa Redonda! No van a querer perder esta importante discusión.


No te pierdas nuestra siguiente llamada informativa: el 27 de abril, de 4:00 a 5:00 pm.

Las llamadas informativas son conferencias telefónicas mensuales que permite a los miembros la oportunidad de conectarse unos con otros, realizar preguntas, y recibir información desde la comodidad de sus hogares. Para participar, simplemente marque (571) 317-3122, cuando se le solicite el código de acceso marque 611-041-917#. Presione la tecla # cuando se le solicite el Pin del audio. Comuníquese con Kristin si necesita una tarjeta prepagada para llamar de larga distancia.

Agenda:

  1. Actualizaciones y preguntas de los integrantes.
  2. Actualizaciones y preguntas del agua a nivel regional y estatal.
  3. Tema de discusión mensual: el estudio del agua DAC de la Cuenca del Lago de Tulare.

Próximos eventos:

  • 26 de abril, 8:30 am – 3:30 pm. Taller presencial de RCAC. Monitoreo y Calidad del Agua. Holiday Inn Express (9010 West Front Rd.) Atascadero, CA. Regístrese gratis en www.events.rcac.org
  • 27 de abril, 8:30 am – 3:30 pm. Taller presencial de RCAC. Reportes sobre la Confianza del Consumidor. Holiday Inn Express (9010 West Front Rd.) Atascadero, CA. Regístrese gratis en www.events.rcac.org
  • 2 de mayo, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm. Entrenamiento de RCAC en línea. Fundamentos de la Mesa : elaboración de un presupuesto. Regístrese gratis en www.events.rcac.org
  • 16 de mayo, 9:00 am. Junta con la Mesa Estatal de Control de Recursos del Agua: Taller dirigido al público sobre la adopción de un proyecto de financiación sobre el agua potable para el programa de becas escolares. Para mayor información visite: http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/water_issues/programs/grants_loans/ schools/
  • 23 de mayo, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm. Entrenamiento en línea de RCAC. Fundamentos de la Mesa: Planificación para mejorar el capital. Regístrese gratis en www.events.rcac.org
  • 24 de mayo, 10:00 – 12:00 pm. Entrenamiento en línea RCAC. Reportes sobre la Confianza del Consumidor. Regístrese en línea en www.events.rcac.org

Información mensual

¿Tienes preguntas sobre el agua subterránea? ¡La herramienta de Asistencia Técnica de la organización “Union of Concerned Scientists” nos puede ayudar! La herramienta tiene como objetivo proporcionar a los interesados, como usted, los recursos técnicos que necesitan para participar en el desarrollo de los Planes de Sostenibilidad de Aguas Subterráneas (conocido por sus siglas en inglés como GSPs). Las preguntas que envíen serán analizadas por un grupo de expertos del “Science Network” de la organización “Union of Concerned Scientists” (conocido por sus siglas en inglés como UCS) que tiene la adecuada experiencia para ayudarle a contestarlas. El “Science Network” es una comunidad de científicos, ingenieros, expertos en salud pública, y otros especialistas técnicos que quieren compartir sus habilidades con los que tienen el poder para tomar decisiones y el público en general. Un miembro de “Science Network” se comunicará con usted para darle una respuesta por vía telefónica o por correo electrónico, dependiendo de lo que usted prefiera. ¡Mientras más detalles le ofrezca al experto  sobre su duda, usted podrá recibir una respuesta más acertada!

Para enviar sus preguntas a los expertos de la organización “Union of Concerned Scientist” visite la siguiente liga: http://bit.ly/2nr4dww o llame al número de teléfono (510) 809-1573. Este es un programa piloto por lo que le agradeceremos nos hagan llegar sus sugerencias y comentarios para mejorar esta herramienta. Para cualquier sugerencia o pregunta póngase en contacto con Kate Cullen enviando un correo electrónico a kcullen@ucsusa.org o al número de teléfono mencionado anteriormente.


Gestión Regional de la Incorporación de Agua

¿Ha oído hablar de los Grupos de Planificación Regional Integrada por la Gestión del Agua (Integrated Regional Water Management Groups o conocidos por sus siglas en inglés como IRWMP)? Si no, usted no está solo. Aunque este programa de gestión del agua existe desde hace 15 años, mucha gente no sabe nada sobre el programa y aquellos que lo conocen siguen teniendo dudas sobre lo que hacen.

Entonces, ¿qué es exactamente IRWM?. Según el sitio web del Departamento de Recursos del Agua conocido por sus siglas en inglés (DWR), “la Planificación Regional Integrada por la Gestión del Agua (IRWM) es un esfuerzo en colaboración para identificar e implementar soluciones en la gestión del agua a escala regional y así aumentar la autosuficiencia a nivel regional, reducir los conflictos, y gestionar el agua para obtener los objetivos a nivel social, medioambiente y económico”. El programa IRWM dio inicio en el año 2002 cuando los legisladores estatales aprobaron la Ley Regional de Planificación sobre la Gestión del Agua (SB 1672), que tiene como objetivo incentivar la colaboración, la planificación multi-jurisdiccional y de grupos involucrados en el tema para la creación de los Planes Regionales en el Manejo de las Cuencas de Agua (IRWMP). Para incentivar a las personas en participar, el estado ha dirigido el dinero de los bonos de agua a disposición de los proyectos de IRWM que solicitan a través de los grupos locales. Desde su creación, $1.5 mil millones de los fondos han sido proporcionados a grupos locales con cuencas o IRWMs, convirtiéndose en una de las fuentes de financiamiento más grande del estado. La Propuesta Uno solo incluye $510 millones para IRWMs. Este programa de financiamiento es importante para dar a conocer el IRWM. Otra razón importante para da a conocer el IRWM es que otros programas estatales en ocasiones requieren que los proyectos sean parte de un plan local de IRWM para poder ser elegibles y recibir el financiamiento.

Como parte de la financiación de la Propuesta Uno del IRWN, también existe un programa específico para las comunidades en desventaja (DACs). La creación de la Planificación Regional Integrada por la Gestión del Agua (IRWM) ha alterado significativamente el enfoque de California para la gestión del agua. A pesar de que el programa ha aumentado debido a los esfuerzos de planificación y financiación, también ha habido continuos desafíos para involucrar y atender las necesidades de las Comunidades en Desventaja (DACs). En respuesta, la Propuesta 84 incluyó una disposición que requiere por lo menos el 10% del total de los fondos estatales para ser usados en los proyectos del DAC. Sin embargo, a pesar de la meta de financiación fijada, siguen existiendo barreras para que los proyectos de DAC sean presentados y financiados a través de IRWN, y aún quedan preguntas sobre cómo asegurar que los proyectos beneficien a las comunidades más vulnerables y abandonadas. Como tal, además de requerir del 10% para financiar proyectos de DAC, la Propuesta 1 incluye una disposición adicional que asigna el 10% de la financiación total de cada región para aumentar la participación de las DACs, de las Áreas Económicamente Desfavorecidas (EDAs), y de aquellas comunidades con escasa representación.

Hay muchos grupos de IRWN que se encuentran en el Valle Central, de los cuales la mayoría cuentan con cuencas de agua subterráneas similares y que están familiarizados con el SGMA (en el Valle Central la mayor parte del agua proviene de las aguas subterráneas por lo que tiene sentido relacionar nuestras cuencas que se encuentran en la superficie con las cuencas de aguas subterráneas). Cada grupo de IRWM está configurado de manera diferente, así que si está interesado en involucrarse lo que puede hacer es entrar en contacto con su grupo local. Usted puede encontrar una lista de contactos en el sitio web de DWR: http://www.water.ca.gov/irwm/grants/ o puede entrar en contacto con Kristin para obtener ayuda.


