Community Water Center

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

August 2019 eNews

August 2019

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Dear Friend,

Thank you for a memorable night for those who were able to join us at our Water Justice Celebration event in Visalia earlier this month! Together with the support of our generous sponsors and more than 100 attendees, we raised more than $23,000 for the movement! It was a wonderful night of celebration and power, as we honored the role of our community partners in passing the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund and reaffirmed our commitment to ensuring communities get the resources they need to end this crisis soon. We are also excited to share about La Voz de Vecinos Unidos, a new community-based organization located in Tulare County working to secure safe drinking water for communities in the San Joaquin Valley!

Make sure you’re following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!


Adelante,


Susana De Anda
CWC Co-Founder and Executive Director


UPCOMING EVENTS

September 20, 5-6 PM. Central Coast Comité Platica. Comité members will be sharing their experience working to secure bottled water delivery and next steps toward obtaining a long-term drinking water solution. All residents of the Bluff Rd., Jensen Rd, and Springfield Rd. area in north Monterey County are invited to this meeting to learn more about the efforts of the Comité. Please contact Cesar Garcia Lopez at (831) 288-0450 or cesar.garcia@communitywatercenter.org with any questions.

October 3, 10 AM- 4 PM. Central Coast Homelessness and Water Quality Public Forum. This workshop will discuss the challenges and solutions related to the intersection of water quality and people experiencing homelessness on the Central Coast. Elected officials, local and state agencies, and nonprofit entities will come together to identify and promote actions that reduce homelessness, as well as associated water quality impacts and risks to human health. Location: Central Coast Water Board Office (895 Aerovista Place, Suite 101, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401). Register here by September 23, 2019. Please direct other questions about this workshop to Central Coast Water Board staff at 805-549-4768 or RB3-homelessness@waterboards.ca.gov


CWC in the news

KAZU 90.3: Monterey County Community Organizes For Clean Tap Water. CWC community organizers have been organizing residents in the community north of Moss Landing for almost a year by connecting residents to private well testing (provided free of charge by the Central Coast Regional Water Board) and supporting community members to advocate for their short and long-term drinking water needs. Recently, members of the community-based organization, El Comité para tener agua sana, limpia y económica, or, The Committee for Safe, Clean and Affordable Water, successfully advocated for bottled water delivery for more than 150 households that had at least one contaminant above the legal limit. This service, paid for by a state grant, is only a temporary solution for communities. A long-term solution will take planning and more time, and it is critical that impacted residents have a seat at that table to ensure that any long-term solution meets their drinking water needs.

Univision: “El Agua Se Mira Pero No Se Toma": El Problema del Líquido Contaminado en el Valle Agrícola del Centro de California. In the center of California is the richest agricultural valley, an industry that feeds the nation and created a problem for families that harvest the crops. The water that reaches the houses is dangerous for their health. Like in many agricultural communities, water in East Orosi is contaminated with nitrates and not safe to drink. Residents talk with Univision about the fight for safe drinking water.

See the latest CWC news coverage here.


LA VOZ DE VECINOS UNIDOS COMES TOGETHER FOR SAFE DRINKING WATER

La Voz de Vecinos Unidos is a new community-based organization formed in August in Tulare County with the mission of bettering community services for a better way of life. The organization’s first priority is securing a consolidation agreement to bring safe drinking water to the community of East Orosi. The group brings together members from multiple communities including East Orosi, Cutler, Sultana, and Dinuba to build regional power!  

 


COMMUNITY MEMBERS PARTICIPATE IN STATE WATER BOARD PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT SESSIONS IN THE SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY

In April 2019, Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order directing the Natural Resources Agency, California Environmental Protection Agency, and Department of Food and Agriculture to prepare a water resilience portfolio. The state agencies have been working together to prepare recommendations that meet the needs of California’s communities, economy, and the environment that will be delivered to the Governor by the end of 2019. As part of this process, the State Water Board has been holding public sessions across the state including in Visalia and Madera. 

Last month, dozens of community leaders and organizational partners joined us in Visalia for one of the State Water Board's public engagement sessions. The goal of the session was to get community input on how to build resilient partnerships, meet challenges to water supply reliability using regional approaches, ensure access to clean, safe and affordable water, and seek ways to capture the knowledge of impacted communities to inform state water efforts. Community members also shared input on the implementation of the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund (SB 200) and emphasized the need for effective and transparent implementation, which community residents want to ensure by having a seat at the decision-making table. 

We heard great feedback and great questions about the plan for a water resilient California and the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund. Thank you for participating!

