Community Water Center

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

August 2018 eNews

August 2018

Si prefiere recibir nuestro boletín informativo en español, haga click aquí.


We saw an incredible show of grassroots community power at the end of August, with San Joaquin Valley residents traveling to Sacramento every day for a week to bring the reality of unsafe water to the Capitol and advocate for solutions. See pictures here! Even though the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund is delayed until 2019, the message is clear: the people united will never be divided.

We will continue the fight for passing a sustainable funding source next January, but in the meantime, we have several new opportunities to build power throughout the state that you’ll see below including our new 501(c)(4) and a new office in the Central Coast!

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The New York Times: Laurel and Susana authored a powerful Opinion piece for the New York Times lifting up the drinking water challenges across the nation and urging California lawmakers
to support a lasting solution now before the legislature.

The Sacramento Bee

The Fresno Bee: This time, a state water bond has real money intended to benefit the Valley. Excellent editorial by the Fresno Bee, which highlights why passing Proposition 3 this November is crucial to implementing water solutions throughout the state.

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After almost two years of advocacy, five days of water strikes at the Capitol, multiple legislative visits, and loud, passionate calls for government accountability, the legislative session ended without the passage of a critical two-bill package to fund safe and affordable drinking water.

Unfortunately, political self-interest trumped addressing a decades-old public health crisis impacting more than one million Californians. Concerned about potential election year fallout, the State Assembly shelved our bills for this session.

This outcome is an outrage to those who will have to go another year living with toxic taps.

Even though justice has been delayed, justice will not be denied.

Due to the courageous, steadfast and skillful advocacy by impacted residents, Speaker Rendon issued a public statement committing to making ongoing, sustainable funding a priority for the legislature when they reconvene in January.

As saddened and angry as we are in the face of this delay of justice to serve nearsighted political interests, CWC, our community partners, and allies will not be stopped from aggressively seeking a solution to California's drinking water crisis when the legislature reconvenes in January.

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This month we are launching the Community Water Center Action Fund, a 501(c)(4) organization which can participate more directly in election-related activities. This November, we will be endorsing candidates who will be accountable to their communities’ drinking water needs and speaking with thousands of Latino voters to ensure they make their voices heard. Help us build community-based power leading up to November by joining our email list and following us on Facebook and Twitter.

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We are excited to announce that we are opening a new office in the Central Coast! Many small, rural communities of color in this region face similar issues to the San Joaquin Valley, including nitrate contamination of groundwater supplies. We will be bringing our organizing model to the North Central Coast region with the goal of empowering local leaders to find sustainable drinking water solutions for their communities. Our Director of Community Solutions and Development Director will be based out of our Watsonville office along with two new hires (see job openings below). The office will be located at: 406 Main Street, Watsonville, CA 95076.

If you live in this area of the state and are looking to get more involved in our work, stay tuned for future community meetings and events to come!

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Complete job descriptions and more information on how to apply, please visit:

Current openings:

Central Coast Community Organizer - The Community Organizer position is a regular, full-time, exempt employee position that will be primarily responsible for conducting CWC’s organizing and base-building work in communities in the Northern Central Coast Region. If you have any questions, please contact Erica Fernandez at

Central Coast Program Associate - The Program Associate is a regular, full-time, non-exempt, at-will employee position that will be primarily responsible for providing administrative and program support for the Central Coast office.  If you have any questions, please contact Heather Lukacs at

Visalia Community Outreach Canvassers - The Community Outreach Canvasser is a temporary, part-time, hourly position primarily responsible for contacting thousands of voters through daily phone banking and door-to-door canvassing to potential voters. If you have any questions, please contact Karina Gallardo at

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Join us on Thursday, October for our annual Visalia Water Justice Celebration! The event will include inspiring speakers, live music, a taco truck and great company! Save your spot and buy tickets by clicking the button below.


We are still accepting sponsorships for the event! If you're interested in supporting this celebration, please see sponsorship opportunities here

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SEPT 19, TBD. Porterville United Meeting. Location TBD. If you live in the Porterville area and are wanting to get more involved, be sure to join for this month's Porterville United meeting! Please contact Karina Gallardo at 559-733-0219 or for more information.

OCT 10, 5-7:30 PM. Groundwater Quality and SGMA Roundtable. Café 210 (210 W. Center Ave., Visalia, CA). We invited you to come and learn from experts and decision-makers from all over California and explore how groundwater management will address groundwater quality at this informative workshop. Please contact Adriana Renteria at 559-733-0219 or for more information.

OCT 27, 10 AM - 3 PM. Groundwater Sustainability Plan Workshop. Marriott Hotel (300 South Court, Visalia, CA). Come learn about the process for creating Groundwater Sustainability Plans, and how we can all get involved to ensure we all have enough groundwater to meet our needs. For more information or to RSVP, please contact Sonia Sanchez with Self-Help Enterprises at (559) 802-1689 or Please RSVP by October 19th.

OCT 11, 5:30-8PM. Annual Visalia Celebration. Café 210 (210 West Center Avenue, Visalia, CA). Save the Date for our annual CWC celebration in Visalia! More information to follow.

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  • $9.5 Million Available for Drinking Water in Schools which may be used to install water bottle filling stations or drinking water fountains, and for interim water supplies and treatment devices for schools where contamination is an issue. If your school or district is interested in learning more about this exciting new opportunity to improve student access to safe drinking water you can access the guidelines and application here or contact Kim Hanagan, State Water Resources Control Board at (916) 323-0624. Rural Community Assistance Corporation was selected by the State Water Resources Control Board to provide technical assistant during the grant application and implementation period. Contact them at for more information.
  • Funding available for water systems impacted by 1,2,3-TCP. On December 14, 2017, the State Water Board approved an early effective date for the maximum contaminant level (MCL) of contaminant 1,2,3-Trichloropropane (1,2,3-TCP). In order to obtain cost recovery for your impacted system, you need to obtain legal representation in order to sue the responsible parties, Shell and Dow Chemicals, for 1-2-3 TCP contamination. Litigation can take anywhere from a year to 3 or more years, so if you are impacted by 1-2-3 TCP and are in need of financial assistance to come into compliance with the new MCL, there are funding sources at the state available for eligible entities. The primary funding source is the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF), and the Prop 1 Groundwater Grant Fund is also a secondary option to cover instances where the DWSRF doesn’t cover. In order to qualify for state funding sources you will likely be required to show you are initiating efforts to recover costs from the responsible parties. For any questions, contact the State Water Resources Control Board.
  • Do you know if your water is safe to drink? Check out our bilingual Water FAQ page to see what steps you can take to find out what is in the water coming out of your tap.
  • Funding for Water and Energy Audits: Application and Instructions. More details on the CWSRF.

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Huge thank you to our monthly donors, whose continual contributions help to sustain our long-term work toward achieving safe, clean and affordable drinking water for all Californians!

Amy Helfant, Anavel Valdez, Benigna Hernandez, Bill Walker, Bryan Barnhart, Carly Yoshida, Cassie Morgan, Edward Bergtholdt, Jill Ratner, Kavita Vora, Kelsey Hinton, Leonard Sklar, Nancy Bruce, Natalie Garcia-Grazier, Nimmi Damodaran, Paul Pierce and Patience Milrod, and Renata Brillinger

And thank you to our generous donors for the month of August!

Catherine Trejo, Greg and Jill Stacy, James Loke, John Comella, Michael Grazier

If you would like to donate to CWC, please click here!

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