Community Water Center

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

Kelsey Hinton

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.

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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/


CWLN Boletín De Febrero 2017

Las Escuelas ya Pueden Pedir un Análisis Gratuito de Plomo a sus Sistemas de Agua

¿Están los estudiantes de tu escuela bebiendo agua contaminada con plomo? Es imposible saberlo sino se realiza un análisis al agua de la llave. Por ese motivo, un nuevo programa logrará que las escuelas públicas de California que no están obligadas a analizar su agua de la llav, puedan solicitar un análisis gratuito de plomo a su sistema de agua pública.

A finales de enero, la Mesa Estatal del Control de Recursos de Agua envió una notificación de permiso y enmienda a todos los sistemas de agua pública en California con el requerimiento de ofrecer a las escuelas, a quien sirven, pruebas análisis de agua gratuitas para detectar la contaminación de plomo. El consumo de agua no potable es un grave riesgo para la salud de los niños, ya que son más vulnerables que los adultos por la exposición al plomo y otros contaminantes que afectan su salud. La contaminación del agua por plomo normalmente ocurre por la corrosión de las tuberías, llaves de agua (grifos), o accesorios hechos de  este metal. Ni el Estado, ni la oficina de Plomo y Cobre del gobierno federal requieren realizar las pruebas de plomo en las llaves del agua (bebederos) de las escuelas. Sin embargo, bajo esta nueva política, los distritos escolares tendrán que solicitar los análisis de plomo a su sistema de agua pública.

El  proveedor de agua  de las escuelas tendrán que efectuar un análisis de  agua, y luego discutir las opciones de corrección si algunas de las muestras presentan niveles peligrosos de plomo.

La Mesa Estatal del Agua está elaborando las directrices para mejorar el acceso al agua potable en las escuelas, gracias a los fondos recibidos de $9.5 millones de dólares que les asignaron en el presupuesto estatal 2016-17. Estos fondos pueden ser utilizados para apoyar a las escuelas que, como resultado de estos nuevos análisis, descubran que el agua está contaminada por plomo.

Si le gustaría obtener más información sobre el nuevo programa de análisis de plomo o escuelas financiadas por este programa, póngase en contacto con Asha Kreilling de la organización CWC al siguiente correo electrónico: Asha.Kreiling@CommunityWaterCenter.org o comuníquese al 916-706-3346.


Iniciativa para el Agua Potable, Segura y Económica

Diversos actores y responsables en la toma de decisiones, incluyendo la Mesa Estatal del Control de Recursos de Agua, el Gobernador, el Centro Comunitario por el Agua (conocido por sus siglas en inglés como CWC), la Asociación de Agencias por el Agua de California, y los actores agrícolas como “Western Growers”, se han enfrentado a los obstáculos para lograr un agua potable, segura y económica en todo el estado como su principal propósito de este año. El CWC y varios grupos de defensa por el agua potable están abogando para que se establezca un nuevo fondo de agua potable, segura y económica para proporcionar una fuente sostenible de financiamiento para las necesidades no satisfactorias de agua potable. Estas necesidades no cubiertas incluyen financiar el mantenimiento de la infraestructura de agua potable y las operaciones en curso que sigue siendo un obstáculo fundamental para implementar el derecho humano a los pequeños usuarios de sistemas de agua potable.

Para apoyar este esfuerzo, el CWC y nuestros aliados se han reunido con legisladores y autoridades en la toma de decisiones, así como con los principales actores interesados en el tema del agua potable y la agricultura para crear un punto de apoyo y poder abordar las necesidades de agua potable, segura y económica para el año 2017. Además, el Centro Comunitario por el Agua, el Consejo de Liderazgo por la Responsabilidad y la Justicia, la Acción por un Agua Limpia, y la Coalición de A.G.U.A., asistieron a una sesión legislativa informativa, el pasado 7 de febrero, en el Capitolio estatal para hablar sobre el agua potable, segura y económica. Decenas de funcionarios del Capitolio y miembros de la comunidad asistieron a esta reunió Diversas partes interesadas y responsables en la toma de decisiones, incluyendo la Mesa Estatal del Control de Recursos de Agua, el Gobernador, el Centro Comunitario por el Agua (conocido por sus siglas en inglés como CWC), la Asociación de Agencias por el Agua de California, y las partes interesadas agrícolas como “Western Growers”, tienen un propósito principal este año de enfrentar a los obstáculos para lograr un agua potable, segura y económica. El CWC y varios grupos de defensa por el agua potable están abogando para que se establezca un nuevo fondo de agua potable, segura y económica para proporcionar una fuente sostenible de financiamiento para las necesidades existentes de agua potable. Estas necesidades existentes incluyen financiar el mantenimiento de la infraestructura de agua potable y las operaciones en curso cuales siguen siendo un obstáculo fundamental para implementar el derecho humano al agua por los pequeños sistemas de agua.

