Community Water Center

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

February 2015 Newsletter

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February 2015

Hi -

We'd love to celebrate with you at our first annual Water Justice Leadership Awards on Tuesday! Read on to learn more about the Awards, the Agua4All launch in Arvin, a new report on dairies, regional planning for low-income community water needs, our growing CWC team, and more!

Laurel and Susana 



You're invited to the first annual Water Justice Leadership Awards on Tuesday, Feb. 17th, from 5:30-7PM at Mayahuel in Downtown Sacramento! The Awards are an opportunity for us to honor key partners in the movement for water justice, including Assemblymember Anthony Rendon; Senator Fran Pavley; Martha Guzman-Aceves, Deputy Legislative Secretary in the Governor’s Office; Jennifer Clary, Clean Water Action; Jesus Quevedo, la Asociación de Gente Unida por el Agua; and Joanna Mendoza, Youth for AGUA. Felicia Marcus, Chair of the State Water Board, will present the awards and serve as Master of Ceremonies for the evening. It’s not too late to RSVP - we hope you’ll join us at this CWC fundraiser event as we continue building the water justice movement! Special thanks to our sponsors and host committee: 

Premier Event Sponsors: California Association of Mutual Water Companies; Environmental Defense Fund; Natural Resources Defense Council; Teamsters Joint Council 7; Sierra Health Foundation. Water Justice Activist Sponsors: Adan Ortega Associates, Inc.; Rural Community Assistance Corporation. Drinking Water Advocate Sponsors: Sierra Club California; Hernandez Strategy Group; California League of Conservation Voters; Environment Now; The Nature Conservancy. Table Sponsors: Soluri Meserve;  Ecoconsult; Clean Tech Associates; David Corey; Simmons Hanly Conroy, LLC. Host Committee: AGUA Coalition; Andrew Fahlund, California Water Foundation; Arsenio Mataka, California Environmental Protection Agency; Colin Bailey, Environmental Justice Coalition for Water; Paul Towers, Pesticide Action Network North America; and Phoebe Seaton, Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability



We were honored to be joined by our Agua4All partners – from community-based organizations like the Committee for a Better Arvin to state officials like Tam Dudoc at the State Water Board.

In January, as many as 150,000 residents in Eastern Coachella Valley and South Kern County came one step closer to being guaranteed safe water access in their communities. The California Endowment, Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC), Pueblo Unido CDC, and CWC came together to launch the Agua4All Initiative. Agua4All brings clean, safe drinking water to rural families through access to water bottle filling stations installed at public sites in South Kern and Coachella communities. 

On January 29th, we celebrated the first of 60 water bottle filling stations that are being installed at parks, schools, clinics, and other community sites in Arvin and Lamont. Residents are able to fill up water bottles for free at these filtered water taps. Dozens of residents and community leaders came out to show their support for the Agua4All Initiative at launch events, a testament to the dire need for easier access to safe water in these communities. At the event, 20-year-old Arvin Vice Mayor Jose Gurrolla spoke passionately about his work to bring both interim and lasting drinking water solutions to Arvin, where he grew up without safe drinking water access. 

Read the Tulare Lake Basin Study Report
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We recommend that the Board strengthen existing regulations to control nitrate leaching, particularly in dairies near high-risk communities.

Stanford University graduate student Peter DeMarco partnered with CWC to complete a new report, “Dairies’ Risk to the Drinking Water of Disadvantaged Unincorporated Communities in the Tulare Lake Basin." We presented our findings at the Regional Water Board meeting in December, and the Board followed up at its February meeting. We found that 106 active dairies are located in a high-risk zone around 45 low-income, unincorporated communities in Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, and Tulare Counties. 

Read the Tulare Lake Basin Study Report grey dividerDENISE KADARA JOINS REGIONAL BOARD!


Denise Kadara and her husband Kayode Kadara.

Denise Kadara was recently appointed to the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board! She brings her perspective and insights as a resident of Allensworth, where the community’s water supply is contaminated with arsenic. We’re actively working to see more individuals from small, rural, low-income communities serving as representatives on the boards and institutions that make decisions about California's water. 



CWC's Policy Analyst Omar Carrillo participated in the workshop to improve planning for low-income community water needs.

CWC participated in the Disadvantaged Communities Visioning Workshop in December 2015, convened by Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) leaders, Council for Watershed Health, MWH Americas, Carolina Balazs, and EJCW. Recommendations emerging from the workshop identify more effective means of engaging with and responding to low-income communities’ water needs as part of a pilot program involving seven IRWM groups. 

Read More Button gray dividerCWC IS GROWING!

We’re excited to welcome two new staff members! Asha Kreiling recently joined us as Program Associate in our Sacramento office, and Kristin Dobbin joined our Visalia team as our new Regional Water Management Coordinator! Asha brings experience supporting environmental justice nonprofits in San Diego and conducting budget, policy, and data analysis with the NYC Office of Management and Budget and the NYC Department of Sanitation. Kristin has studied community water management in both Costa Rica and Honduras, where she was recently working with the Honduran NGO Agua Para el Pueblo on a Fulbright Scholarship. She just published an article about her research in Costa Rica that is very relevant to our Central Valley work with local rural water boards.

We’re very grateful for the support that Debi Ores, a recent UC Davis law graduate, is providing as a full-time Volunteer Attorney and Legislative Advocate in our Sacramento office. Debi brings experience working in water law at the State Board and the Delta Stewardship Council. At CWC, she’s been busy writing memos, planning events, and conducting research into the structural rules of representation on local water boards in the Central Valley. Former CWC Technical Analyst Shen Huang has moved on in her career to work at the State Water Resources Control Board Division of Drinking Water Fresno Office. We look forward to continuing to work with her and the rest of the Division to find solutions for community drinking water challenges!

Read the Tulare Lake Basin Study Report

Thanks to the incredible generosity of our supporters, we met and exceeded our $20,000 end-of-year fundraising goal! Your support as grassroots donors will help us meet our 2015 goals and continue building the water justice movement. On behalf of the whole CWC team, thanks so much for your support!!

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Top photo by Bear Guerra

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