Community Water Center

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

January 2019 eNews

January 2019

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

Dear friends,

We are heartbroken to share that long-time AGUA member and mentor to the CWC familia, Jesus Quevedo has passed away. Señor Quevedo worked with Susana and Laurel since the beginning of CWC, helping to found the AGUA Coalition in 2006. He was a strong and steady presence, providing compelling testimony to local, regional and state legislators and leading fellow community activists in their fight for safe water. He will be dearly missed. If you would like to join his family in honoring his memory, his funeral arrangement information can be found below.

Friday 1/25/19
Rosary at 6pm at Saint Catherine's Catholic Church in Dinuba at 356 N Villa Ave, Dinuba, CA 93618

Saturday 1/26/19
Funeral Mass: 8 am at Saint Catherine's Catholic Church at 356 N Villa Ave, Dinuba, CA 93618


Susana and Laurel


CWC in the news

Sacramento Bee: Gavin Newsom budget calls for drinking water tax to help poor communities. Governor Newsom included language supporting the creation of a Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund in the 2019/2020 California Budget.

See the latest CWC news coverage here.

Governor Newsom Commits to Safe and Affordable Water for All

Governor Newsom with CWC Co-Director Susana De Anda visited Monterey Tract Park, a community which struggles with unaffordable water, and heard from impacted residents.

2019 is already shaping up to be an important year for safe and affordable drinking water. Last week, Governor Newsom announced a commitment to securing universal access to safe drinking water by including the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund in his January budget proposal. We see the Governor’s early and decisive commitment to safe water as a historic step toward addressing this crisis that threatens people in every region of our state. Then last Friday, Governor Newsom travelled to the community of Monterey Park Tract with his entire cabinet to learn more about the state’s drinking water crisis and reinforce his commitment to passing the Fund which he says is “the right thing to do.” CWC participated in this meeting and applauds Governor Newsom for his commitment to engaging directly with impacted communities -- and to finally providing safe drinking water for all Californians.

Now, the Legislature must make that same commitment. We are calling on our representatives to immediately introduce legislation to enact a Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund that will ensure every child, every family, in California can have universal access to safe and affordable drinking water. Ongoing investment is particularly important to ensure communities of color and low-income neighborhoods no longer bear the brunt of California’s drinking water crisis.

Our communities have waited years, even decades, for this basic human right. We will continue to meet with those who represent us, sharing our stories and making clear we have waited long enough. As noted by our Policy Director Jonathan Nelson, “These are our fellow Californians, and it’s long overdue to get this crisis solved.

East Orosi’s Wastewater Crisis

Residents of East Orosi, an unincorporated community in Tulare County of approximately 700 people, have been impacted by unsafe drinking water intermittently for over ten years. The groundwater in the area has nitrate levels that regularly exceed the federal health standard. Because of this, residents in East Orosi have to pay for water twice - once for water from their tap that they cannot drink, and again when they drive long distances to buy large jugs of potable water for their families.

To add to their problems, East Orosi residents have also been dealing with wastewater issues for many years; however, recently they are experiencing unprecedented unsanitary conditions and residents are calling us to share that when they take showers the water backflows into the bathtub and that there is human waste surfacing from their backyards, and that the odor is unbearable. This situation is unacceptable.

CWC has supported East Orosi in creating long-term solutions for their drinking water. Currently, ally organization Self-Help Enterprises has told us they have secured funding to replace the sewer lift pumps, but it will likely be weeks before this problem is repaired. In the meantime, residents have been advised to limit their use of water to avoid problems with backed-up sewer lines in the community. Very limited funds are available from the district to pump out overflowing septic tanks.  Lucia Reyes from Self-Help is supporting East Orosi residents on this issue. If you or someone you know is impacted, please contact her at (559) 802-1613 and

Save the Date for our 5th Annual Water Justice Leadership Awards!

Join us in Sacramento Tuesday, February 19th at 5:30 pm as we honor water justice leaders Dolores Huerta, Simona Magaña, and Eddie Valero for their leadership to make the human right to water a reality. Our 5th annual Water Justice Leadership Awards will be held at Mayahuel in Downtown Sacramento -- just 1 block from the Capitol. Please join us for this memorable evening!


If your organization is interested in sponsoring this event, please see our sponsorship opportunities here and email Natalie Garcia-Grazier, our Director of Strategic Partnerships. All sponsors receive complimentary tickets to the event and their logo on event materials!


Guillermina Hernandez joined Community Water Center this past December. As a Water Education & Outreach Specialist. Guillermina provides community education and outreach on drinking water issues to residents of low-income communities and communities of color to improve long-term access to safe and affordable drinking water in Southern San Joaquin Valley. Guillermina is a long-time resident of Visalia and has worked in the areas of education, Midi-Corps/Migrant programs, community health, environmental health, and wastewater treatment. Guillermina is excited to bring her extensive community outreach experience to the Community Water Center!

