Community Water Center

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

New Water Bond Advances Human Right to Water

August 14, 2014

Omar Carrillo, Policy Analyst, 916-706-3346 (office), 619-829-3553 (cell), or


New Water Bond Advances Human Right to Water

The Community Water Center supports a new bond that targets funding to small communities

Sacramento – A new $7.5-billion water bond passed Wednesday night is an opportunity to allocate resources to communities that lack access to clean, safe and affordable drinking water.

Community Water Center (CWC) advocates and partners were brought into last-minute negotiations between key legislative leaders and the Governor’s office to ensure the new bond, Assembly Bill 1471, emphasizes the human right to water and targets resources to impacted communities.

“Access to safe and affordable water is a basic human right,” said Susana De Anda, CWC Co-Executive Director and Co-Founder. “The Community Water Center supports this water bond because it plays a vital role in our efforts to ensure all Californians have access to safe, clean and affordable drinking water.”

The new water bond commits a minimum of $691 million for disadvantaged communities and prioritizes funding for small communities and regional collaboration.

“Many of the communities we work with have been without safe drinking water for years,” said Omar Carrillo, CWC Policy Analyst. “This bond allocates resources to the California communities whose drinking water supplies are at risk due to inadequate infrastructure. While not perfect, this new bond offers the best available alternative, because it focuses scarce resources where they are needed the most.”

The $7.545-billion water bond will replace an $11.1 billion bond that had previously been planned for the November ballot. California voters now have an opportunity to pass a water bond with focused resources to advance the human right to water.

“With the drought, countless communities that already had unsafe drinking water have seen conditions worsen, and some have lost their water source completely,” said De Anda. “Small, rural low-income communities and communities of color need financial and technical resources to address chronic drinking water problems that are only being magnified by the drought.”



Water bond analysis
The new water bond dedicates $520 million to projects that provide clean, safe and reliable drinking water. Of that $520 million, $260 million would fund drinking water infrastructure improvements and $260 million would go to waste water infrastructure. Both funds would give priority to projects that serve disadvantaged communities (DACs), especially small ones. Each fund also prioritizes projects that implement regional solutions and collaboration.

For the first time, this water bond would make state resources available to communities reliant on state small water systems and private wells, which had been excluded from most previous water bond financing. By including these small communities and prioritizing resources through a Small Community Grant Fund, this water bond would ensure that impacted communities have access to the public resources intended to create safe drinking water systems for all.

The bond established technical assistance resources to help communities leverage additional funding. It would also create a multi-disciplinary technical assistance program for small and disadvantaged communities.

The bond allocates $90 million for groundwater sustainability projects serving small DACs, as well as $81 million for regional water security, climate and drought-preparedness projects that benefit DACs.


Omar Carrillo, Policy Analyst, 916-706-3346 (office), 619-829-3553 (cell), or

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