Community Water Center

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

January 2020 eNews

January 2020

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Dear Friend,

Community Water Center has created a NEW interactive drinking water tool available for communities and decision-makers to use to protect drinking water during changing climate conditions. We’ll be hosting a public launch of the tool on Feb 12. Save the date and join us to learn more about using this tool to understand how a future drought could impact your drinking water.

Save the date for the 6th Annual Water Justice Leadership Awards taking place on March 10th in Sacramento. We’ll be recognizing leaders who have worked tirelessly to make the human right to water a reality for all Californians.

See below for more information.



Susana de Anda

CWC in the news

The Sun-Gazette: Tooleville gets ear of State Water Board. Four residents with ties to Tulare County will serve on the Advisory Group for the implementation of the state’s Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund. The group also will assist the Board in tracking the program’s progress, including its impact on the number of Californians with safe drinking water, the effectiveness of water system administrators, and outcomes of water system consolidations.

Brut: The US Water Crisis Hot Spots. These areas with poor access to clean water reveal who’s taking the hit from the growing water crisis.

CalMatters: California Must Stop Agriculture from Fouling our Drinking Water. Horacio Amezquita, general manager of San Jerardo housing cooperative in Salinas writes, “For almost 30 years, our community has been chasing clean water. Dozens of communities in our area are in the same position. Agriculture must use more sustainable practices to reduce the poisons in our groundwater. When agriculture applies chemicals wastefully, we are forced to drink that waste. If the concentration of contaminants get too high, our wells are closed.”

See the latest CWC news coverage 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


Earlier this month, the first Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund Advisory Group (Advisory Group) meeting took place. This meeting marks an important milestone for the implementation of the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund. The Advisory Group will advise the Board in developing a fund expenditure plan and other key policies.

CWC was in attendance, along with community members Lucy Hernandez and Horacio Amezquita. Lucy from AGUA Coalition and Horacio from San Jerardo Cooperative Inc. were selected as two of the 19 members of the Advisory Group! Their leadership will help identify needs & community priorities for the Fund. We look forward to attending future meetings in order to ensure that the vision of the Fund to secure safe and affordable drinking water for all Californians is achieved.

you are invited to our 6th annual water justice Leadership awards!

Join us in Sacramento on Tuesday, March 10th at 5:30 pm for the 6th Annual Water Justice Leadership Awards. Join as we honor water justice leaders for their leadership to make the human right to water a reality. This event will be an opportunity to recognize leaders who have worked tirelessly, often against great odds, to ensure the human right of safe drinking water in California.

This year, we are proud to share this year’s honorees, which include: 

  • Jared Blumenfeld, Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency and Wade Crowfoot, Secretary of California Natural Resources Agency, on behalf of the Newsom Administration
  • Melynda Metheney, member of the AGUA Coalition, and West Goshen community leader
  • Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia

If your organization is interested in sponsoring this event, please see our sponsorship opportunities here and contact Natalie Garcia-Grazier, our Director of Strategic Partnerships at (559) 301-8224 or All sponsors receive complimentary tickets to the event, their logo on event materials and shout outs via email and social media!

CWC is excited to introduce our new Drinking Water Tool! The Drinking Water Tool is a NEW interactive web tool that provides information about the ways that communities across the state might be vulnerable to groundwater challenges that could affect their access to long-term safe and affordable drinking water. 

The Drinking Water Tool can help you learn:

  • Where your water comes from based on your address
  • Whether a future drought could impact your drinking water supply
  • Information about groundwater quality and supply in your area
  • How to advocate for safe, clean and affordable drinking water
  • How to compare information about your water with your local Groundwater Sustainability Plan

With climate change, California will experience more droughts that will last longer and be more severe. This will cause drinking water supplies for vulnerable communities to run dry or become contaminated -- and as a result, will directly threaten California’s ability to secure access to safe and affordable drinking water for all. Based on an analysis developed for this Tool, 1.6 million Californians live in areas served by private domestic wells. Many of these residents live in the Central Valley and would be affected by future droughts. The Drinking Water Tool estimates that a future drought could negatively impact 4,500 domestic wells in the Central Valley, potentially costing the state about $115 million. This presents a serious public health crisis and undermines California’s efforts to secure the Human Right to Water for all Californians. 

Join us on Wednesday, February 12, at 11 a.m in person or via webinar to learn more about using the Drinking Water Tool to help California better prepare to protect drinking water during these changing conditions! CLICK HERE TO RSVP


As Regional Water Manager at Community Water Center, Adriana supported efforts to increase access to safe and affordable water for disadvantaged communities in the Tulare Lake Basin by working with local water board leaders, Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs), and Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) groups to support regional planning efforts.

Earlier this month, Adriana transitioned out of her role and will be joining the State Water Board as Director of the Office of Public Participation. There, she will lead efforts at involving the public in the Board’s decision-making processes and ensure all interested parties can participate in Water Board activities.

Although we are sad to have her leave CWC, we know that she will be an excellent addition to this state agency! 

Our team is excited to introduce you to our new team member. Jerry Jimenez joined the Sacramento team last month as a Communications Manager. Check out his bio and make sure to give him a warm welcome!


Harrison Ashby joined us this month as the Communications and Data Intern. Check out her bio and make sure to give her a warm welcome!

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

    Current openings:

    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. 

    Regional Water Manager - Visalia Office

    The Regional Water Manager will lead CWC’s regional water management planning, policy and program development to achieve sustainable and affordable drinking water solutions in low-income communities and communities of color. The Regional Water Manager will report to the Policy Director and also work closely with the Executive Director other staff, people directly impacted by drinking water issues, members of partner organizations and agencies, other stakeholders impacted by groundwater management including representatives from industry, and various interns. This is a full-time, exempt position.

    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 Watsonville 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.



  • 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.


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. 


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, Arden Wells, Benigna Hernandez, Bessma Mourad, Bill Walker, Bryan Barnhart, Carly Yoshida, Cassie Morgan, David Weinsoff, Edward Bergtholdt, Ellen Rowe, Frank Lukacs, Jill Ratner, Jose Pablo Ortiz Partida, Julian De Anda, Kathryn Wuelfing, Kavit, Vora, Kelsey Hinton, Kristin Dobbin, Leonard Sklar, Nancy Bruce, Natalie Garcia-Grazier, Nimmi Damodaran, Paul Pierce, Sandra Hocker, Tom Biglione, Vicente Guerrero, Vicki Woods

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

George W Davis Fund, Alan Saunders, Brittany Sanders, Caitlin Stanton, Carrie McNeil, Claudia Wrazel, Daniel  Serrano, Dieter Rutzen, Elissa Callman, Jenny Rempel, John Sauceda, Jon LaRosa, Jordyn Wolfand, Khalouk Mourad, Lara Cushing, Lauren Barnum, Linda Harris, Louise Fortmann, Mark Kines, Peter Vorster, Kelly Rayburn, Stephen Gasteyer, Victoria Rome


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