As the final decisions on the 2016-17 California Budget are being made by Governor Brown and state legislative leaders, CWC and our coalition of drinking water advocacy groups are hard at work to secure a budget package that advances the Human Right to Water. Our budget proposal includes:
• $10 million for emergency drinking water support for small communities
• $10 million to address the lack of drinking water access and water quality issues in schools
• $20 million to small, disadvantaged communities and low income households to improve water system efficiency, repair leaking pipes and other infrastructure, install meters, and replace outdated appliances, from the Senate's proposed allocation from Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund proceeds for drought actions, appliance rebates and water conservation and efficiency
• $1.3 million for lead-related programs and improved drinking water collection and management
We have had overwhelming support from our non-profit allies, municipal water agencies, and local water boards who felt the Governor's May Revise fell short of addressing California's drinking water crisis and that more targeted drinking water resources need to be prioritized for drought relief, safe water in schools, water efficiency, and data collection. In addition, 21 Assemblymembers, including both Republicans and Democrats representing districts across California, signed onto a letter supporting the budget package promoting safe water in schools.
On May 24th, the Assembly Budget Subcommittee 3 voted to approve the drinking water items totaling approximately $21 million, and the Senate moved forward with their Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund items, which included $20 million for water efficiency projects in disadvantaged communities. CWC and members of our growing coalition of drinking water advocates - including Rural Community Assistance Corporation, Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability, Self-Help Enterprises, California Food Policy Advocates, Public Health Advocates, and American Heart Association - are making a final push to Budget Conference Committee members, the Governor's office, and leadership to make this $41 million drinking water budget package a priority in the 2016-17 budget.
Visit our Take Action page to learn more and help us advocate for additional resources to address unmet drinking water needs in California's most impacted communities.