 

 


published Water Justice Celebration in Attend An Event 2017-07-13 14:19:26 -0700

Water Justice Celebration

 

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Are you interested in sponsoring this event?

See more information, including sponsorship levels here!

WHEN
September 21, 2017 at 5:30pm
WHERE
Cafe 210
210 W Center Ave
Visalia, CA 93291
United States
Google map and directions
$10.00 USD

California Budget Takes Steps to Address State’s Drinking Water Crisis

 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 16, 2017

CONTACT:

Dawn Van Dyke, (916) 447-2854 x 1011, dvandyke@rcac.org
Jonathan Nelson, (530) 848-4460, Jonathan.Nelson@CommunityWaterCenter.org

Advocates say they will continue to push for sustainable statewide funding
 source including SB 623 (Monning)

Sacramento, Calif. -- Water justice advocates and environmental, health, rural and equity organizations thank the California Legislature for including emergency drinking water funds in the 2017-18 state budget to continue to chip away at California’s drinking water crisis. The $17 million allocated will address many immediate needs, but advocates urge the legislature to enact a long-term, sustainable funding source to meet the ongoing needs of the state’s water systems. 

The budget includes $8 million to the State Water Board program for emergency replacement of domestic wells and emergency connections to community water systems; $4 million to the Department of Water Resources for emergency relief and $5 million to the Department of Social Services for an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) water benefit pilot program.

Drinking water advocates are especially grateful to Senator Ricardo Lara, Assemblymembers Richard Bloom and Dr. Joaquin Arambula for their leadership in securing this critical funding.

 “This is a critical step in maintaining a commitment to the vulnerable Californians most affected by the drought, and provides needed resources to continue work toward finding long term sustainable water solutions for them,” said Tom Collishaw, President/Chief Executive Officer, Self-Help Enterprises.

“The funds included in the state budget will ensure continued work to provide relief to the thousands of Californians still impacted by the worst drought in our state’s history, and those facing other water emergencies” said Stanley Keasling, Rural Community Assistance Corporation’s Chief Executive Officer.

“This important funding will help provide emergency drinking water solutions to those in urgent need” said Jonathan Nelson, Policy Director for the Community Water Center. “However, to truly deliver on the promise of the Human Right to Water, the Legislature needs to pass SB 623 (Monning with Principal Co-Author De Leon) this year in order to create a sustainable funding source that ensures all Californians have access to safe and affordable drinking water.” 

Hundreds of California communities are out of compliance with state and federal drinking water standards, and some communities have had arsenic flowing from their taps for more than a decade. The problem is particularly acute in rural, low-income communities throughout the state.

Studies have shown that adequate hydration is linked to students’ higher academic performance. Increased water consumption instead of sugar sweetened beverages like sodas, sports drinks, fruit drinks and flavored milks can help limit weight gain and prevent dental caries.

Despite Governor Brown’s official declaration ending California’s drought, in Central California alone, more than 1,000 residents remain without water. The funds included in this state budget will provide emergency relief including statewide well replacement, permanent connections to public systems, well abandonment and debt relief. 

"This budget also invests in an initiative to bring short-term relief to residents in poverty who have been living for years without safe drinking water, with supplemental CalFresh assistance. Struggling Californians can't afford to wait for long-term solutions. As we work towards sustainable infrastructure, this budget works to help those most in need." Tracey Patterson, Director of Legislation, California Food Policy Advocates.

"We're thrilled to see this continued commitment to safe, affordable and reliable drinking water and wastewater service. Communities that still can't access these fundamental services are fortunate to have champions in state government that are eager to tread alongside on their ongoing fight for the human right to water," said Phoebe Seaton, Co-Director, Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability.

While this budget represents progress, California drinking water advocates will continue to work toward a sustainable funding source to finance much needed water infrastructure improvements for the more than one million Californians who continue to struggle with unsafe or unreliable water. 

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Increased Access to Funding for Drinking Water Projects in Severely Disadvantaged Communities is Adopted at State Board

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Debi Ores, (916)706-3346, Debi.Ores@CommunityWaterCenter.org  

 

Sacramento – This week, the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) approved the 2017-2018 Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Intended Use Plan (DWSRF IUP).

The IUP continues the Board’s commitment to aiding water systems in need of assistance, in particular systems serving disadvantaged communities. The newly approved IUP creates a new designation of Expanded Small Community Water Systems for those that serve 10,000 – 20,000 residents or have between 3,300 and 6,600 service connections. These community systems are now eligible for principal forgiveness funding for up to 50% of their project costs. This will alleviate the financial burden facing already impoverished populations.

Community Water Center (CWC) has advocated for the State Water Board to allow severely disadvantaged communities larger than 10,000 residents to apply for grant funding for the last few years. The inability to receive grant funding creates huge issues for communities like Arvin, who are unable to afford the costs related to pure loan funding to remedy their drinking water problems. This year CWC worked with Assemblymember Salas to author a bill (AB 560) to require this increased funding access to larger SDACs.

“The action taken by the Water Board will bring relief to Arvin and other small communities throughout the Central Valley that have struggled to provide access to clean, affordable drinking water,” said Assemblymember Salas.  “I want to thank the Water Board, CWC and all the stakeholders that made this a reality." 

We thank Assemblymember Salas for his leadership in taking up the important cause of increased access to favorable financing options for some of the communities most in need of assistance in California. CWC is happy that due to Salas’ leadership and the SWRCB, larger SDACs will now have much-needed access to better funding options.

However, while this bill will help improve access for larger disadvantaged communities to receiving assistance for drinking water, California must take the next step of passing SB 623 (Monning), which will provide a new sustainable source of funding to meet longstanding gaps in drinking water funding. The DWSRF and other funding sources, like Prop 1, are limited pots of money reserved only for one-time costs, like capital infrastructure, leaving communities struggling to fund continued operations and maintenance without a funding source. SB 623 will help cover these funding gaps, furthering the goal of ensuring all Californian’s have access to safe, clean, and affordable drinking water.

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June 2017 Newsletter

Water Rates and Affordability Roundtable Recap

On May 23, 2017 water board members/staff, Technical Assistance providers and the State Water Board gathered to discuss water affordability at our second Community Water Leaders Network Roundtable. 

We kicked-off the evening discussing SB 623, a bill that would provide sustainable funding for small water systems including help with Operations & Maintenance expenses. Community Water Center’s Policy Director Jonathan Nelson shared different ways local water systems can get involved in the effort including passing resolutions of support, sending letters, talking with their representatives and talking to media.

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Community Water Leaders Network members at the May roundtable on affordability.

For the rest of the evening we focused on AB 401. AB 401 is a law, passed in 201, that requires the State Water Resources Control Board to develop and submit a plan for a low-income rate assistance program for water to the legislature by early 2018. After a series of public workshops and an economic analysis performed by UCLA, Max Gomberg, Climate and Conservation Manager for the Water Board, reported that the Board was primarily considering three key program features 1) Eligibility: The number and type of households that will qualify 2) Household Benefit: The type and amount of benefit those qualified will receive and 3) The total program costs: Which equal the number of eligible households multiplied by the benefit level. Based on these program features, they have developed four scenarios for discussion purposes.

