Community Water Center

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

January 2020 CWLN Newsletter


Drinking-Water Tool Release 

Are you interested in knowing where your water comes from based on your home address? Or how a future drought could impact your drinking water?

You’re invited to join a webinar on Wednesday, February 12, from 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. for the new web tool’s release and to learn all about it.

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

  • About the 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

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 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 to learn more about how this resource will help both communities and decision-makers better prepare to protect drinking water during these changing conditions! See more information below.


WHAT: Community Water Center will release its new interactive drinking water web tool.

WHEN: Wednesday, February 12, 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

HOW TO JOIN: Attend either an in-person watch party at any of our three offices:

Visalia (900 W Oak Ave., Visalia, CA 93291)

Sacramento (716 10th St., Suite 300, Sacramento, CA 95814)

Watsonville (406 Main St., Suite 421, Watsonville, CA 95076)


Join remotely via webinar (instructions to follow).

CLICK HERE TO RSVP Let us know that you are joining!

Adriana Renteria Joins SWB Office of Public Participation

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!

CWC Hires Communications Manager 


Jerry Jimenez joined the Community Water Center in 2020 as Communications Manager. He is primarily responsible for overseeing media relations, organizational communications, and supporting CWC’s fundraising efforts.

Jerry previously held positions as a newspaper reporter in San Benito and Monterey counties and as a communications director for labor unions in California and Washington states. Outside his professional career, Jerry served in the U.S. Navy Reserves as a Mass Communication Specialist and advocates for foster children as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) in Yolo County.

Jerry earned his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Southern California. His hobbies include reading, writing, running, and watching documentaries.

Meet our Communications and Data Intern

Harrison joined the Community Water Center in January 2020 as the Communications and Data Intern. 

She received a BA in Environmental Studies from UC Santa Barbara in 2019 and will graduate from UC Davis with a Master of Science in Environmental Policy and Management in 2020.  During undergrad, she worked as a research assistant, studying the connections between incarceration and environmental injustice. She wrote her senior thesis on climate change-induced Indigenous community relocations within the United States. 

She is interested in and passionate about equitable climate change adaptation policies.  Outside of school and work, she promotes food justice and advocates for an end to food waste through her work with Food Not Bombs. 

CV-SALTS: Central Valley Basin Plan Amendment

The Central Valley Basin Plan Amendments (BPAs) (formerly known as CV-SALTS) are the product of an over a decade long process, led by industries who discharge salts and nitrates, to create a framework on how those very discharges are regulated. The three goals of the BPAs are: 1) provide safe drinking water to those impacted by nitrates, 2) stop continued pollution, and 3) restore degraded groundwater basins. 

Up until about a month before the adoption hearing on October 16th, the language in the BPAs was strongly in favor of protecting nitrate discharger interests over drinking water interests. Thanks to the work of the CalEPA, the State Water Board, and community voices, the Regional Water Board must make significant changes to the BPAs to ensure that the three goals are met. The Regional Board has a year to make the necessary changes and resubmit to the State Water Board. Changes include: pollution must stop within 35 years, ensuring more communities are provided safe and affordable drinking water and preventing management actions that would result in localized areas with higher levels of pollution. 

At the State Water Board meeting, impacted residents from the Central Valley shared their experiences fighting for safe drinking water for themselves, their families, and their neighbors for years and expressed opposition to allowing continued pollution for another 45 years, the timeline that was in the draft State Board resolution. After discussion, the Board voted 3-1 to reduce the timeline to 35 years and voted 4-0 to approve with direction for revisions the BPAs. The BPAs now go to the Office of Administrative Law for approval, and the RWB begins their directed revisions to be resubmitted in approximately January 2021. 

Dischargers must soon begin implementation of the BPAs. Most importantly, they must develop and implement plans for providing emergency and interim solutions to communities impacted by nitrate contamination. Throughout this process, dischargers are required to consult with impacted residents to develop solutions that work best for them and their communities. We will need to guarantee that no community or individual household is overlooked, and ensure that dischargers are held accountable for implementing solutions that work for communities. 

First SAFER Drinking Water Advisory Group Meeting

Earlier this month, the first Safe and Affordable Funding for Equity and Resilience (SAFER) Drinking Water 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 expect the next Advisory Committee to be held in Fresno sometime in mid-February. Meetings are open to the public so we encourage CWLN members to attend, and to us or the State Water Board if you have questions.

Upcoming events

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!


Water 101 Workshop and Tour Offer Opportunity to Deepen Understanding of California Water

Workshop (Feb. 20) and optional tour (Feb. 21) to cover California water basics & beyond

Curious about water rights in California? Want to know more about how water is managed in the state, or learn about the State Water Project, Central Valley Project or other water infrastructure?

Sign up for our Water 101 workshop on Feb. 20 to hear from experts on these topics and more. Then join us on Feb. 21 for an optional tour that will get you up close with innovative water partnerships, projects and programs that serve as models statewide.

The Feb. 20 workshop will include sessions on:

· Water geography, history and hydrology

· Water law, including riparian, appropriative, groundwater rights, along with tribal water rights 

· Hot topics such as the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act and the governor’s recently released draft Water Resilience Portfolio

· Climate change and anticipated impacts to water resources

Planned stops & topics for Feb. 21 tour include:

· The Nigiri Project, a private-public partnership among rice farmers, government agencies, nonprofits and researchers to help restore salmon populations by reintroducing them during the winter to floodplains that are farmed with rice during the summer

· Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District’s EchoWater Project, among the largest public works projects in Sacramento’s history that will meet new wastewater treatment requirements and produce recycled water for landscape and agricultural irrigation

· The Public Policy Institute of California’s recent report on shifting the management of the state’s freshwater resources from a species-by-species approach to an ecosystem approach by promoting more coordination among agencies

The Water 101 workshop and tour are ideal for water resource industry staff, water district board members, engineering and environmental firm personnel, city council members, county supervisors, legislators, legislative staff, press, advocates, attorneys, stakeholders, environmentalists, public interest organizations and others to expand their knowledge of California water history, laws, geography and politics.

To get further details or to register for the workshop or the workshop/tour combo, please visit our Water 101 webpage.

Scholarships to fund a portion of the registration for the Feb. 20 workshop are available; for more information or to request an application, please contact Andrea Sproul.

For questions or concerns, please contact Daniel Peñaloza at 559-736-9499 or


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