Para apoyar este esfuerzo, el CWC y nuestros aliados se han reunido con legisladores y autoridades en la toma de decisiones, así como con las partes interesadas en el tema del agua potable y la agricultura para crear un punto de apoyo y poder resolver las necesidades de agua potable, segura y económica en el año 2017. Además, el Centro Comunitario por el Agua, el Consejo de Liderazgo por la Responsabilidad y la Justicia, la Acción por un Agua Limpia, y la Coalición de A.G.U.A., asistieron a una sesión legislativa informativa, el pasado 7 de febrero, en el Capitolio estatal para hablar sobre el agua potable, segura y económica. Decenas de funcionarios del Capitolio y miembros de la comunidad asistieron a esta reunión.

Picture2.png 

Empleados del Centro Comunitario por el Agua, aliados y residentes del Valle Central dieron testimonio al taller de la Mesa Estatal del Control de Recursos de Agua el 8 de febrero sobre la necesidad del agua sana y económica.

También como parte de este esfuerzo, el pasado 8 de febrero en Sacramento, la Mesa Estatal del Control de Recursos de Agua celebró un taller público informativo sobre el agua potable, segura y económica. Laurel Firestone, la Co-Directora Ejecutiva del Centro Comunitario por el Agua, así como las partes interesadas en el tema del agua potable, y miembros del público, participaron en los paneles de discusión y públicamente compartieron sus testimonios en apoyo a una acción seria para garantizar que todas las comunidades tengan agua potable, segura y económica. Alrededor de 20 miembros de la comunidad compartieron sus historias y abogaron por tener un agua potable y segura, al igual que varias organizaciones sin fines de lucro, otras partes interesados en el tema, y grupos de interés público manifestaron su apoyo. Alentadoramente, el Gobernador presentó la Propuesta Estatal Presupuestal el mes pasado donde hizo mención e incluyó el asunto del agua potable, segura y económica. Usted puede leer más acerca del presupuesto en las siguientes ligas: http://www.communitywatercenter.org/news_release_water_california_budget_2017

A medida que seguimos abogando por una fuente de financiamiento para un agua potable seguro y económica, necesitaremos comentarios y apoyo de los sistemas locales de agua. Regístrese para mantenerse al día sobre esta importante campaña y las oportunidades de participar.

http://www.communitywatercenter.org/take_action


Próxima audiencia sobre el plan para de manejo de sal y nitratos en el Valle Central

Los nitratos, uno de los principales contaminantes que afectan el suministro de agua potable en el Valle Central, plantean un grave peligro a la salud pública. Los nitratos se perforan en la cuenca de las aguas subterráneas.  Fuentes principales  como los fertilizantes son producidos artificialmente por los desechos de la vaca, y las aguas negras. Las sales, otro contaminante común, no son particularmente peligrosas para la salud pública, pero sí son una preocupación para la agricultura debido a que los altos niveles de sales en el agua no son adecuados para usarse en la mayoría de las cosechas. Desde hace más de 10 años, los emisores de sales y nitratos (tales como cultivos, lecherías, y plantas de tratamiento de aguas negras), en colaboración con la Mesa de Agua en el Valle Central, han estado trabajando para desarrollar un plan de acción sobre cómo regular de la mejor manera los desechos de sales y nitratos. Este proceso se conoce como CV-SALTS. Los tres objetivos principales de este proceso son: 1) atender las necesidades de agua potable a corto y mediano plazo en las comunidades afectadas por los nitratos; 2) el manejo y reducir la cantidad de nitratos que llega al abastecimiento de las aguas subterráneas; y 3) eventualmente restaurar la cuenca. El proceso ya está terminando y el Plan preliminar finalmente fue presentado a mediados del pasado enero, y ahora está abierto para recibir comentarios del público.