 


ADVOCATING FOR SOLUTIONS THAT WORK FOR COMMUNITIES WITH UNSAFE DRINKING WATER

Last month, Heather and Lucy represented CWC and the AGUA Coalition on a panel about temporary solutions for communities with unsafe drinking water at a State Water Board meeting. Lucy shared about her work to ensure her family and community, and other communities across California have access to safe and affordable drinking water. When Lucy’s community of West Goshen received bottled water as a temporary solution, the water provided was not enough to meet basic needs such as for drinking and cooking. Fortunately, Lucy’s family was able to connect to the City of Visalia and start receiving safe water but there are still 25 homes in her community that still do not have access to safe water and are paying for bottled water. Heather and Lucy emphasized that temporary solutions such as delivered bottled water and point of use services like filters are only temporary fixes and need to be connected to long-term solutions. That means communities must be incorporated into the process for developing long-term solutions and remain key drivers of solutions. We look forward to further collaboration with the Board to turn the promise of the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund into a reality for every Californian!


THANK YOU FOR A FANTASTIC WATER JUSTICE CELEBRATION!

We had a great time celebrating community power with more than 100 guests at our Water Justice Celebration event in Visalia last week! Thank you to all of those that were able to join and to our event sponsors! Together with the support of our generous sponsors and attendees, we raised more than $23,000 for the movement! In addition to inspiring speakers like Dolores Huerta, the crowd was treated to a stellar impromptu Mariachi performance by AGUA Coalition member Bartolo Chavez. It was a memorable night, and we are eternally grateful to be a part of this amazing collective. Mil gracias a todos!

 


ZACH HAYDT JOINS THE CWC TEAM!

Our team is excited to introduce you to our new staff member, Zach Haydt, joined the Visalia team last month as a Legal Fellow. Check out his bio and make sure to give him a warm welcome!


Do you want to join our team? CWC is Hiring!

Complete job descriptions and more information on how to apply, please visit: https://www.communitywatercenter.org/careers.

Current openings:

Community Organizer - Visalia: 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 San Joaquin Valley. This position will report directly to the CWC Director of Organizing and will work closely with other CWC staff, community partners and allies. If you have any questions, please contact Christina Marquez at christina.marquez@communitywatercenter.org 

Communications Manager - Sacramento: The bilingual (English and Spanish) Communications Manager is primarily responsible for overseeing media relations, organizational communications (eblasts, web presence, social media), and supporting CWC’s fundraising efforts. The Communications Manager is a full-time position based out of our Sacramento office and will report to the Director of Strategic Partnerships. This position will work closely with CWC’s Policy Director and the Executive Director, as well as other CWC staff, community members, ally organizations and agencies, and various interns. If you have any questions, please contact to Christina Marquez, Administrative Assistant atchristina.marquez@communitywatercenter.org.  

Water Leadership Strategist - Visalia or Sacramento: The Water Leadership Strategist is primarily responsible for coordinating the Community Water Leaders Network (CWLN) and supporting efforts to build regional power. CWLN is a network of 22 elected representatives from city councils, county board of supervisors, local water boards, public utilities districts, community service districts, school boards who have made a commitment to securing safe, clean and affordable water for their communities. The network is designed to support local elected decision makers by connecting leaders to each other for peer support and mentorship, providing accurate information and water expertise, and by sharing information on opportunities to secure safe and affordable drinking water. If you have any questions, please contact Adriana Renteria at adriana.renteria@communitywatercenter.org. 

 


RESOURCES AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • 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 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 more than three 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.
  • Resources for Protecting Groundwater. Summer and fall 2019 are an important time for groundwater planning. In preparation for this, Community Water Center has just released two new resources for protecting drinking water quality in the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA): 

We hope these resources support your involvement in groundwater planning. If you are new to the SGMA process, there is still time to get involved. Click here for a step-by-step process for how to get involved in your local area. 

 


THANK YOU TO OUR VISALIA WATER JUSTICE CELEBRATION SPONSORS!

 

THANK YOU TO OUR GENEROUS SUPPORTERS!

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!

Amy Helfant, Anavel Valdez, Benigna Hernandez, Bessma Mourad, Bill Walker, Bryan Barnha, Carly Yoshida, Cassie Morgan, David Weinsoff, Edward Bergtholdt, Ellen Rowe, Frank Lukacs, Jill Ratner, Julian De Anda, Kathryn Gilje, Kathryn Wuelfing, Kavita Vora, Kelsey Hinton, Kristin Dobbin, Leonard Sklar, Nancy Bruce, Natalie Garcia, Nimmi Damodaran, Paul Pierce, Renata Brillingerl, Sandra Hocker, Vicente Guerrero, Vicki Woods

 

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

Jim Maciel, Carole Clum

 

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