  1. Scenario 1 - All state households below 200% of the Federal Poverty Line receive a 20% discount on their water bills
  2. Scenario 2 - All State households below 200% of the Federal Poverty Line and paying less than $100 on their monthly water bill receive a 20% discount, households below 200% of the Federal Poverty Line paying $100 or more on their monthly water bill receive a 25% discount.
  3. Scenario 3 - All state households below 200% of the Federal Poverty Line who are not served by a Public Utilities Commission regulated water system with an existing affordability program, receive a 20% discount.
  4. Scenario 4 - All state households below 200% of the Federal Poverty Line who are served by a water system not currently offering a compliant affordability program are enrolled in a state program to receive a 20% discount.

In late June and July, the State Board will be conducting a second round of workshops similar to the one we received to get feedback on these four options. They will also be accepting comments on the four scenarios through the end of July. You can send written comments to Mary Yang at Mary.Yang@waterboards.ca.gov or call her at (916) 322-6507. Hopefully by the end of the year they will present a plan with recommendations to the legislature. At that point it will be up to lawmakers and the governor to decide if they would like move forward legislation on the topic.


Reduced Annual Fees for DAC Public Water Systems

On May 15, 2017 the State Water Resources Control Board Division of Drinking Water issued a letter to Community Public Water Systems informing them of the possibility of reducing their Annual Fee if the system serves a Disadvantaged Community (DAC).

If you qualify (the Median Household Income in your community is less than $49,454), the reduced fee for your water system will be based on the number of connections that you serve. Systems serving fewer than 100 connections will pay $100. Systems serving 15,000 connections or less will pay $100 plus $2 for each service connection greater than 100.

If you believe your water system is eligible and wish to receive a reduced Annual Fee, submit a request in the form of a signed letter and include information demonstrating that your community meets the definition of a Disadvantaged Community, the DDW will respond.

You can find the letter they sent here. If you have any questions, contact your District Engineer.


Resource of the Month - Legal Technical Assistance from UC Davis’ Water Justice Clinic

Recently, the U.C. Davis Martin Luther King Jr. School of Law launched a Water Justice legal clinic designed to advocate for clean, healthy and adequate water supplies for all Californians. The director of the clinic, Camille Pannu, may be familiar to some Valley Water Leaders, as she used to work on environmental justice cases as a legal fellow for the Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment in Delano.

Through the Proposition 1 water bond, the Water Justice Clinic received a three-year grant from the State Water Resources Control Board Office of Sustainable Water Solutions to provide legal services. Indeed, the Clinic is the primary legal services provider among the organizations funded by Proposition 1 Technical Assistance grants.

To receive help from the clinic a Technical Assistance request needs to be made to the State Water Board. This can be done by another Technical Assistance provider, if you are already working with one. This can also be done directly by working with Camille. One important restriction to keep in mind, is that to be eligible for these services, the proposed legal work needs to be related to a future or current capital improvement project in your community.


Don’t Miss our Next Network Briefing: June 22, 4-5 PM

Network “briefings” are monthly conference calls that provide members the opportunity to connect with each other, crowd-source questions, and receive information from the comfort of their own homes. We changed service providers which means starting this month, we have a new conference call phone number and passcode. To join, dial (929) 432-4463, when prompted, enter the access code 5254-59-7515 followed by the pound key (#). Let Kristin know if you need a pre-paid calling card in order to call long-distance.

Agenda:

        1.   Member updates and questions

        2.   Regional and state updates and questions

        3.   Monthly discussion topic: Annual reports/CCRs, AB 401 input


Upcoming Events and Trainings: 

Find more events on our Community Water Leaders online calendar found at http://www.communitywatercenter.org/water_leaders_network.


Mid-Session Legislative Update 

We are more than half-way through this legislative session and many of the water bills that we have been following are still alive and making their way through the lawmaking process. Here is the latest on some key bills that could, if passed, impact local water systems: 

SB 623 (Monning): SB 623, which would establish a new Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund to be housed at the State Water Resources Control Board, passed out of the Senate at the end of May. The bill will now move to the Assembly for consideration. The Fund, once implemented, would be used to meet long-standing gaps in funding such as operation and maintenance costs that have prevented so many communities from being able to provide reliable safe drinking water to their constituents.

AB 560 (Salas): AB 560 is intended to formalize the State Water Resources Control Board’s authority to provide water systems serving SDACs principal forgiveness/grants and 0% financing for water projects through Drinking Water State Revolving Fund if paying back loans would increase water rates to unaffordable levels. A few months ago the draft Intended Use Plan for the fund was released and it included most of the changes proposed by AB 560. It is unclear if after the formal adoption of the IUP, this bill will be dropped by the author or not. 

SB 427 (Leyva): SB 427 would require a public water system to provide a timeline for replacement of known lead user service lines in its distribution system to the State Water Board by July 1, 2020. This bill moves on to Assembly Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee next. 

AB 277 (Mathis): AB 27 would establish the Water and Wastewater Loan and Grant Fund to allow counties and nonprofits to provide low-interest loans and grants to eligible applicants for drinking water needs and wastewater treatment while still having centralized oversight from the State Water Resources Control Board. This bill will be heard next in the Senate Environmental Quality Committee. 

SB 252 (Dodd): SB 252 creates additional requirements on people applying to drill new wells (not replacement wells or domestic wells) within critically overdrafted basins such as requiring neighbors to be notified, requiring public hearings, and requiring a public comment period. This bill is heading next to Water, Parks, and Wildlife Committee, as well as to the Local Government committee and will likely face some steep opposition ahead.


Submit your Application to Join the Project Advisory Committee (PAC) for the Tulare Lake Basin Disadvantaged Community Involvement Project

The Tulare Lake Basin Disadvantaged Community Involvement Project is a $3.4 million grant-funded effort that aims to support the long-term water planning needs and improve the participation of Disadvantaged Communities (DACs) in Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) in Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Kern Counties. The Project is funded by the Department of Water Resources (DWR) through the Proposition 1 Disadvantaged Community Involvement Program and will be administered locally by the County of Tulare. 

IRWM planning, as you probably remember, is a statewide voluntary water planning effort that seeks to incentivize regional collaboration between local agencies in order to promote regional water management and the implementation of multi-benefit projects. The Department of Water Resources is responsible for administering the IRWM program and awards certain state funds only to IRWM groups.

The Tulare Lake Basin Disadvantaged Community Involvement project will fund the following activities:

  • Needs Assessment of all communities within the TLB area. The needs assessment will include an evaluation of the community characteristics, drinking water, wastewater, stormwater and other water related needs.
  • Project Development, to help communities develop shovel-ready projects that will be competitive to receive planning or construction funding, e.g. engineering, environmental documents, application preparation and more.
  • DAC Engagement and Education Program. Possible activities include community meetings, training workshops and educational tours/field trips. 
  • Project Administration and Reporting Tasks

Additionally, the project will fund third-party facilitation for a Project Advisory Committee (PAC). The PAC will be a diverse stakeholder group of IRWM, DAC and Tribal representatives. The role of the PAC is to oversee the project, guide the project team, and make key decisions during the implementation of the program. PAC members will help ensure this project is successful be developing program guidelines, identifying common water needs within the region and opportunities to develop multi-benefit and regional projects/solutions and reviewing and ranking proposals for project development. 

