Community Water Center

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

December 2019 eNews

December 2019

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


Dear Friend,


Thank you for joining CWC in support of safe, clean and affordable water for all. This year has been truly momentous, and with your support, we are accelerating change in areas of California that need investment to access safe drinking water. Together, we have passed historic legislation such as the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund, established  a new grassroots community-based organization in the Central Coast, and engaged impacted residents in groundwater planning to ensure drinking water sources are protected. Looking ahead to next year, our goal is to set the more than 300 communities with contaminated drinking water on a path to safe water by 2025. We’ll need your support to do that, and have a goal to raise $50,000 before the end of the year. Together, we can solve this crisis. Will you join us or reaffirm your support by donating today?




Susana De Anda

CWC in the news

The Bakersfield Californian: OTHER VOICES: Health of our families, communities depends on safe water. California took a historic step forward this summer with the passage of the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund. This fund will provide new targeted investments to end the state’s drinking water crisis, where one million Californians are impacted by unsafe water each year. Unfortunately, successful implementation of the fund is on a potential collision course with another California law, the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act — also known as SGMA — which is being implemented in a manner that ignores the safe drinking water needs of our most vulnerable communities.


The Guardian: Californians are turning to vending machines for safer water. Are they being swindled? Vended water is many times more expensive than tap water. And there isn’t much evidence to show customers are getting the quality they’re paying for.


See the latest CWC news coverage here.


January 24, 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 with any questions.

February 19, 5:30-8 PM. CWC’s 6th Annual Water Justice Leadership Awards. Location: Mayahuel (1200 K. St., Sacramento, CA 95814). Every year, we honor leaders who fight for safe and affordable drinking water for low-income communities in CA. Save the date for this celebration you will not want to miss! Get your tickets here: 

April 3- 5, 2020 CWC invites you to experience The Water Project. “A powerful collaboration between five departments at Santa Clara University, The Water Project integrates dance, choral music, animation, and projected imagery. The Water Project explores all things water: its sacred essence and beauty, its positive and destructive power, and humanity’s role in controlling and commodifying water. This performance addresses our strong reliance on water and the impending crisis that could impact life as we know it today.” Our Community Organizer, Mayra Hernandez, will form part of a panel after the performance. More info here.


After a year of working with El comité para tener agua sana, limpia y económica, we’re excited to share our achievements in 2019! Since the community-based organization formed, we’ve held over 12 community platicas, facilitated over 22 private drinking well tests in the area, signed up over 59 households to receive a state funded bottled water service, and raised awareness about local drinking water issues through radio interviews on Radio Bilingue and local NPR station KAZU.In 2020, we will continue holding our monthly meetings to build community knowledge and power, recruit new members to join El Comité, sign up more people for the bottled water service, advocate the state to set a health protective legal limit for chromium-6, and continue organizing communities for long-term drinking water solutions for all.


CWC community organizers have been out in the community of San Benito County connecting with residents to learn more about the drinking water challenges they are facing. So far, CWC has connected 14 homes to the Central Coast Regional Water Board’s free well testing program. From those tests, we have learned arsenic, nitrates and total dissolved solids are key contaminants impacting drinking water in the area.


We have been advocating for the State Water Board to reinstate a health protective chromium-6 legal limit as soon as possible, so that schools and domestic well owners can obtain short-term and long-term solutions. On December 11th, teachers, parents, CWC and allied organizations gave public comment at the Pajaro Valley Unified School District’s Board of Trustees meeting. Teachers and parents requested for PVUSD to provide five gallon jugs of water for all the children and staff at Ohlone Elementary, as an emergency solution to the chromium-6 in their drinking water. They also requested for PVUSD to join them in urging the State Water Board to reinstate a health protective legal limit for chromium-6 and to keep teachers and parents well informed of any action they plan to take to improve access to safe water at schools.


CWC believes in holding elected officials accountable for safe and affordable drinking water and conducts civic engagement projects to educate and engage voters on drinking water issues in their communities. Over the span of 15 days, our project team contacted more than 2,000 Tulare County Latino voters! They talked to voters about the newly passed Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund, and what kind of support will be available to address drinking water issues across the state. Many voters reached rely on private wells, who are eligible to benefit from this Fund. We're excited about the team's success and will keep building on this momentum into 2020!