El 9 de marzo, hay una audiencia especial con la Mesa Regional del Agua en Rancho Cordova donde se les presentara el lan. Aunque se suponía que la Coalición CV-SALTS debía de estar educando y difundiendo el Plan a lo largo de su proceso y desarrollo, hasta ahora ha habido pocas oportunidades para que el público, y especialmente las partes afectadas con los sistemas de agua potable se involucren. Aunque ha sido desalentador, esto hace que la junta del 9 de marzo sea aún más importante. El Plan desarrollado tendrá un fuerte impacto y de gran alcance a todos los usuarios de las aguas subterráneas, pero en particular, a todos los usuarios de agua potable. Considere la posibilidad de asistir a la audiencia del 9 de marzo o averigüe más acerca de los programas que regulan la sales y sus nutrientes, y comparta sus ideas sobre cómo el grupo puede alcanzar sus objetivos.


Próximos Eventos:

  • El 23 de febrero, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM. Taller en línea de RCAC. Capacitación en línea sobre Ética para los miembros de la Mesa (AB1234). Regístrese gratis en: www.events.rcac.org.
  • El 25 de febrero, 9:30 AM - 2:00 PM. Mesa Redonda Sobre el Derecho Humano al Agua por WELL (Líderes Latinos por la Educación del Agua). En Fresno, Hotel Radisson (1055 Van Ness Ave). Para registrarse, envíe un correo electrónico a: victor@latinosforwater.org.
  • El 28 de febrero, 10:00 AM - 12:00 ó 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM. Taller en línea de RCAC. Mapeo en línea de Google Earth y Planificación de Mejoras de Capital. Regístrese gratis en www.events.rcac.org.
  • El 1º de marzo, 11:00- 12:00 ó 2 - 3PM. Seminario en línea sobre la Red de Centros Financieros Medioambientales. Recolección de Datos: Auditorías de Agua y Control de Pérdidas de Agua. Regístrese gratis en: http://efcnetwork.org/events/webinar-water-audits-water-loss-control-gathering-data/.
  • 3 de Marzo,  Seminario en línea de RCAC. Mejorar sus Operaciones y Reducir los Costos. Regístrese gratis en: www.events.rcac.org.
  • El 7 de marzo, 8:30 AM - 1:30 PM. La Tensión del Agua y un Valle de San Joaquín Cambiante. Organizado por el Instituto de Políticas Públicas de California y el Instituto del Agua de California de la Universidad Estatal de Fresno. En el Memorial de los Veteranos, Clovis, CA. Regístrese gratis en: http://www.ppic.org/main/event.asp?i=2213.
  • El 21 de marzo, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM. Taller en línea de RCAC. Fundamentos de la Mesa en línea: Gestión Financiera. Regístrese gratis en: www.events.rcac.org.
  • El 22 de marzo, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM. Taller en línea de RCAC. Regulaciones Básicas en línea: Notificación Pública. Regístrese gratis en: www.events.rcac.org.
  • Marzo 23-24. Conferencia de WELL (Water Education for Latino Leaders). En San Diego, Hotel Wyndham. La conferencia es gratuita y hay becas disponibles para ayudar a los miembros de la Mesa apoyar con los costos de alojamiento hospedaje y alimentación comida para porciertos miembros de la Mesa. Para registrarse, envíe un correo electrónico a: victor@latinosforwater.org.
  • El 1º de abril, 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM. Taller sobre el Plan de Sostenibilidad de las Aguas Subterráneas, organizado por la Red Comunitaria de Líderes de Agua y patrocinado por el Sindicato de Científicos Preocupados, el Centro Comunitario por el Agua y las Empresas de Autoayuda. En Visalia, Cafe 210. Para registrarse, envíe un correo electrónico a: kristin.dobbin@communitywatercenter.org.

 

Encuentre más eventos en nuestro calendario en línea de la Red Comunitaria de Líderes de Agua que se encuentra en: http://www.communitywatercenter.org/water_leaders_network.


Anuncios destacados del mes

Picture1.pngEste mes, la Mesa Estatal del Control de Recursos de Agua anunció el lanzamiento de su nueva página web sobre el Derecho Humano al Agua. El público podrá encontrar información sobre los esfuerzos para asegurar que cada Californiano tenga acceso a un agua potable, limpia, y económica.  Durante las próximas semanas, la nueva página web será actualizada con más datos sobre el acceso económico al agua . Visita la nueva página y estudia los mapas interactivos y a la base de datos que muestran el progreso de California para lograr el Derecho Humano al Agua.

http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/water_issues/programs/hr2w/index.shtml

 

 

 


Siguiente Red Informativa: 23 de febrero, 4-5 PM.