The Tulare Lake Basin Disadvantaged Community Involvement project creates a unique opportunity to meet the long-term water planning needs, and improve the participation of Disadvantaged Communities (DACs) in Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM). We need DAC representatives like you to participate on the PAC in order to ensure the project is successful! If you are interested in applying to serve on the PAC, talk to your local IRWM group or contact Community Water Center or Self-Help Enterprises. 



Do you have any questions about this newsletter or the Community Water Leaders Network? 
Contact Kristin Dobbin at 559-733-0219 or kristin.dobbin@communitywatercenter.org.


Governor's Revised Budget Does Not Adequately Address Drinking Water Crisis Affecting One Million Californians

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Jenny Rempel, (559) 284-6327 (cell), Jenny.Rempel@CommunityWaterCenter.org  

Dawn Van Dyke, (916) 447-2854 x 1011, dvandyke@rcac.org

Matt Davis, (510) 717-1617 (cell), mattdavis@cleanwater.org

Advocates Say Administration and Legislature Must Create a Sustainable Funding Source to Guarantee Safe Water

Sacramento, CA | May 12, 2017 -- Water justice advocates and environmental, health, rural, and equity organizations were dismayed that the Governor’s revised budget does not go far enough to address the state’s drinking water crisis. Almost five years after the Governor signed into law the Human Right to Water, 300 communities and one million Californians – far more than the population of Flint, Michigan – still lack this basic human right.

The Governor’s January Budget stated, “Although much progress has been made, some disadvantaged communities rely on contaminated groundwater and lack the resources to operate and maintain their water systems to deliver safe and affordable water. The Administration is committed to working with the Legislature and stakeholders to address this issue.”

“California has been a leader on drinking water, but we have to commit sustained funding if we want to solve the crisis this year,” said Laurel Firestone, Co-Executive Director of Community Water Center.

The State Water Resources Control Board released data in February indicating that hundreds of California communities are not able to finance long-overdue drinking water solutions. Some communities have had arsenic flowing from their taps for over a decade.

“Safe drinking water has been a priority for this administration, but it's still not adequately addressed in the budget that just came out,” said Jennifer Clary, Water Programs Manager at Clean Water Action California.

Arsenic, nitrate, and disinfectant byproducts are the most commonly occurring contaminants. Drinking water with these contaminants can cause rashes, miscarriages, and even cancer.

“The Governor’s Administration has prioritized the issue in the past, and now is the year for the administration and the legislature to invest in a lasting funding solution to ensure every Californian has safe and affordable drinking water,” said Phoebe Seaton, Co-Executive Director of Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability.

“We need to double down our efforts to provide clean drinking water to children and contribute to their overall health and wellbeing,” said Kula Koenig, Government Relations Director, American Heart Association.

Funding for drought solutions remained at $5 million. However, even with the Governor’s recent declaration ending the state’s five year drought, advocates say this amount is not sufficient to meet many residents’ needs, primarily in small, low-income communities. In Central California alone, more than 1,000 residents are still without water. More funds are needed for emergency relief including statewide well replacement, permanent connections to public systems, well abandonment and debt relief.

“We appreciate that the Governor allocated modest funds for emergency relief. However, too many vulnerable Californians are still without access to drinking water,” said Stanley Keasling, RCAC’s chief executive officer. “For these residents, long-term drought impacts continue. Additional funding is critical to alleviating their suffering.”

“We are pleased that the Governor sees the need to address the lingering impacts of the drought on families who are still without running water at home,” said Tom Collishaw, Self-Help Enterprises’ President/Chief Executive Officer. “But having arsenic, nitrate or pesticides flowing from your tap is equally an emergency. We need state leaders to create a sustainable funding source this year to guarantee every Californian safe water.”

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published Sonia Saini in Our Team 2017-05-17 11:43:15 -0700

Sonia Saini

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Policy Analyst

Sonia joined Community Water Center in 2017 as a Policy Analyst and is primarily responsible for coordinating and implementing community-driven policy campaigns. She grew up in the Sacramento area. After studying at UC Davis, Sonia worked with Sacramento County on its Climate Action Plan before moving to Washington, D.C. to pursue a master’s degree in Global Environmental Policy.

After graduating, she interned with World Resources Institute and worked for the federal government and for an international land rights coalition before returning to California. Sonia has studied, worked, and/or conducted research in Mexico, Cuba, and Colombia. She enjoys reading, traveling, and cuddling with cats. 


published Lamont in Where We Work 2017-04-21 11:16:15 -0700

Lamont

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Miguel Sanchez has lived in Lamont, a small town in Kern County for over 40 years. Lamont is approximately 4.6 square miles, but only .65% of that land is water. There are 7 wells in lamont, but 1 has excessive arsenic and many others have 123 TCP well over the notification limit. 123 TCP is a contaminate derived from soil pesticides that were used in the 1950s that still persist in the soil.

“As a business man in Lamont, this community has been great to me and other businesses,” Miguel said. Miguel has served in many Lamont community organizations, including the Lamont Public Utility District, the Lamont School District, Lamont Parks & Recreation, Lamon Storm Water Districts, and the Local Chamber. “I really enjoy our community members, they are wonderful. I would like to help our community grow more,” he says. Miguel says that Lamont is too small to be an officially independent city, and thus Lamont has to adhere to local supervisors for major decisions instead of relying on local community members, who are the people actually impacted.

Miguel believes that other barriers to water security in Lamont include inadequate informational notices. “The community needs more information about water to better comprehend what the state standards mean." These notices can be hard to understand, especially for many residents of Lamont who don’t speak English as a first language. Additionally, Miguel thinks that Lamont should invest in new water infrastructure. “Our infrastructure is old and so are our wells; in being proactive I’d like our community to have the existing infrastructure replaced.” He would also like safe water filters installed on taps to help remove pollutants. “I like the filters installed throughout the community and would like to continue programs such as those and help secure funds to maintain them,” he said.

Some of these goals are currently in progress. Lamont recently received a grant to construct a new well. Construction was completed in spring 2016. CWC has helped to ensure that the new wells are blended to ensure that all of the population of Lamont is serviced and has access to the new wells, and that the water from the new wells is safe.

 


published West Goshen in Where We Work 2017-04-21 11:15:52 -0700

West Goshen

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West Goshen is a very small unincorporated community located just east of Visalia in Tulare County. It is home to approximately 500 people, the majority of which are low-income Latinos, and its economy is supported primarily by agriculture and dairies.

West Goshen has not had access to safe drinking water for at least 4 years. There have been ongoing nitrate and bacteria contamination, and “no-drink” orders have been in place since 2013. To make matters worse, West Goshen’s wells began failing in early 2012. The main well collapsed in 2012, forcing the West Goshen Water District to switch to a backup well. California’s continuing drought conditions worsened West Goshen’s situation, and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) identified West Goshen as being in immediate danger of acute drinking water shortages. CDPH provided $250,000 in emergency funding to replace the failing well pump and providing temporary bottled drinking water. Within a month of being granted this emergency funding, a 350-foot-section of the backup system’s water pipe collapsed and residents of West Goshen were without any water for several days. Due to well damage, pumps began to suck in sand, which ruined the pumps for both wells and clogged the main water lines to homes and even flowed out of some taps. Residents were forced to travel to nearby towns to take showers, brush their teeth, cook, and drink.

CWC has been helping West Goshen plan a new well and connect with Visalia’s water service. In March 2014, West Goshen was granted $3 million from the Safe Drinking Water State Revolving Fund to replace its distribution system, install water meters and build an interconnection with the California Water Service Company (CalWater) in Visalia. The consolidation of water service with Visalia will relieve West Goshen of drought-related problems as well as address some of its ongoing water quality issues.

