CWC COVID-19 Response
During this uncertain and difficult time, we are working alongside community partners and allies to ensure that vulnerable communities in the San Joaquin Valley and the Central Coast have access to the resources they need and to safe, clean, and affordable drinking water.
In the immediate term we are reaching out to community members, assessing the impact to vulnerable communities, and connecting people to available resources. For longer-term solutions we successfully advocated for a statewide moratorium on water shutoffs along with clean water advocates and are working toward a water affordability program for all Californians.
It is important to stay safe and informed during this difficult time about the resources available to you during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Is your access to water being affected? Tell us.
If you're having trouble accessing safe, clean, and affordable drinking water, we want to hear from you. Let us know your situation so we can ensure that your concerns are heard by state and local decision-makers.
Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org or call:(559) 733-0219
COVID-19 Resources & Know Your Rights
Regional Bottled Water Program For Central Coast Households: Free bottled water delivery for income-qualifying households who rely on contaminated drinking water wells. Phone: (831) 288- 0450 (office) or (831) 500- 2125, Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Tulare County Bottled Water Program
- For applicants on domestic wells: Email: email@example.com Phone: (559) 624-7071.
- Customers of the following water systems are also eligible to apply: Tooleville MWC; East Orosi CSD; Richgrove CSD/Rodriguez Labor Camp; Ali MWC; Beverly Grand MWC
Emergency Bottled Water: If your household does not have enough safe water to meet your drinking, cooking, and sanitation needs during the COVID-19 emergency, contact Community Water Center at (559) 733-0219 or Blanca Escobedo from Leadership Counsel at (559) 719-0796 or Tami McVay from Self-Help Enterprises (559) 802-1685.
COVID-19 CWC Community Resources Fact Sheet: View a list of local and state resources compiled by CWC that are available based on your location, as well as your rights regarding evictions and water shutoffs (Last updated 5/04/2020).
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Disaster Relief Assistance for Immigrants:California is providing one-time state-funded disaster relief assistance to undocumented adults who are ineligible for other forms of assistance. Starting on May 18, 2020, twelve immigrant-serving nonprofit organizations will help individuals apply for and receive this disaster relief assistance in their region. Email: ImmigrantDisasterRelief@dss.ca.gov
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic: Information and Resources for Immigrant Communities in the Central Valley, Compiled by California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation (CRLAF) and the Sacramento Family Unity, Education, and Legal (FUEL) Network: (updated March 23, 2020)
Resources For Families Impacted By COVID-19, Compiled by Valley Children's Healthcare: https://www.valleychildrens.org/media-center/covid19-community-resources
Governor orders statewide moratorium on water shutoffs
We joined a coalition of clean water advocates in submitting a letter to California Governor Gavin Newsom requesting that he implement an immediate statewide moratorium on water shutoffs and to take other immediate emergency steps to maintain and restore access to water in vulnerable communities. The Governor responded to this crisis by ordering a statewide moratorium on water shutoffs on April 2, 2020. You can read our joint statement on the moratorium here.
Our work continues.
We are hearing from small systems that they need urgent support to cover revenue shortfalls in order to be able to maintain continuity of water service. We are also hearing concerns from families that they will be unable to pay if they are hit with large water bills that cover multiple months during the moratorium, and so once again may find themselves at risk of their water being shut off. We are also hearing from residents with unsafe tap water that bottled water is very difficult to find in stores right now. As one example, residents of communities in Tulare County currently lack access to safe water due to a change in the administrator of their state-funded bottled water delivery program, and residents have told us that it has been nearly impossible to find replacement water in local stores. This is proving true for many small communities that depend on corner stores for day to day needs.
Our state must address the long-term challenge of water affordability by creating a statewide low-income rate assistance program for water, just like we have for energy and cell phones.
Coalition to Congress: Fund Critical Water Needs ASAP
In a letter to congressional leaders, Community Water Center joined a diverse coalition of water advocates calling on Congress to fund critical water needs that are impacting Californians amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The coalition of nearly 60 organizations, which collectively represents more than 450 California water agencies - and multiple other water and environmental stakeholders - urged Congress to take action on four solutions to meet the immediate and long-term drinking water needs for Californians. Read the press release here.
Visalia Times Delta, May 7, 2020
Washington Post, May 5, 2020
Public News Service, April 23, 2020
Food and Environment Reporting Network, April 22, 2020
Earthjustice/NBC, April 16, 2020
The Sun-Gazette, April 15, 2020
California Health Report, April 14, 2020
LA Times, April 2, 2020
Sacramento Bee, April 2, 2020
Central Coast Public Radio, April 2, 2020
Valley Public Radio, April 2, 2020
Epoch Times, April 1, 2020
Gizmodo, March 20, 2020
State Water Resources Control Board, March 17, 2020