Un elemento esencial de la Red Comunitaria de Líderes de Agua es la conferencia telefónica mensual que proporciona a los miembros la oportunidad de comunicarse entre sí, compartir diversas preguntas, y recibir dicha información desde la comodidad de sus propios 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.  Si esta llamada incurre cargos de larga distancia, por favor comuníquese con Kristin para obtener una tarjeta prepagada.

Agenda:

  1. Resumen y preguntas de los integrantes.
  2. Resumen y preguntas a nivel regional y estatal.
  3. Tema mensual a discutir: Calidad del Agua y Salud Pública.

¡Reserva la fecha! El 1º de abril habrá un Taller sobre el Plan de Sostenibilidad de las Aguas Subterráneas.

¡No te pierdas el primer taller oficial de la Red Comunitaria de Líderes de Agua! Únase con nosotros por un día, al taller gratuito que impartirán los expertos de la Unión de Científicos Interesados, una organización no lucrativa de científicos a nivel nacional. Este taller está diseñado para pequeños usuarios de los sistemas de agua potable en el Valle Central y ayudará a preparar a los directores y al personal a participar activamente en el Plan de Sostenibilidad de las Aguas Subterráneas (conocido por sus siglas en inglés como GSP) en su área. El taller tratará los siguientes temas:

 

  • ¿Qué significa un GSP y por qué es importante para su comunidad?
  • ¿Cómo la Ley de Gestión Sostenible del Agua Subterránea (SGMA) define el concepto de "sostenibilidad" y cómo se mide?
  • ¿Qué significa un presupuesto de agua y qué puede significar para usted?
  • ¿Qué puede hacer un modelo de aguas subterráneas, y qué no puede hacer?
  • ¿Qué tipo de preguntas debo hacerle a los asesores?

Fecha: 1º de abril de 2017.

Horario: 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM (almuerzo incluido)

Dónde: Café 210, Salon de Juntas (210 W. Center Ave, Visalia)

 

El cupo es limitado. Regístrese hoy mismo enviando un correo electrónico a Kristin: kristin.dobbin@communitywatercenter.org o llamando al 559-733-0219.


¿Tiene alguna pregunta acerca de este boletín o sobre la Red Comunitaria de Líderes de Agua? Comuníquese con la coordinadora Kristin Dobbin al 559-733-0219 o kristin.dobbin@communitywatercenter.org.

http://www.communitywatercenter.org/


February 2017 CWLN Newsletter

Schools Now Able to Ask for Free Lead Testing from Water Systems

Are students at your local school drinking lead-contaminated water? It’s impossible to know without testing the water at the tap. For that reason a new program will allow California public schools, who aren’t required to test their tap water for lead, to request free lead testing from their public water system.

In late January, the State Water Resources Control Board sent a permit amendment notice to all public water systems in California requiring them to offer free tap water testing for lead contamination to the schools they serve.

Consumption of unsafe water is a serious health risk to children as they are more vulnerable than adults to the health effects of exposure to lead and other contaminants. Lead contamination of water typically occurs when pipes, faucets, or fixtures that contain lead corrode. Neither the state nor the federal Lead and Copper Rule requires tap water testing in schools. Under this new policy, school districts will need to request testing from their public water system in writing.

The school’s water provider will be required to test the water and then discuss remediation options if any of the samples show unsafe levels of lead.

The State Water Board is currently developing the guidelines for $9.5 million in grant funding which was allocated in the 2016-17 state budget to improve access to safe water in schools. This funding may be used to support schools that discover lead contamination as a result of this new testing.

If you would like to learn more about the new lead testing program or schools related funding, please contact CWC's Asha Kreiling at Asha.Kreiling@communitywatercenter.org or 916-706-3346.


Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Initiative

Many diverse stakeholders and decision-makers including the State Water Resources Control Board, the Governor, Community Water Center, the Association of California Water Agencies, and agricultural stakeholders like Western Growers have made addressing barriers to achieving safe and affordable drinking water across the state a core focus this year. CWC and several drinking water advocacy groups are advocating that a new safe and affordable drinking water fund be established to provide a sustainable source of funding for unmet drinking water needs. These unmet needs include funding for ongoing operations and maintenance for drinking water infrastructure which remains a core barrier to implementing the human right to water for small systems.