 


published East Porterville in Where We Work 2017-04-21 11:14:36 -0700

East Porterville

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Tomas Garcia, a resident of East Porterville for over 30 years, has been a water justice advocate since the drought began to affect his community’s water supply. “I started having trouble with my well,” he said. “I thought it was going to be a very simple deal to fix the situation but it was a very complicated situation.” Since then, Tomas has worked with CWC to organize East Porterville for Water Justice (EPWJ), a community based organization made up of impacted residents working for water solutions.  “I like to help my community. What I do, I do for my family,” he said.

The drought disproportionately affects residents of East Porterville because East Porterville is an unincorporated community of approximately 7,500 residents, many of whom are low-income Latinos, that relies on groundwater from private wells. As many as 300 wells went dry during the hot summer months of 2014, and many others are contaminated with nitrate pollutants. At least 1800 homes in East Porterville are not connected to city water, and those that are still face the problem of contamination. “A lot of people in my community don’t want to speak and let people know they are suffering,” Tomas said. “When you come home from work (after) 10 hours and there’s not water, it’s very hard.”

CWC helped Tomas get bottled water and a tank installed to serve his home. “(CWC) helped me have more time with my family.” Tomas has two young daughters in elementary and middle school, and he worries about their access to water. The school has running water, but he is concerned about potential pollution. “At school the kids get city water. I don’t know how good the water is for drinking,” he says, “It’s better they have bottled water.”

The city of Porterville and private residents began providing the community emergency drinking water supplies in the fall of 2014. The Porterville Area Coordinating Council (PACC) provided residents with 275-gallon water tanks, and the City of Porterville has funded refilling these tanks. The city of Porterville would like to connect East Porterville to their water system and has installed lines in some areas, but additional funding and capacity is required to solve this problem.

 


published Ducor in Where We Work 2017-04-21 11:14:11 -0700

Ducor

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Ducor, a small town of approximately 800 people, has had severe water injustice problems for many years, and these problems were exacerbated during the drought. Ruth Martinez lived in Ducor for the past 40 years, "Little kids were getting rashes from showering, and mothers were complaining that their kids were getting sick. [There were] lots of complaints from everyone, kidney problems [were reported]...” she said. The residents of Ducor had been aware that there was contamination in the water, and these health symptoms made it obvious. Furthermore, water from the tap smelled terrible due to high levels of poisonous arsenic contamination. The drought caused even more problems and reduced water access. "We had no water pressure and they didn't want us to flush our toilets or wash our dishes at a certain time." Kids were not permitted to flush toilets at school, which was dirty and not sanitary. Residents of Ducor were forced to spend enormous amounts of money on water. Every month, Ruth said she spent $65 on her water bill and an additional $100 on bottled water for drinking. Her neighbors all had the same problems, but not all of them could speak english so it was difficult for them to speak up.

Ruth began to organize. She held meetings at her house, and worked with organizations like AGUA and CWC to confront water injustice. She became a member of community water board in Ducor. "We had go to Sacramento and Tulare/Visalia county offices before they would take care of the problem." Due to this strong community organizing, Ducor has had many successes. "The elementary school across from the orange grove was being sprayed with pesticides,” Ruth said. “We prevented them from spraying pesticides and created an agricultural barrier." Additionally, the community got a loan from Self Help Enterprises and was able to use the money to drill a new well to serve Ducor’s needs. In February 2016, Ruth received a recognition award in Sacramento from CWC. "All of Ducor has problems with contaminated water, I foresee with a lot of petitions and help from the communities we can eventually say, ‘Hey no more contaminated water!’ Water is not a privilege and we have a right to clean water. It's something we all strive for everyday," Ruth says.

 


published Cutler in Where We Work 2017-04-21 11:13:35 -0700

Cutler

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Cutler is an unincorporated community of approximately 5,000 people, nearly all of whom are farmworker families, located in Tulare County. Access to drinking water has been a challenge since at least 2014, and contamination has been an ongoing issue. Residents of Cutler are served contaminated groundwater with levels of the pesticide DBCP and nitrates over the federal health standards. The Cutler Public Utility Distric (CPUD) backup well is contaminated, but is still used as a supplementary source of drinking water when water levels in the primary well are too low, often during the summer. 

Jesus Quedevo has lived in Cutler for the past 46 years. He recently had to retire from farmwork in order to take care of his ill wife, and this motivated him to help his community through volunteering. Jesus has been involved in water justice movements and community development organizations, and has helped create positive change in Cutler.

Jesus is especially passionate about clean water in schools, which helps to improve equitable access to education. “My major goal is for all students to get an education… I have a lot of grandchildren in the (school) district… and through continuous communication and collaboration we've received grants to provide drinking water at our local high school.” He has also achieved other water successes in the community. “For the past 10 years, (we have been) working with CWC to access clean drinking water and Proper Notice.” These notices alert community members, in multiple languages, when water is contaminated by pollutants. Previously, community members weren’t adequately notified of contamination in water, or how to effectively respond to the contamination. For example, there are some pollutants, like nitrates, that become more toxic when they are boiled, and these notifications now explain these nuances. In addition, Jesus organized with the community to help conserve water, and Cutler successfully reduced their water consumption by 29%.  

Cutler has had trouble finding a source of groundwater that is uncontaminated, so they must use surface water supplies. The nearby Alta Irrigation District is considering building a plant to treat surface water from the Friant-Kern Canal. This water would supplement the drinking water of Cutler and other neighboring communities. Jesus has also been working with the North Tulare County Governance Study project to improve water access. “We are working towards the goals to improve our drinking waters, and be able to trust and drink our water… If we continue to participate and don't forget about the goal of accessing clean drinking water, we'll reach our goal,” he hopes. “Our community successes are not because of me. I've only been part of the successes gained.”


published Monson in Where We Work 2017-04-21 11:13:12 -0700

Monson

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Tony Torres, 71 stands near his well. He was the first Monson resident to receive a water filtration system in his home, making it safe to drink the water that comes out of his tap. (Credit: Blue Planet Network, storiesofwater.org)

Monson is a small unincorporated community that struggles with securing a safe supply of drinking water. It is a primarily Latino community in Tulare County, located just a few miles from other small communities such as Sultana and the larger city of Dinuba. Surrounded by agriculture fields and dairies, the community is home to approximately 200 people, many of whom live below the poverty line. It is not connected to a Community Services District (CSD), and instead residents are served by individual private wells with some of the most contaminated water in Tulare County.

Monson has been without clean water for at least 9 years, and possibly longer. The first tests confirming this suspected contamination discovered many wells with nitrate levels that exceeded the federal health standard by as much as 300%. Several wells also contain bacteria and 1,2-Dibromo-3-chloropropane (DBCP), a pesticide that was banned in the 1970s but persists in the soil and groundwater. These contaminants cause serious health risks. For example, ingestion of nitrate-contaminated water is extremely harmful to human health and has been linked to methemoglobinemia, or “Baby Blue Syndrome,” and a range of serious gastrointestinal and endocrine system illnesses.

Without a central water provider, Monson residents face significant barriers to obtaining the information and resources they need to solve their drinking water challenges. In 2013, CWC worked with a number of community members to install filters as an interim solution to have safe water in their homes. For more information on this, see Logan’s Story.

