Community Water Center

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

March 2019 eNews

March 2019

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


Dear Friend,

We’re hiring! Our Sacramento and Visalia offices are looking for candidates to fill our two Program Associate positions. Both positions allow ample room for growth at our organization and many learning opportunities in the realms of environmental justice policy, organizing and nonprofit organizational sustainability. If you love to learn, and are excited to jump into the world of water justice, this may be the right fit for you! Learn more here.



CWC in the news

Valley Public Radio: Governor Newsom's Clean Water Tax A 'Moral Imperative' To Some, A Burden To Others. Jonathan Nelson, CWC’s Policy Director, provides an in depth overview of why the legislature must pass a Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund this year.

ABC 30: California water tax: Mixed reactions in Valley over proposal. Erica Fernandez, CWC’s Director of Organizing, urges the legislature to remember that safe and affordable drinking water is a human right, not a privilege.

See the latest CWC news coverage here.

Nitrates 6x the Legal Limit Found in Private Wells in Monterey County

Tetra Tech consultants testing a private well testing in North Monterey County.

In early 2019, our Central Coast team began testing private wells throughout Monterey County through a free Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board program, and we have started to receive the results. Of the seven wells we tested, all have high levels of nitrate contamination -- three had levels up to six times the legal limit for this contaminant -- and five  have high levels of the cancer-causing contaminant 1,2,3-trichloropropane. This is a call to action for immediate interim solutions in this area, including bottled water delivery, but also a stark reminder of the importance of finding long-term solutions for families on private wells.

Our team will be providing well testing results along with resources on what the contamination means for the families whose homes are impacted, as well as what options they have to protect their health until a long-term solution is found. As we mentioned last month, residents impacted by unsafe water in the Bluff/Jensen/Springfield area of Monterey County have formed their own community based organization (CBO) called Comité para tener agua sana, limpia, y economica (Committee for Safe, Clean and Affordable Water), which will serve as an organizing and advocacy arm for community drinking water solutions. We are excited to keep working alongside these community activists until all families have safe and affordable water in their homes!

If you live in Monterey County and are served by a private well, please reach out to our Community Organizer, Cesar Garcia, for more information on how you can become involved in this free program at or (831) 288-0450.

Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund Passes Through its First Committee Hearing!

SJV community members traveled to Sacramento twice last week to make it clear that the time for safe drinking water solutions for our communities is NOW. More than 30 residents impacted by unsafe water spoke at hearings for the Governor’s trailer bill, Senate Bill 200 (Monning), and Assembly Bill 217 (E. Garcia) respectively.

To stay up to date on this campaign, sign up for our Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund email list here!

The first big test for the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund was the vote that took place in the Assembly Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee this past Tuesday. AB 217 authored by safe water champion Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia, passed with a 6-3 vote, moving the bill to the next step for review by the Assembly Appropriations Committee!

Ongoing engagement is still needed to ensure that the CA Legislature follows through on its commitment to create a Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund to provide long-term drinking water solutions for communities living with contaminated drinking water. We still need your help to do this.  Will you take 5 minutes to let your legislators know safe and affordable drinking water needs to be a priority this year?

Join us in Berkeley on this wednesday!

In partnership with the David Brower Center and Sierra Club San Francisco chapter, we are hosting an free educational event on California’s drinking water crisis. Join us for a insightful discussion with a panel of experts on this issue and how we can solve it together. A reception with food and drink to follow!



AGUA Member Josie Nieto Selected as Award Winner for Women’s History Month in Tulare County

Long-time AGUA member and Community Activist Josie Nieto was selected as an award winner for Women’s History Month by Tulare County Supervisor Eddie Valero! She is being honored for her activism, organizing her community towards long-term safe and affordable drinking water solutions. Already this year, she has traveled to Sacramento three times to share how unsafe water impacts her family and urge the CA legislature to secure a sustainable funding solution for this crisis. She is an inspiration to our team, and we are so grateful to work alongside her in the water justice movement!

Save the Date for our Upcoming Watsonville Open House

Join our team at our newest office in Watsonville for an open house on Thursday, April 25th! This will be a great opportunity to meet and connect with Central Coast staff members on priorities to advance safe and affordable drinking access for low-income communities of color in the region. Please come meet us and help us break in our new home! Food and drinks will be served.