To support this effort, CWC and our allies have been meeting with legislative and regulatory decision-makers, as well as key agricultural and drinking water stakeholders, to build support for addressing safe and affordable drinking water needs in 2017. Additionally, Community Water Center, Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability, Clean Water Action, and the A.G.U.A. Coalition held a legislative briefing on February 7 in the state Capitol to talk about safe and affordable drinking water. Dozens of Capitol staffers and members of the Capitol community attended the briefing.

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CWC staff, allies, and Central Valley community residents provided testimony at the Feb. 8 State Water Board workshop on the need for safe, affordable water.

Also as part of this effort, the State Water Resources Control Board held a public informational workshop on February 8th in Sacramento on safe and affordable drinking water. Laurel Firestone Co-Executive Director of the Community Water Center, other drinking water stakeholders, and members of the public participated in discussion panels and provided public testimony in support of serious action to ensuring all communities have safe and affordable drinking water. Around 20 community partners shared their stories and advocated for safe, clean water; as did many nonprofits and public interest group representatives. Encouragingly, the Governor’s January State Budget Proposal included a mention of safe and affordable drinking water, which you can read more about here: http://www.communitywatercenter.org/news_release_water_california_budget_2017

As we continue to advocate for a robust safe and affordable drinking water fund, we will need feedback and support from local water systems. Sign up to stay updated about this important campaign and opportunities to get involved! http://www.communitywatercenter.org/safewater4all


Upcoming hearing on plan for the management of salt and nitrates in the Central Valley

Nitrates, one of the top contaminants impacting drinking water supplies in the Central Valley, pose a serious hazard to public health. Nitrates find their way into groundwater basins primarily from manmade sources such as fertilizers, dairy waste, and wastewater. Salts, another common contaminant, is not particularly hazardous to public health, but it does post a concern to agriculture as water with high levels of salts is not suitable for use one most crops. For over 10 years, dischargers of salts and nitrates (such as farms, dairies, and wastewater treatment plants), in conjunction with the Central Valley Water Board, have been working to develop a plan on how best to regulate salts and nitrates discharges. This process is known as CV-SALTS. The three primary goals of this process are: 1) addressing short & long-term drinking water needs for communities impacted by nitrates; 2) manage and reduce the amount of nitrate that reaches groundwater supplies; and 3) eventually restore the basin. The process is winding down and a draft plan was finally released mid-January and is open for public comment.

On March 9th there is a special Regional Water Board hearing in Rancho Cordova to present the Plan to the Board. While the CV-SALTS Coalition was supposed to be doing education and outreach throughout their plan development process, until now there have been few opportunities for the public, and especially impacted stakeholders like drinking water systems, to engage. Although discouraging, this makes the March 9th meeting all the more important. The Plan developed will have serious, far-reaching and long-lasting impacts upon all users of groundwater, but in particular, drinking water users. Consider attending the hearing on March 9th or finding out more about salt and nutrient regulatory programs and share your thoughts on how the group should achieve their stated goals.

Upcoming events:

  • February 23, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM. RCAC online workshop. Online Ethics Training for Board Members (AB1234). Register for free at www.events.rcac.org
  • February 25, 9:30 AM - 2:00 PM. Human Right to Water Roundtable by Water Education for Latino Leaders (WELL). Fresno Radisson Hotel (1055 Van Ness Ave). To register, email victor@latinosforwater.org.
  • February 28, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM or 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM. RCAC online workshop. Online Google Earth Mapping & Capital Improvement Planning. Register for free at www.events.rcac.org.
  • March 1, 11 AM- 12 PM or 2 - 3PM. Environmental Finance Center Network online webinar. Water Audits and Water Loss Control: Gathering your data. Register for free at http://efcnetwork.org/events/webinar-water-audits-water-loss-control-gathering-data/.
  • March 3, RCAC online webinar. Improving Your Operations and Reducing Costs. Register for free at www.events.rcac.org.
  • March 7, 8:30 AM - 1:30 PM. Water Stress and a Changing San Joaquin Valley. Hosted by the Public Policy Institute of California and the California Water Institute at Fresno State. Clovis Veterans Memorial District, Clovis, CA. Register for free at http://www.ppic.org/main/event.asp?i=2213.
  • March 21, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM. RCAC online workshop. Online Board Basics: Financial management. Register for free at www.events.rcac.org.
  • March 22, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM. RCAC online workshop. Online Regulations Basics: Public Notification. Register for free at www.events.rcac.org.
  • March 23-24. WELL (Water Education for Latino Leaders) conference. San Diego Wyndham Hotel. The conference is free and there are scholarships available for food and lodging for elected board members. To register, email victor@latinosforwater.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. To register, email kristin.dobbin@communitywatercenter.org.