With the help of Tulare County and the neighboring community of Sultana, Monson is currently seeking planning funds from California State Water Board and the USDA to evaluate possible solutions, including the consolidating with Sultana and drilling new wells that would serve both communities in a singular Sultana-Monson Community Services District (CSD). 


published Poplar in Where We Work 2017-04-21 11:12:53 -0700

Poplar

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Poplar, called Poplar-Cotton Center for census designation purposes, is an unincorporated community located in south central Tulare County. Approximately 2,500 people, the majority of which are low-income Latinos, reside in Poplar. The community is dominated by agriculture and industrial activities. Poplar has not had access to clean drinking water since at least summer 2014. The community relies on groundwater and has three wells, one of which is not in use due to nitrate contamination. Water levels in the other two wells are dropping as drought conditions worsen, which causes the pumping capacity of the pumps to decrease along with water pressure. 

Poplar was facing huge delays in progress towards water security, and CWC was able to get the California Department of Public Health involved so that projects could gain momentum. Poplar was one of eleven communities in Tulare County to secure emergency funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for drought assistance in late summer 2014. Poplar Community Services District received $462,000 to install two pumps that reach greater depths, but as groundwater levels continue to drop Poplar will need a new well altogether. Poplar Community Services District has applied for a grant from the state to do a feasibility study and if granted, construction could take several additional years.

 


published East Orosi in Where We Work 2017-04-21 11:11:54 -0700

East Orosi

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Tiene que nacer un niño azul o tiene que morir los niños para que nos ayuden.
A baby needs to be born blue or children need to die in order for them to help us.
- Maria Elena Orozco, resident of East Orosi.

East Orosi is an unincorporated community in Tulare County of approximately 500 people, nearly all of whom are low-income Latino farmworker families. East Orosi is served by the East Orosi Community Service District, and almost all the groundwater supplies in the area are contaminated.

Residents haven't had safe drinking water intermittently for 10 years. The groundwater in the area has nitrate levels that regularly exceed the federal health standard. Because of this, residents in East Orosi have to pay for water twice - once for water from their tap that they cannot drink, and again when they drive long distances to buy large jugs of potable water for their families.

CWC has supported East Orosi in securing funding and creating long-term solutions. East Orosi secured Prop. 84 funding to rehabilitate their existing wells; this project was expected to be completed by September 2015 but is still underway. The community is also seeking funding to install water meters to help track and conserve their water supply. Additionally, plans are underway to consolidate East Orosi’s water system with nearby city of Orosi’s and to build a new well that will serve both communities.

 


published Arvin in Where We Work 2017-04-21 11:11:42 -0700

Arvin

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Arvin is home to approximately 20,000 people, the majority of which are low-income Latinos. It is known for its large agricultural sector, which was heavily impacted during the drought. Arvin has not had access to safe drinking water for at least 11 years. All 6 available wells contain arsenic at levels that exceed the federal health standard. 

Joaquin Duran (pictured left) has lived in Arvin for 10 of those years years. Prior to living in Arvin, he lived in the Bay area, “I moved to Arvin to be with my wife's family.  Upon arrival, I saw the drastic difference between the two areas and surrounding communities. I remember not being able to sit outside my yard because of the polluted airs’ strong smell everywhere.” Joaquin said. "I learned that the water was contaminated with arsenic. I felt that was unacceptable... I right away began to get involved in community work regarding groundwater contamination and engaging the community to join me.” Joaquin is a member of the Committee for Better Arvin, and helped Arvin secure water filters for its citizens.

Water security has been a difficult problem to solve because of lack of attention and response from government agencies. One barrier that Arvin has faced is in mobilizing community members. “Everyone was already conformed to the idea that bad air and water was something that couldn’t be changed, so reversing that (idea) took a lot of effort,” Joaquin said. “Community engagement lacked; I remember talking to a lot of community members, street by street, getting them involved and engaged through meetings and flyers....  I also remember doing Radio Bilingual and TV interviews to help get the word out about the issues facing my community. ” Joaquin has seen huge successes through this work. “I like the unity among the community. This wasn't the case several years ago. I enjoy seeing community members helping one another,” he said. Joaquin is also proud of other water victories in Arvin. He helped to have water filters installed in schools, so that children would have access to healthy drinking water. “I have kids... and I am happy that one of our victories has been having filters in our schools. My kids stopped drinking sugary beverages and lost 13 lbs after drinking clean water.” However, Joaquin still feels that improvements can be made at schools because the water from the drinking fountain comes out hot because of the plumbing pipes heating throughout the day.

My proudest moment was getting the Superfund money from the state and the tap filter installation program (in schools)…” Joaquin believes that water safety work will continue. He hopes that four new wells are completed, and that the old wells contaminated by pesticides and dairy byproducts are closed.

To help with these goals, CWC has helped Arvin implement a plan to replace its wells with new wells in areas with lower arsenic levels. Arvin secured Prop. 84 funding to with this project, and phased construction of the replacement wells is underway and expected to take 2-3 years to complete.

 


published Seville in Where We Work 2017-04-21 11:08:51 -0700

Seville

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The money that we are spending on safe drinking water could be used on educational material instead.
- Rebecca Quintana, Seville school board member

Seville is a small, low-income community in Tulare county of approximately 74 homes, one elementary school, and a small store; the majority of residents are farmworkers and the median household income is about $14,000 a year. Seville has been without safe drinking water for over 50 years. Residents are served contaminated groundwater with nitrate levels over the federal health standards, face consistent water shortages and substandard water infrastructure. Seville has old, leaky pipes, and water faucets clogged with sand and rocks.

The local elementary school, Stone Corral Elementary, is California’s poorest school. In 2014, Seville finally got a new well. Prior to this, Stone Corral Elementary was forced to spend $500- $600 a month on bottled water for children. Plans are currently underway to consolidate with the nearby community of Yettem’s water system. Yettem is also struggling with high nitrate levels, but consolidation of these two systems would give both communities a more secure supply of safe drinking water.

CWC has been working with Seville since December of 2008. CWC helped the community establish the community-based organization Committee for a Better Seville, and helped the community address funding hurdles and secure planning money. CWC also helped the community lobby the County of Tulare to have the county act as their receiver, and Tulare County now operates the water provision in Seville which eases the strain on this overburdened community.  

 


California Takes Strong Steps Toward Making Water Conservation a Way of Life

For Immediate Release

Contacts:
Kimiko Martinez, Natural Resources Defense Council, kmartinez@nrdc.org310-434-2344
Sara Aminzadeh, California Coastkeeper Alliance, sara@cacoastkeeper.org415-794-8422
Cynthia Koehler, WaterNow Alliance, ck@waternow.org415-515-0511

California Takes Strong Steps Toward Making Water Conservation a Way of Life

Reduced pressure on water supplies will enhance long-term water security and climate resiliency

SACRAMENTO, CA (April 7, 2017) —  State officials today released a comprehensive plan to formalize Governor Brown’s 2016 Executive Order on “Making Water Conservation a California Way of Life.”

The plan sets a strong path toward achieving the objectives of the order: using water more wisely, eliminating water waste, strengthening local drought resilience, improving agricultural water use efficiency and drought planning. It sets the stage for further Water Board work to ensure that all water is valued and used efficiently, including recycled water, and also prepares California for the realities of living with climate change, including more frequent droughts and floods similar to those we’ve seen recently.

