Community Water Center

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

April 2015 Newsletter

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April 2015

Hi  -

The drought is an opportunity to accelerate and invest in solutions that will keep water safe and affordable long into the future. Join us online and in person during National Drinking Water Week (next week!) to raise awareness about California’s drinking water crisis and advocate for water justice!

Read on for stories about safe water stations in Arvin, participatory groundwater management, drought updates, and our new Senior Fellow! Be sure to check out the Latest News portion of our website to catch up on some of the recent media coverage our community partners and staff have received. And please help spread the word -- we just started the search for a new Attorney! We’re looking for strong candidates excited to lead CWC’s legal advocacy to protect and restore groundwater sources of drinking water!

Susana and Laurel

gray divider WE'RE HIRING! 

Do you or does someone you know want to work full time to help secure groundwater quality and supply protections? CWC is excited to begin the search for a new full-time staff member! We’re hiring an Attorney in our Sacramento Office who will be primarily responsible for leading CWC’s legal advocacy to protect and restore groundwater sources of drinking water in low-income communities and communities of color. Click below for the full job description, and please share this posting with your networks! 

Read the Tulare Lake Basin Study Report


CWC and AGUA will be celebrating National Drinking Water Week with a series of platicas, or community conversations, throughout the San Joaquin Valley. AGUA is a grassroots coalition of low-income and people of color communities dedicated to securing clean and affordable water in California's San Joaquin Valley. AGUA members will be hosting platicas in Ducor, Poplar, Tulare, and Lindsay. Please join us to discuss drought impacts, resources, and opportunities! If you’re unable to join us in person, follow us on Facebook and Twitter to learn how to support the movement for safe drinking water in all California communities. We’re excited to be launching a new “Take Action” portion of our website with grassroots advocacy opportunities on Monday! Invite your friends to follow us on social media so they can build the movement for water justice, too.

Join us in person and online next week to learn how you can take action to implement the human right to water during National Drinking Water Week! 

Read the Tulare Lake Basin Study Report


CWC’s Jerry Tinoco has been busy installing filling stations in Arvin schools. Our work toward interim and lasting solutions for the City of Arvin was featured on the Bakersfield ABC channel earlier this month!

Residents of Arvin, CA, have been impacted by arsenic-contaminated water for over a decade. Each of the community's five wells exceeds drinking water standards set by the federal EPA for arsenic. Drilling new wells will take two or more years and millions of dollars.

We’re working toward a more permanent, community-driven water solution for Arvin (check out recent TV news coverage here!), but in the meantime, we’re helping bring water fountains, water bottle filling stations, and point-of-use (POU) filters to schools and other public community sites so that residents can access clean, safe, and affordable drinking water now. We've been installing bottle filling stations in Arvin schools, and we’ll soon be installing more stations with POU filters in partnership with Rural Community Assistance Corporation, The California Endowment’s Agua4All Initiative and Building Healthy Communities, the State Water Board, Blue Planet Network, The Committee for a Better Arvin, and many more local community and site partners. Check out photos from several recent filter installations by clicking below! 

Read the Tulare Lake Basin Study Report gray divider ENGAGING DAC RESIDENTS IN GROUNDWATER MANAGEMENT


Residents, water providers, and local agencies participated in a workshop on the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014.

On Tuesday night, CWC partnered with Tulare County and Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability to host a workshop on the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014 (SGMA). Disadvantaged community (DAC) residents, small water system providers, and regional water agencies came together to learn more about the new groundwater management legislation. CWC’s Kristin Dobbin discussed the role that small community service providers play in the formation of Groundwater Sustainability Agencies and what the law means for the Tulare Lake Basin. Click below to view the workshop materials and learn about opportunities to get involved at upcoming SGMA meetings in the Tulare Lake Basin region. 



New rebates and conservation programs need to meet the needs of small and disadvantaged communities. 

The Governor just released emergency regulations for water conservation. Urban water suppliers have to conserve from 8-36% to reach the statewide goal of a 25% water reduction, and small water systems (serving fewer than 3,000 connections) must achieve a 25% reduction in water use or limit outdoor irrigation to two days per week. This is a step in the right direction since everyone in the state should do their part to reduce water use, but we’ll continue to see households and whole communities running out of water during droughts until we get better groundwater management in place. In the short term, the state and local counties need to put more serious groundwater management policies in place and ensure residents in small communities have the tools they need to meet these new regulations. More funding is needed to make sure communities have water meters, leak repairs, and other tools to conserve water. Educational materials must be translated into culturally-appropriate languages, and rebates need to be accessible and tailored so that all Californians can access these tools.



We’re thrilled to share that David Okita just joined us as a Senior Fellow! David recently retired after serving for 25 years as the General Manager of the Solano County Water Agency. He also served for 25 years on the Board of Directors of the State Water Contractors. At CWC, David provides water management analysis and expertise for the development of drinking water solutions for low-income communities and communities of color. 

Read the Tulare Lake Basin Study Report 
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Top photo by Bear Guerra

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