Where: CWC Watsonville Office

406 Main Street, Suite 421, Watsonville, CA 95076

When: Thursday, April 25th, 4-6 PM

To help us get a head count, please RSVP below. Look forward to seeing you!


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

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

Current openings:

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. This position will be based in Visalia. The Legal Fellow will also work collaboratively with the UC Davis School of Law Aoki Water Justice Clinic. To apply and for more information, please click on the link above. If you have any questions, please contact Debi Ores at

Program Associate - Sacramento Office
This position is primarily responsible for providing policy, communications, fund development and other programmatic support based in the Sacramento office, and has room for growth based on candidates’ skills, interests and qualifications.To apply and for more information, please click on the link above.This is a regular, exempt, full-time, salary position. If you have any questions, please contact Kelsey Hinton at

Program Associate - Visalia Office
This position 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.  If you have any questions, please contact Anavel Valdez-Lupercio at


MAR 29, 4-5 PM. Community Platica in North Monterey County. If you are a resident from Bluff/Jensen/Springfield and surrounding areas, join the Committee for Safe, Clean, and Affordable Drinking Water 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.

APR 2, 5:30-7:30 PM. Porterville Eastern Tule Groundwater Sustainability Agency Community Workshop. Comision Honorifica Mexicana Americana (CHMA) (466 E. Putnam Avenue Porterville, California 93257). Please contact Ryan Jensen at (559) 733-0219 or for more information.

APR 3, 6-9 PM. 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. Speakers include CWC Co-Founder and Executive Director Susana De Anda, impacted community leaders, legal and policy experts on safe water campaigns in CA. A panel discussion will be followed immediately by a reception with food and drink. If you are in or near the Bay Area, please come join us! RSVP at the following link:

APR 13, 10-3 PM. CWLN Roundtable: Board Roles and Responsibilities. CWC Visalia Office (900 W. Oak Ave, 93291). Join the Community Water Leader’s Network (CWLN) for a roundtable discussion on legal duties and requirements of board members including board member and board staff roles, drinking water requirements, and language accessibility requirements. Please contact Adriana Renteria at or (559) 733-0219 for more information.

APR 25, 4-6 PM. CWC Watsonville Office Open House. (406 Main Street Suite 421, Watsonville, CA 95076). Stop by our Watsonville office to meet our Central Coast team and hear about the priorities for safe and affordable drinking water in the region. Food and drinks will be served. Please help us break in our new office home by RSVPing here! Please contact Natalie Garcia at or (831) 288-0450 for more information.

JUL 27, 4-7 PM. An Evening of Art and Justice. Runnymede Farm (980 Runnymede Rd, Woodside, CA 94062). Join CWC staff for a truly unique evening including a guided tour of a private sculpture collection at Runnymede Farm! The tour will be followed by dinner and an insider’s look into California’s drinking water crisis and timely opportunities to fix it. Suggested donation is $200 per ticket. Please contact Natalie Garcia at or (831) 288-0450 to reserve your spot!


  • $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 assistance 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!

Amy Helfant, Anavel Valdez, Benigna Hernandez, Bessma Mourad, Bill Walker, Brandon Hill, Bryan Barnhart, Carly Yoshida, Cassie Morgan, David & Idie Weinsoff, Edward Bergtholdt, Ellen Rowe, Frank Lukacs, 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 February!

Adrienne Shilton, Alexander Harnden, Amanda Fencl, Amaris Fraley, Brian Augusta, Camille Pannu, Dan Howells, Darrin Polhemus, David Cory, Dorene D'Adamo, Joaquin Esquivel, Ethan Mathews, George Kostyrko, Gita Kapahi, Gladys Acosta, Jay Ziegler, Jennifer Clary, Jenny Rempel, Juan Altamirano, Lyn Fine, Marina Perez, Mark Carlson, Matthew Bridges, Moises Moreno-Rivera, Nancy Wiens, Omar Carrillo, Rucker Alex, Sean Maguire, Siddharth Nag, Sonja Brodt, Trinidad Rodriguez

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

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