Empowering Local Communities.
There is no greater way to impact a community in the long-term than to build local capacity and empower its people to advocate for themselves. CWC promotes the direct participation of impacted communities in the development of effective and affordable regional clean water solutions. Our work focuses on:
1. Building community capacity to engage in water infrastructure planning and funding processes;
2. Advocating for better water quality, water planning, and water funding policies, as well as working to eliminate barriers to disadvantaged community participation at the local, regional, and state levels;
3. Facilitating direct contact and communication between impacted community members and the decision-makers impacting local community drinking water challenges; and
4. Developing and disseminating resources and information to support strong community voices in decision-making processes impacting drinking water in the valley.
To these ends, CWC 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. In this work, CWC utilizes a strong and growing list of project partners to develop additional funding sources through public agencies, private organizations, and charitable foundations to invest in drinking water solutions.
In East Porterville, momentum for water justice has been building, and combined with prioritization at the state level, progress is being made rapidly toward a long-term water solution. The unincorporated community will soon be hooked up to the City of Porterville, which will provide residents of East Porterville a sustainable source of water. We're working closely with EPWJ to ensure that the residents who will ultimately be drinking that water have a seat at the decision-making table.
For more information on East Porterville for Water Justice, please contact:
CWC Community Water Solutions Coordinator: Ryan Jensen at 559-733-0219 or Ryan.Jensen@CommunityWaterCenter.org.
Spokesperson for EPWJ: Tómas García (Bilingual) at (559) 310-8015
To learn more about East Porterville’s Water Conditions: http://www.water.ca.gov/waterconditions/porterville.cfm
The development of a regional drinking water project would be an innovative solution that could ensure long-term water quality for over 17,000 residents. To date, a project engineering report has been completed, and a regional governance study is currently underway to assess how best to build long-term, multi-community capacity and collaboration to manage the regional water project.
More information on the Northern Tulare County Regional Safe Drinking Water Project is available here.
Funded by a $2 million grant from the California Department of Water Resources to Tulare County, this plan will ultimately be integrated into the various regional water management plans in the region. It will also be used to inform the County General Plan and funding application efforts.
The project has created a comprehensive database of more than 500 unincorporated communities reaching over 700 stakeholders in the four-county region, and identified their water and wastewater needs. Nearly 200 of these communities lack any type of centralized or regulated drinking water system. The project used the priorities identified by the stakeholder group to develop pilot studies that guided the development of a comprehensive plan for the region. The final plan is now complete and will be available publicly in September 2014, along with the database of unincorporated communities. The three-year study provides concrete recommendations to ensure safe drinking water and effective wastewater treatment for disadvantaged communities. CWC will work to foster implementation of the Study recommendations at all levels, local, regional and state.
The final report documents can be found here: http://tularecounty.ca.gov/cao/index.cfm/tulare-lake-basin-disadvantaged-community-water-study/final-report/
Public database of DACs that Tulare County is hosting for the whole basin: Tularelakebasin.com
This project identified more than 100 disadvantaged communities in the sub-basin and engaged in smaller-scale integrated planning efforts to identify potential shared solutions. As a result, the project developed a comprehensive inventory of DACs for the Upper Kings Basin Authority’s Integrated Regional Water Management Planning efforts. It has also resulted in more disadvantaged communities engaging directly in the region’s Integrated Regional Water Management Planning efforts. Furthermore, seven communities have committed to working together to explore the sharing of services and many more joint study projects will develop solutions for five different sub-regions. For more information on this study, click here or read the final report here.
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. AGUA currently includes 54 members from 20 impacted communities and 9 non-profit organizations. AGUA meets on a monthly basis and is run by a Coordinating Council comprised of representatives from each community who vote on campaign activities, events, coalition governance, and finances.
AGUA organizes communities to address their immediate drinking water needs and advocate for actions that target the root cause of drinking water contamination in the Central Valley. For more information or to get involved in AGUA, see here.