The plan:

  • focuses on improving urban water efficiency, particularly for landscaping
  • eliminates wasteful practices and strengthens drought preparedness for cities, towns and rural communities
  • emphasizes local control and decision-making> by allowing each of the state’s 410 water utilities to work within a customized water budget based on population, land use, climate and other local factors that influence indoor and outdoor water use. Local utilities can choose how best to meet their targets, including through leak repair, offering rebates for more efficient showers and clothes washers, or helping customers transition to more climate appropriate landscapes

Following is a statement from Tracy Quinn, senior water policy analyst with Natural Resources Defense Council:
“Recent events at Oroville Dam and elsewhere statewide demonstrate the vulnerability of our water supply infrastructure, which can occur during both wet and dry periods, and reinforces the value of water efficiency regardless of the weather. Some of the easiest and least expensive ways to ensure that we have sustainable water supplies in the future is to increase water efficiency, fix leaks and eliminate wasteful practices like hosing down sidewalks. These are common sense fixes that mean more water for us in the long run.”

Following is a statement from Sara Aminzadeh, executive director of California Coastkeeper Alliance:
“The last five years have shown us that we can no longer take water for granted. This plan will help California end the cycle of lurching from one water crisis to the next and ensure our communities and economy can continue to thrive in an uncertain climate reality.”

Following is a statement from Cynthia Koehler, executive director of WaterNow Alliance: 
“Water use efficiency and innovation have huge potential in California, and the State’s conservation plan supports local water providers in their efforts to scale up these programs and make their communities more resilient and water secure – while keeping costs affordable for ratepayers.

Following is a statement from Heather Cooley, water program director at the Pacific Institute: 
“Californians have made major water conservation and efficiency improvements over the last several decades and especially during the recent drought. Without these efforts, the state’s water challenges would be much worse. The good news is that there remains additional efficiency opportunities, and the state’s plan to make conservation a California way of life will help ensure that California communities, businesses, and ecosystems have the water they need to thrive.”

Following is a statement from Laurel Firestone, co-director of Community Water Center:
“The plan helps ensure affordability of our water supplies, a major issue for low-income communities. In addition, improving drought planning and preparedness, as the plan aims to do, will help protect our most vulnerable communities from the water shortages they have seen during this drought and that will only become more common in the future.”

Following is a statement from Jonathan Parfrey, executive director of Climate Resolve:
“Climate change is bringing more extreme weather. Our dry years have become drier and our wet years have become more extreme. With water supply at risk, it’s common sense for California to conserve and make the most of every drop.”

Background
The plan released today was written by the five state agencies that will lead its implementation – the California Department of Water Resources, State Water Resources Control Board, California Public Utilities Commission, California Department of Food and Agriculture, and California Energy Commission.

Earlier this year, 36 leading water and climate scientists delivered a letter to Gov. Brown to express their support for Executive Order B-37-16 and the state’s draft plan to make water conservation a California way of life. The plan has also received support from a diverse array of stakeholders, including the Building Industry Association, Moulton Niguel Water District, Inland Empire Utilities Agency, Climate Resolve, WaterNow Alliance, California Coastkeeper Alliance, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Community Water Center, Pacific Institute, Environmental Justice Coalition for Water and the Water Foundation.

The plan has also received support from a diverse array of businesses, water agencies, environmental justice organizations and non-governmental organizations, many of whom served on the Urban Advisory Group panel who informed the development of the plan over several months.

The proposed urban water use standards are intended to build upon the conservation achieved under SBx7-7 and the emergency mandatory conservation targets. They reflect the need to transition from conservation (simply using less water) toward using water more efficiently. The state proposes to finalize the standards, which will define efficient use, by 2020. Water suppliers will then use those standards to calculate customized water use targets, which they will be required to meet by 2025. The state may also establish interim targets to ensure suppliers are on track to meet 2025 targets.

###

About California Coastkeeper Alliance
Using law, policy and science, California Coastkeeper Alliance supports and amplifies the work of 12 local Waterkeeper programs to fight for swimmable, fishable and drinkable waters for California communities and ecosystems.  CCKA was founded in 1999 with the belief that a healthy ocean and coast and clean water is vital to California’s economy, public health and way of life. Visit us at www.cacoastkeeper.org and follow us on twitter @CA_Waterkeepers.

About Climate Resolve
Climate Resolve is a Los Angeles-based nonprofit, founded in 2010, dedicated to creating real, practical solutions to meet the climate challenge while building a better city for Angelenos. Visit us at www.climateresolve.org and follow us twitter @climateresolve.

About Community Water Center
The Community Water Center (CWC) believes all communities should have access to clean, safe, and affordable water. CWC acts as a catalyst for community-driven water solutions through organizing, education, and advocacy in California’s San Joaquin Valley. Visit us at www.communitywatercenter.org and follow us on twitter @CWaterC.

About the Natural Resources Defense Council
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 2 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world’s natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on twitter @NRDC.

About the Pacific Institute
The Pacific Institute is a global water think tank that creates and advances solutions to some of the world’s most pressing water challenges through interdisciplinary research and by partnering with a variety of stakeholders. Founded in 1987 and based in Oakland, California, the Pacific Institute envisions a world in which society, the economy, and the environment have the water they need to thrive now and in the future. Visit us at www.pacinst.org and follow us on twitter @PacificInstitut.

About WaterNow Alliance
WaterNow Alliance is a network of water utility leaders across the West dedicated to high impact, widespread adoption of sustainable water solutions in communities.  Visit us at www.waternow.org and follow us on twitter @WaterNowOrg.


March 2017 CWLN Newsletter

Funding Update on Prop 1

Proposition 1 (Prop 1), also known as the Water Bond, passed in 2014, authorizing $7.545 billion in general obligation bonds for water projects including surface and groundwater storage, ecosystem and watershed protection and restoration, and drinking water protection. The legislature has appropriated $2 billion from Prop 1 for the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) to administer.

At the February 22nd State Water Board hearing in Sacramento, staff provided an update on the status of each of the funding programs under Prop 1, as well as the overall accomplishments of the Water Bond so far. The Division of Financial Assistance staff reported that in the calendar year 2016, the State Water Board executed 123 agreements totaling $287 million. They also reported that each of the Prop 1 funding programs have been oversubscribed, and that SWRCB is working to process the overwhelming amount of applications they’ve received and execute the approved projects. A list of all of the projects funded so far by the State Board through Proposition can be found here. See below for more information about each funding program.

Proposition One funding programs administered by the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB):

  Funding Program

Funding Amount

Funding Used

Technical Assistance funding used

Status

Small Community Wastewater

$260 million

$32 million executed in agreements in 2016; $13 million executed thus far in 2017.  $170 million in submitted/in progress apps.

$47 million (for DW and wastewater combined)

Ongoing.

 

Projecting over $50 million to be executed in 2017.

Water Recycling

$625 million*

Over $1 billion in grant requests and over $2 billion in loan requests. $142 million in executed grants so far.

-         

Funding requests exceed funding availability.

Drinking Water

$260 million

$44 million executed in 2016. $227 million in submitted or in progress apps = $271 million

$47 million (for DW and wastewater combined)

Projecting $127 million to be executed in 2017.

Stormwater

$200 million

$9.6 million awarded for planning and $105 million awarded for implementation

 

=$114.6 million. Over 50% of implementation directly benefits Disadvantaged Communities.

Executed $1 million in TA

Round 2 funding to start in late 2018.