Earlier this month, three community leaders took their oath of office in Tulare County to assume their positions on the East Orosi Community Services District Board (CSD) and CWC was there to show support!  East Orosi has been facing nitrate contamination of their drinking water for over a decade and needs strong leadership to end this long-standing public health crisis.Virgie Nunez, Elvira Camacho and Mayra Castillo (from left to right), stepped up to take a leadership role in their community by running for East Orosi CSD board seats. These leaders believe that, in order to see change happen in their community, they needed to be a part of the solution. On January 9th, 2020, they will take their seats as official Board members for the East-Orosi CSD.Currently, the community is currently receiving bottled water as a short term solution. La Voz de Vecinos Unidos will be working alongside their elected leaders in order to ensure that a long term solution is on its way and to get safe drinking water in their communities.Congratulations! We look forward to working with community leaders to drive water solutions and ensure the human right to water is made a reality for all Californians.


Many Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) made their draft Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs) available for public review and are almost done with their 90-Day Public Comment Period. As we wrap up the year, GSAs will be hosting public hearings before deciding whether to adopt and submit their draft GSPs. These GSPs contain important information about how groundwater will be managed, how much pumping will be allowed, and actions the GSA plans to implement in the next couple of years. 

GSAs will be submitting their draft plans to the Department of Water Resources (DWR) by January 31, 2019. From January 31st to March 31st, the public will have another opportunity to comment on the potential adoption of plans. DWR will have three options when they review plans: 1) Accept and adopt plan as is, 2) Conditionally accept plan as long as GSAs do necessary revisions, and 3) Fail plans that do not have a clear path towards achieving sustainability. If plans are failed, the State Water Resources Control Board will implement a provisionary plan on behalf of GSAs. 

As part of their review, DWR will have to consider the Human Right to Water (HR2W) which states that “every human being has the right to safe, clean, affordable, and accessible water adequate for human consumption, cooking, and sanitary purposes.” GSPs that do not support access to sufficient and affordable quantities of drinking water, or GSPs that impact access to safe drinking water, may require costly and time-consuming revisions prior to approval from DWR, if not outright failure of the GSP. 

Now is a critical time to participate in public hearings to adopt GSPs to ensure your concerns are being shared and documented. Below are a list of the communities in several San Joaquin Valley Groundwater Sustainability Agencies and dates for their public hearings. If your community isn’t listed below, you can find your GSA by entering your address here

Pixley Irrigation District GSA

Communities included: Pixley and Teviston 

Public hearing to adopt GSP:

  • Date: Thursday, January 9th, 2020
  • Time: 9AM.
  • Location: 357 E Olive Ave, Tipton, CA 93272

Alpaugh GSA

Communities included: Alpaugh

Public hearing to adopt GSP: 

  • Date: Monday, January 13th, 2020
  • Time: 2:30PM. 
  • Location: 5446 Rd. 38, Alpaugh, CA 93201


Lower Tule River Irrigation District GSA

Communities included: Tipton, Poplar, Woodville

Public hearing to adopt GSP:

  • Date: Tuesday, January 14th, 2019
  • Time: 9AM. 
  • Location: 357 E Olive Ave, Tipton, CA 93272

You can stay informed about the different opportunities to give your comments and feedback before the plans are submitted to the state in January 2020 by visiting our social media sites and event page:



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


Community Organizer - Visalia Office

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. 


Organizing Manager - Watsonville Office

The Organizing Manager position is a full-time, exempt employee position that will be primarily responsible for leading CWC’s organizing and base-building programs and activities in the Salinas Valley and Northern Central Coast Region. The Organizing & Advocacy Manager will report directly to the Director of Community Solutions in the Watsonville Office and will also work closely with the other CWC staff and organizational partners. 


Community Organizer - Watsonville Office

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 (primarily Monterey, Santa Cruz, San Benito counties and parts of Santa Clara County). This position will report directly to the Organizing Manager based in the Watsonville Office and will work closely with other CWC staff, community partners and allies.

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. 
Funding for Water and Energy Audits: Application and Instructions. More details on the CWSRF. 


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 Barnhart, Carly Yoshida, Cassie Morgan, David Weinsoff, Edward Bergtholdt, Ellen Rowe, Frank Lukacs, Jill Ratner, Jan Pablo Ortiz Partida, Julian De Anda, Kathryn Wuelfing, Kavita Vora, Kelsey Hinton, Kristin Dobbin, Leonard Sklar, Nancy Bruce, Natalie Garcia, Nimmi Damodaran, Paul Pierce, Sandra Hocker, Vicente Guerrero, Vicki Woods

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

Alex Porteshawver, Alex and Kate Chen and Kerkering, Anita Chang, Avarelle Silver-Westrick, Iris Biblowitz, Ellen Hanak Valletta, Janet Traub, Kelsey Hinton, Kevin Klug, Linda Kida,  Patti Chang, Thomas Frantz, Natalie Garcia


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

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