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


Picture1.pngFeatured resources of the month:

This month, the State Water Resources Control Board announced the launch of its Human Right to Water Portal, a new website for the public to find information related to efforts to assure that every Californian has access to safe, clean and affordable drinking water. The portal will be updated with more data about water affordability in the coming weeks. Check it out for interactive maps and datasets that depict California’s progress towards achieving the human right to water. http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/water_issues/ programs/hr2w/index.shtml   

 

 

 


Next Network Briefing: February 23, 4-5 PM

A core component of the Community Water Leaders Network is the monthly conference call that provides members an 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: Water Quality and Public Health

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.


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/


Community Power and Engaged Leadership Program

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The Problem:

Decision-makers are not prioritizing community drinking water needs.

Goals:

  • Support and grow a diverse network of local water decision-makers who prioritize and effectively address community drinking water needs. 

  • Engage at least 10,000 local low-prosperity voters (particularly Latinos, women, low-income residents and people of color) around local water issues. 

  • Expand the AGUA Coalition, a coalition of impacted community residents participating in decision-makers who prioritize and effectively address community drinking water needs.

Related Campaigns and Projects: 

123-TCP: Water contaminant information: TCP (1,2,3-trichloropropane) is a toxic chemical contaminating groundwater in cities and small communities across California. TCP was deemed a carcinogen by the State of California in 1999 but TCP remains unregulated and untreated in hundreds of drinking water systems across the state.

AGUA Coalition: AGUA is a regional grassroots coalition of impacted community residents and allied non-profit organizations dedicated to securing safe, clean, and affordable drinking water for the San Joaquin Valley. AGUA was formed in 2006 in response to widespread contamination of valley drinking water sources, recognizing the need for a united voice of impacted communities to advocate for action by responsible agencies.

Community Water Leaders Network: The Community Water Leaders Network is a leadership cohort that unites local board members to increase access to safe, clean and affordable drinking water in the San Joaquin Valley through information sharing and capacity building.

For most recent news stories check out our Water Blog, or the related articles columns on the right.

To take advocate for 123-TCP action: 

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To join us in our mission: 

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Questions? Contact: 

Jonathan Nelson (TCP): (916) 706-3346 or jonathan.nelson@communitywatercenter.org
Susana De Anda (Agua Coalition): (559) 733-0219 or susana.deanda@communitywatercenter.org
Kristin Dobbin (Community Water Leaders Network)

published Sustainable Groundwater Program in Programs 2017-03-03 13:50:35 -0800

Sustainable Groundwater Program

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The Problem:

Valley residents rely heavily on groundwater for drinking water, and the increasing impacts of drought threaten this critical water source. CWC’s Sustainable Groundwater Program aims to protect the quality and quantity of the Valley's drinking water supply.

Goals: 

  • Support the formation of effective, transparent, and equitable Groundwater Sustainability Agencies, which will govern groundwater resources. 

  • Reduce further pollution of groundwater with effective regulatory actions and support development of programs for long-term groundwater quality restoration. 

Related Campaigns and Projects: 

Sustainable Groundwater Act: Community Water Center has been working diligently to help educate stakeholders about the Sustainable Groundwater Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) of 2014. Working with partners throughout the valley we have hosted a series of workshops for regional stakeholders and have also visited many of our local water boards to conduct individual informational sessions.

Groundwater Action Team: Community Water Center and our allies have been working diligently to ensure that the Tulare County Board of Supervisors takes action to develop a strong emergency groundwater ordinance that limits increased groundwater extractions and prevents more families from losing their water supply. 

For most recent news stories check out our Water Blog, or the related articles columns on the right.

