Community Water Center

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

July 2019 eNews

July 2019

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Dear Friend,

With the Governor’s signature in July, California made history by passing SB 200, the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund! This will provide more than $1.4 billion in sustainable funding over the next 11 years to finally realize California’s promise of safe water for all! Now, the work begins to ensure a timely and ambitious implementation so that all communities without safe water today will have safe and affordable drinking water projects either secured or in progress, not decades from now, but within the next several years.  

We are also excited to invite you to our annual Water Justice Celebration taking place on September 5 in Visalia. We have a lot to celebrate this year with the power of people achieving a historic water justice victory! 

See more information below!

Susana De Anda


AUGUST 23, 5-6 PM. Central Coast Comité Platica. Comité members will be sharing their experience working to secure safe bottled water delivery and next steps in working toward obtaining safe drinking water directly from the tap. All residents of the Bluff Rd., Jensen Rd, and Springfield Rd. area in north Monterey County are invited to this meeting to learn more about the efforts of the Comité. Please contact Cesar Garcia Lopez at (831) 288-0450 or with any questions.



Join us on Thursday, September 5 from 5:30-8:00 PM for our annual community celebration event in Visalia!  We have a lot to celebrate this year as we witnessed the power of people achieve a historic water justice victory! The event will include inspiring speakers, live music, food and great company! 


Save your spot and buy tickets by clicking the button below.

We are still accepting sponsorships for the event! If you're interested in supporting this celebration, please see sponsorship opportunities here. 

CWC in the news

Valley Public Radio: Newsom Establishes Long-Term Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund. Newsom was joined by local residents, environmental advocates, and legislators as he signed SB 200, which creates a long-term fund to support the more than 300 California communities that lack safe drinking water. “The idea that we’re living in a state with a million people that don’t have access to clean, safe, affordable drinking water is a disgrace,” Newsom said during the event.

Radio Bilingue: Interview with CWC’s Susana De Anda. In a major victory for grassroots organizers, the California legislature passed a bill for clean drinking water to address the contaminated water crisis in rural communities. 

Civil Eats: 300 California Communities Can’t Drink From the Tap. Will More Money Make a Difference? When the agricultural communities that have water sit just a mile or two away from cities that don’t, the class and racial divides that determine which Californians get access to natural resources become difficult to ignore. SB 200 gives small rural communities the support they need to repair their water supply without protracted negotiations with larger municipalities

California Health Report: State Water Agreement is a Victory for Health Equity. From the San Joaquin Valley to southeast Los Angeles, Californians turn on the tap to find contaminated, foul-smelling, or discolored water—or no water at all. In this Op-ed, the Director of Health Equity at the Prevention Institute, Elva Yanez, applauds the frontline communities and policy advocates who fought to win this victory for health and human rights.

The Sun Gazette: Communities Still Gaming out what the Future will be. Community members, local activists and advocacy organizations met last week to discuss sustainable groundwater markets at a roundtable in Visalia. 


See the latest CWC news coverage here.


We are thrilled to share that in July, the Governor signed SB 200, the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund, into law! Governor Newsom visited community advocates in the unincorporated community of Tombstone Territory in Fresno County. The Fund will provide nearly $1.5 billion dollars of funding over the next decade for safe drinking water projects in vulnerable communities. 

The fact that this victory was secured by the direct advocacy, over the course of years and decades, of impacted communities themselves, once again demonstrates the power of people to change the trajectory of their society toward a place of greater justice.

We thank Governor Gavin Newsom for his leadership on safe water, and for coming back to the community today to share this special moment with those that have fought so long for this victory. We also thank Senator Bill Monning for his tireless work to pass the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund, in partnership with Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon and Senate Pro Tem Toni Atkins, Assemblymembers Eduardo Garcia and Richard Bloom, and the many other supporters who joined hands together to make history.

And now the real work begins. Turning the promise of the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund into a reality for the communities that have waited so long for relief will require effective, bold and transparent implementation by the State Water Board as well as by regional and local water boards and other decision-makers. We will continue to partner with impacted communities to ensure they are incorporated into the process and remain key drivers of timely solutions.

Together let’s move forward boldly to do the necessary work of implementing safe and affordable drinking water projects for the communities that desperately need them -- and in doing so, finally achieve the California promise of safe and affordable drinking water for all.