Groundwater Sustainability

$800 million**

30 projects with signed agreements totaling $216 million. $110 million more expected in agreements May - Sept 2017.

Executed $3 million in TA

2nd round of solicitation expected in October 2017

 


Community Spotlight!

An interview with Community Water Leaders Network Member Jim Maciel of Armona CSD about Armona’s Arsenic Treatment Plant project:

How long has Armona had Arsenic problems?

Our problem started on Jan. 1, 2001 when the EPA lowered the arsenic MCL from 50ppb to 10ppb, putting us out of compliance.

How and when did your Arsenic treatment plant project come about?

In Oct. of 2008, the EPA issued an Administrative Order requiring the District to develop a plan and take corrective action to come in compliance or face a $35,000 per day fine.

What is the status of the project right now?

As of Mar. 13th, the project is 82% complete with an anticipated completion date of May 6, 2017.

Where did the funding for the project come from?

Funding is coming from a $5,000,000 grant and $4,200,000 zero percent, 30 year loan from the SWRCB Revolving Fund.

What has been the biggest challenge in getting this project done?

Initially, finding a suitable location was a problem.  On our third attempt we were able to drill a test well to 1800 ft. that indicated suitable water stratas between 750 and 1100 feet. Once the location was approved, the next hurdle we had to overcome was getting the design work for the well and treatment plant approved by the Water Board and paying off an existing $1,600,000 loan with the USDA in order for the State to fund the project. We went through the bid process and were fortunate in awarding the bid to Specialty Construction of San Luis Obispo and they have been doing an excellent job constructing the facility.  We are currently running about 45 days behind schedule due to the rains - but we are not complaining.

What has Armona CSD done really well, either in getting the project going or managing the project?

In 2008, the Board of Directors authorized Prop. 218 hearings with our residents and approved a 5 year, 5 step increase in our water rates in order to financially justify this project. Because our residents agreed to these increases, we were able to prove to the State that we can purchase, operate the facility and pay back the loan. Our operators, Granger Water Specialties and our engineers at Provost and Pritchard have done an excellent job in managing the project and keeping change orders to a minimum.

What have you learned from the project so far?

Obtaining a reliable source of water and being able to treat and filter the water to bring the water into compliance with State and Federal requirements can be a very challenging job. We look forward to the day this facility is providing safe, affordable drinking water to the residents of Armona.


Don’t miss our next Network Briefing: March 23, 4-5 PM

Network “briefings” are monthly conference calls that provide members the opportunity to connect with each other, crowd-source questions, and receive information from the comfort of their own homes. To join, simply dial (571) 317-3122, when prompted, enter the access code 611-041-917 followed by the pound key (#). Press # when prompted for the Audio Pin. Let Kristin know if you need a pre-paid calling card in order to call long-distance.

Agenda:

  1. Member updates and questions
  2. Regional and state updates and questions
  3. Monthly discussion topic: Staffing and consultants

 


2017 to be big year for safe, affordable water legislation!

This legislative session is already proving to be a big year for safe, affordable drinking water in California. Several legislators have introduced a long list of bills that will have impacts on water management in California. Here are a few of the key bills that Community Water Center is sponsoring or tracking closely:

SB 623 (Monning): would establish a new Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund to be housed at the State Water Resources Control Board. The Fund, once implemented, would be used to meet long-standing gaps in funding such as operation and maintenance costs that have prevented so many communities from being able to provide reliable safe drinking water to their constituents.

AB 560 (Salas): would formally outline the State Water Resources Control Board’s authority to provide water systems principal forgiveness/grants and 0% financing for water projects through Drinking Water State Revolving Fund if paying back loans would increase water rates to unaffordable levels.

SB 427 (Leyva): would by July 1, 2020, require a public water system to provide the timeline for replacement of known lead user service lines in use in its distribution system to the State Water Board.

AB 277 (Mathis): establishes the Water and Wastewater Loan and Grant Fund to allow counties and nonprofits to provide low-interest loans and grants to eligible applicants for drinking water needs and wastewater treatment while still having centralized oversight from the State Water Resources Control Board.

SB 252 (Dodd): creates additional requirements on people applying to drill new wells (not replacement wells) within critically overdrafted basins such as requiring neighbors to be notified, requiring public hearings, and requiring a public comment period.

AB 305 (Arambula): would require public schools to conduct a one-time survey of access to drinking water, including the number and condition of water access points. This data would be housed at the State Water Resources Control Board, and would be used to prioritize schools for funding for improved water access grants.

AB 1668 (Friedman): would revise the requirements of urban and agricultural water management plans and direct the Department of Water Resources to develop requirements for rural water management plans.


Upcoming events:

  • March 21, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM. Online RCAC training. Regulation Basics: Public Notification. Register for free at www.events.rcac.org.
  • April 1, 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM. Groundwater Sustainability Plan Workshop hosted by the Community Water Leaders Network and sponsored by the Union of Concerned Scientists, Community Water Center and Self Help Enterprises. Cafe 210 in Visalia.
  • April 5, 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM. First Annual California Funding Fair. California Rural Water Association office in Sacramento or via webcast. Register for the Sacramento in person event or to live stream the webcast here: https://www.events.rcac.org/assnfe/ev.asp?ID=1032 (Note that there will be a funding fair in Tulare in June)

 

More events can be found on the Community Water Leaders online calendar at http://www.communitywatercenter.org/water_leaders_network


Save the Date! Groundwater Sustainability Plan Workshop April 1st

Don’t miss the Community Water Leaders Network’s first official workshop! Join us for a free, one-day workshop featuring experts from the Union of Concerned Scientists, a national science non-profit. This workshop is designed for small drinking water systems in the Central Valley and will help prepare directors and staff to actively participate in Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) development in your area. The workshop will cover:

  • What is a GSP and why is it important for your community?
  • How does the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) define “sustainability” and how will it be measured?
  • What is a water budget and what can it tell you?
  • What can a groundwater model do, and what can’t it do?
  • What kind of questions should you ask consultants?

 

Date: April 1, 2017

Time: 8:30 AM – 4:00 PM (Lunch provided)

Where: Café 210, Assembly Room (210 W. Center Ave, Visalia)

Space is limited to register today by emailing Kristin at kristin.dobbin@communitywatercenter.org or calling 559-733-0219.


1,2,3-TCP Comment Period Has Started!

The time has come! After extensive work and a lot of pressure from across the state, the State Water Board is poised to set the legal limit, or MCL, for 1,2,3-TCP in drinking water.

The State Water Board’s draft regulations are now open for public comment, and I’ve got great news: the standard they’ve officially proposed is the most health-protective level -- 5 parts per trillion! That’s exactly what we asked for! But there’s still a strong chance the polluters, who will be responsible for covering the costs of treatment, will try to roll back this health-protective limit, so we need your support.

The public comment period is THE critical time for residents and water boards like you to participate and tell the Board to fully adopt their proposed 5 part per trillion MCL.

To ensure our communities are protected from this cancer-causing pesticide ingredient, you can submit comments, sign a petition, or come up to Sacramento for the public hearing on April 19th. We will be coordinating rides for residents and stakeholders who want to travel up to Sacramento to participate in the hearing.

You can submit comments by email, fax, or mail. You may find a sample letter template, an online petition, and more information here.


Do you have any questions about this newsletter or the Community Water Leaders Network? Contact Kristin Dobbin at 559-733-0219 or kristin.dobbin@communitywatercenter.org .
http://www.communitywatercenter.org/


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