To take action and sign up to be part of the Groundwater Action Team: 

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Questions? Contact: 

Debi Ores: (916) 706-3346 or deborah.ores@communitywatercenter.org
Kristin Dobbin: (559) 733-0219 or kristin.dobbin@communitywatercenter.org

 


published Funding Access Program in Programs 2017-03-03 13:50:19 -0800

Funding Access Program

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The Problem:

Over one million Californians are exposed to unsafe drinking water each year. Children are particularly at risk, because as many as 1 in 4 schools in the Central Valley have been impacted by unsafe drinking water. In multiple California cities, one fifth of the population is paying over 5% of their income on water, and some families we've worked with pay up to 10% of their monthly income on water. California needs to create a safe and affordable drinking water fund to deliver on its promise of the human right to water. 

Goals:

  • Community Water Center, impacted residents, and our allies aim to secure a statewide, sustainable safe and affordable drinking water fund, which would include funding for operation and maintenance costs in low-income communities struggling to secure safe water. 

  • Ensure existing drinking water funds are reaching low-income San Joaquin Valley communities effectively and without delay, and state officials are continuing to better define unmet needs.  

Related Campaigns and Projects: 

Safe Water In Schools: State agencies do not currently have access to sufficient information to assess the magnitude of the problem and ensure that children have safe drinking water at school. As many as 1,048,222 students attended schools impacted by water systems that did not meet primary safe drinking water standards during the period from 2003-2014. Multiple-year violations were found in up to nine percent of schools, with some schools impacted for a decade or more. While the problem exists statewide, the Central Valley had both the greatest number and highest percentage of schools impacted by unsafe drinking water. 

For most recent news stories check out our Water Blog, or the related articles columns on the right.

To take action: 

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Questions? Contact: 

Jonathan Nelson: (916) 706-3346 or jonathan.nelson@communitywatercenter.org

Resilient Drinking Water Institutions Program

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The Problem:

Local institutions lack the economies of scale, as well as the technical, managerial and financial capacity, to operate and maintain current water systems or to develop plans to adapt to future water shortages due to drought and climate change.

Goals:

  • Support a transparent and equitable regional governance structure in Northern Tulare County to secure funds and operate a regional safe drinking water project. 

  • Ensure Environmental Justice communities (particularly small and rural communities, including private well owners) have the necessary tools to address continuing impacts of climate change by building community water resiliency. 

  • Continue to support drought-impacted East Porterville residents in connecting their community to the neighboring public water system to get safe, reliable water. 

Related Campaigns and Projects: 

Community Water Resiliency: Last May, Governor Brown passed Executive Order B-37-16 which aims to improve drought planning and resiliency in California communities, and make water conservation a way of life throughout the state.We are working to ensure our most vulnerable communities (particularly small and rural communities, and private well owners) have the tools necessary to successfully implement this Executive Order. A group of nonprofits, including CWC, developed comment letters and messaging resources to aid in this work. 

Long Term Solutions: The Community Water Center provides extensive organizing, outreach, meeting facilitation, and technical assistance support for local development of long-term, sustainable solutions for safe drinking water. This support includes helping local communities identify specific contaminants in their water supply, sources of pollution, and potential project alternatives. CWC also facilitates the development of joint-solutions among communities to reduce long-term vulnerability and strengthen the resources available to resolve the problem.

Interim Solutions: Because long-term solutions to drinking water challenges can take many years to achieve, CWC is helping to create community-driven interim solutions with communities, schools, and public spaces in the San Joaquin Valley that do not have access to safe drinking water. 

Drought Relief: If you're out of water or impacted by the drought, resources are available. CWC can connect you with options for bottled water delivery, storage tanks, and funding for well drilling. CWC is working to leverage more resources for immediate and lasting solutions. Please call our Visalia office at 559-733-0219 if you would like to discuss drought relief options.

Private Well Testing: Community Water Center completed its private well testing program in May 2016. This program provided free water quality testing to private well owners in Tulare, Fresno, and Kern counties. The goal of the program was to provide residents with an understanding of their water quality and resources related to accessing safe drinking water. Our team sampled 32 private wells to analyze water quality. We also provided educational materials about the test results and resources about how to obtain safe drinking water.

For most recent news stories check out our Water Blog, or the related articles columns on the right.

Sign up to stay in the loop: 

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Questions? Contact: 

Ryan Jensen: (559) 733-0219 or ryan.jensen@communitywatercenter.org
Kelsey Hinton: (916) 706-3346 or kelsey.hinton@communitywatercenter.org

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