Community members of El Comité para tener agua sana, limpia y económica (Committee for Safe, Clean and Affordable Drinking Water) successfully advocated for funding to cover delivered bottled water for their whole community after well testing results showed unsafe levels of nitrate and 123-TCP. Comité members attended a board meeting of their local community services district, Pajaro Sunny Mesa, to request that the CSD apply for the state grant for bottled water delivery for impacted residents. 

After getting the grant, dozens of eligible residents applied and started receiving bottled water delivered to their homes in July. This is a short-term plan to protect the health of residents now while we work in partnership with residents and others for a long-term solution for safe water. We will continue outreach to impacted residents to apply for the water delivery program. 

Contact Cesar Garcia Lopez at (831) 288-0450 or for more information.  



On July 2nd, about 70 community members and local elected leaders participated in a Roundtable on Protecting Drinking Water in Groundwater Markets hosted by CWC, Self-Help Enterprises, Leadership Counsel, Union of Concerned Scientists, and the Environmental Defense Fund in Visalia.

The event started with a CWC presentation and panel on protecting drinking water in groundwater markets which would limit the amount that each user can pump, and would allow individuals to buy and sell their allotment of groundwater, and how these markets could impact drinking water supplies in rural, low-income communities. 

Later, roundtable participants played a few rounds of a groundwater markets game. The game was developed by the Environmental Defense Fund and the University of Michigan and is intended to help players better understand the possible impacts of markets for different users. Participants practiced several market scenarios modeling how although groundwater markets can facilitate the exchange of resources, they can also raise concerns for communities who depend on groundwater to drink and for those users who may not be able to afford additional groundwater allocations. Thanks to everyone who joined us and helped make this event a success!


Last week, over 50 residents and community leaders attended a drinking water and groundwater planning workshop at San Jerardo Cooperative hosted by Community Water Center, San Jerardo Cooperative, and the Union of Concerned Scientists. The majority of attendees get their drinking water from private wells and small water systems in the Salinas Valley. This workshop was an opportunity to share information about the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, Sustainability Indicators, and what is being proposed in the draft Groundwater Sustainability Plan by the Salinas Valley Basin Groundwater Sustainability Agency. During the workshop, we solicited feedback on how residents would like to see groundwater managed and get involved in the process. Community Water Center will continue to work with those who attended to continue to increase engagement among drinking water stakeholders in groundwater planning in the Salinas Valley. 

For more information on what was covered and links to the materials from the July 31 event, visit our website or call our office at (831) 288-0450.




Our team is excited to introduce you to our new staff member! Christina Marquez joined the Visalia team last month as an Administrative Assistant. Check out her bio and make sure to give her a warm welcome!

Do you want to join our team? CWC is Hiring!

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

Current openings:

Communications Manager - Sacramento: The bilingual (English and Spanish) Communications Manager is primarily responsible for overseeing media relations, organizational communications (eblasts, web presence, social media), and supporting CWC’s fundraising efforts. The Communications Manager is a full-time position based out of our Sacramento office and will report to the Director of Strategic Partnerships. This position will work closely with CWC’s Policy Director and the Executive Director, as well as other CWC staff, community members, ally organizations and agencies, and various interns. If you have any questions, please contact to Christina Marquez, Administrative Assistant at  

Community Organizer - Visalia: 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. If you have any questions, please contact Christina Marquez, Administrative Assistant at 

Water Leadership Strategist - Visalia or Sacramento Office: The Water Leadership Strategist is primarily responsible for coordinating the Community Water Leaders Network (CWLN) and supporting efforts to build regional power. CWLN is a network of 22 elected representatives from city councils, county board of supervisors, local water boards, public utilities districts, community service districts, school boards who have made a commitment to securing safe, clean and affordable water for their communities. The network is designed to support local elected decision makers by connecting leaders to each other for peer support and mentorship, providing accurate information and water expertise, and by sharing information on opportunities to secure safe and affordable drinking water. If you have any questions, please contact Adriana Renteria at 




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, Benigna Hernandez, Bessma Mourad, Bill Walker, Brandon Hill, Bryan Barnhart, Carly Yoshida, Cassie Morgan, David Weinsoff, Edward Bergtholdt, Ellen Rowe, Frank Lukacs, Jill Ratner, Kathryn Gilje, Kathryn Wuelfing, Kavita Vora, Kelsey Hinton, Kristin Dobbin, Leonard Sklar, Nancy Bruce, Natalie Garcia, Nimmi Damodaran, Paul Pierce, Renata Brillinger, Sandra Hocker, Vicente Guerrero, Vicki Woods


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

Luisa Medina, Dorothy Osak, Allison Harvey Turner, Sarah Murdoch


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