Jo Gopinath is a senior engineering major at Santa Clara University. She has joined the CWC as an intern through her Hackworth fellowship with Santa Clara University’s Markkula Center for Applied Ethics to explore the ethical dimensions of access to clean drinking water. She will be conducting market research on point-of-use treatment devices and their monitoring technology, as well as assisting the Watsonville office in their community water programs. She is excited to spend her last two quarters in college working this internship with the CWC.


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

Current openings:

Central Coast Community Organizer - 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. If you have any questions, please contact Susana De Anda at

Visalia Legal Fellow - With support from California ChangeLawyers, CWC is looking for a full-time, year-long Legal Fellow to provide legal assistance to communities without safe water and local water board members; create and update resources for community members and legal practitioners regarding drinking water governance and advocacy; and provide legal and advocacy support for other CWC programs as needed. This position will be based in CWC’s headquarters in Visalia, California. The Legal Fellow will also work with the UC Davis School of Law Aoki Water Justice Clinic to create materials that can be used by water board members and service providers that train and assist local water boards. If you have any questions, please contact Debi Ores at

Visalia Program AssociateThe Program Associate is primarily responsible for providing clerical and program support from the Visalia office. This position reports to the Director of Operations and will also work closely with other CWC personnel, independent contractors, allies and vendors. The Program Associate opportunity can be a part-time or full-time position.


JAN 25, 4-5PM. Community Platica in Monterey County. If you are a resident from Bluff/Jensen/Springfield and surrounding areas, join us to learn more about the drinking water quality in your communities, how it impacts your health, and resources available for accessing safe and affordable drinking water. Please contact Cesar Garcia Lopez at (831) 500-1255 or for the address and more information.

JAN 28, 5-7 PM. AGUA Coalition Meeting. CWC Visalia Office, 900 W. Oak Ave., Visalia, CA 93291. Join the AGUA Coalition for their first meeting of the year. Please contact Karina Gallardo at (559) 733-0219 or for more information.

FEB 6, 9:30AM. Informational Hearing on Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund. California State Capitol, Room 4202. Residents from the San Joaquin Valley will travel to the Capitol to speak on the importance of a Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund at this informational hearing. Please contact Jonathan Nelson at (916) 706-3346 or for more information.

FEB 9, 10AM-3PM. Groundwater Sustainability Plan Workshop. Fresno State CIT Conference Room (5370 N. Chestnut Ave., Fresno, CA 93470). At this workshop participants will gain technical and advocacy skills that will help them participate in this process effectively. RSVP here. For more information contact Adriana Renteria at (559) 733-0219 or

FEB 19, 5:30-8PM. CWC’s 5th Annual Water Justice Leadership Awards. Mayahuel (1200 K. St., Sacramento, CA 95814). This year, we are honoring labor rights activist Dolores Huerta and others for their role in leading the fight for safe and affordable drinking water for low-income communities in CA.  For more information and to buy your tickets, click here!

APR 3, 6-9PM. Brower Center Educational Event (2150 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA 94704). This free event will provide an overview of California’s drinking water crisis impacting more than one million people. This event is in response to feedback from Californians from all parts of the state who said that they don’t know that contaminated drinking water was an issue in California. For more information or to reserve your spot, please contact Natalie Garcia at (831) 288-0450 or


  • 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.
  • $9.5 Million Available for Drinking Water in Schools which may be used to install water bottle filling stations or drinking water fountains, and for interim water supplies and treatment devices for schools where contamination is an issue. If your school or district is interested in learning more about this exciting new opportunity to improve student access to safe drinking water you can access the guidelines and application here or contact Kim Hanagan, State Water Resources Control Board at (916) 323-0624. The application deadline for the grant program is March 1, 2019. Rural Community Assistance Corporation was selected by the State Water Resources Control Board to provide technical assistant during the grant application and implementation period. Contact them at for more information.
  • 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 3 or more 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.
  • 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 for all Californians!

Amy Helfant, Anavel Valdez, Benigna Hernandez, Bill Walker, Brandon Hill, Bryan Barnhart, Carly Yoshida, Cassie Morgan, David & Idie Weinsoff, Edward Bergtholdt, Ellen Rowe, Jill Ratner, Julian De Anda, Kavita Vora, Kat Wuelfing, Kelsey Hinton, Kristin Dobbin, Leonard Sklar, Nancy Bruce, Natalie Garcia-Grazier, Nimmi Damodaran, Paul Pierce & Patience Milrod, Renata Brillinger, Sandra Hocker, Vicki Woods

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

Alex Chen & Kate Kerkering, Amy Vanderwarker, Ann Maxwell, Bessma Mourad, Brian & Ellen Hinton, Christiaan Niks, Christina Lynch, Diane Weiss, Frank Lukacs, Jenny Rempel, Jessica Jasso, Julian Leichty, Kathy Grazier, Kevin Klug, Laurel Firestone, Leah White, Linda Harris, Martha Conklin, Max Gomberg, Natalie Fujikawa, Nathan Shafroth, Peter Vorster, Phoebe Seaton, Randy Zechman, Robert Finkelstein, Tom Frantz

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

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