Community Water Center

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

May 2018 eNews

May 2018

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

Dear {{ recipient.first_name_or_friend }},

As we continue towards securing the Governor’s Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund, we need your help! Contact your legislator today and urge them to prioritize this vital solution, which the vast majority of California voters and more than 140 organizations and local agencies support.

Don't forget -- this Tuesday is Election Day in California, so if you can vote in California, please get out and vote!

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Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund Update

San Joaquin Valley community leaders traveled to Sacramento last week to meet with California legislators about the Governor's Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund. 

This week, San Joaquin Valley residents traveled to Sacramento for the third time this year to urge their legislators to prioritize safe and affordable drinking water for ALL Californians by supporting the Governor's Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund. In addition to meeting with legislators, residents attended an Assembly budget hearing to share their experiences with unsafe and unaffordable water, and to urge committee members to support the Fund.

Join the movement by taking 1 minute to email your state legislator and tell them: In the sixth largest economy in the world, we can and must ensure that all Californians have access to safe and affordable drinking water. This crisis has gone on for far too long. Share with your friends and family to make sure we pass the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund this year!


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Canvassers are Calling thousands of Tulare County Voters!


Civic Engagement Program Canvasser Becky Quintana calling Tulare County voters last week

Last week, we launched a civic engagement program contacting voters about drinking water! Last fall, we were able to speak with over 2,000 rural Tulare County Latino voters and discovered that 91% believe their local elected officials need to do more to make sure our families have safe and affordable drinking water. This Spring, we are once again connecting with these voters, as well as thousands of new voters, to discuss drinking water issues and remind everyone to vote on June 5th. Keep an eye on Facebook, as we will be posting updates from the team over the next few days, and don’t forget to vote on June 5th!

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Rallies held for Safe and Affordable Drinking Water in Bakersfield and Merced

Dolores Huerta joined community members in traveling to Bakersfield on May 11th to urge support for the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund.

On Friday of National Drinking Water Week, more than 60 people, including Dolores Huerta, came out to simultaneous rallies in Merced and Bakersfield to push for the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund. The San Joaquin Valley is hard hit by toxic tap water, and residents spoke out for change. The rallies were covered by many local news stations, including Bakersfield Now, KGET, The Bakersfield Californian, Your Central Valley, and The Merced Sun-Star. Residents spoke about living with unsafe and unaffordable drinking water, and about the need for legislators to support the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund. It was a powerful day for the water justice movement and the perfect way to end National Drinking Water Week!

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An Evening of Art and Justice

Bay Area supporters joined us in Woodside, CA, for a discussion of California’s drinking water crisis and how to solve it.

On May 12th, we hosted our first fundraiser in the Bay Area - “An Evening of Art and Justice.” More than 50 people joined us for this special event to learn more about California’s drinking water crisis and Community Water Center’s work. We raised more than $15,000 for the water justice movement! A huge thank you to all that attended and to those that helped to make this event possible with their generous donations -- Lagunitas Brewing Company, Sudwerk Brewing Company, Fieldwork Brewing Company, Elizabeth Spencer Winery, Stacey Divine, and a special thank you to the Rosekrans Family for hosting us on such a beautiful property! See pictures from the event here.

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La Opinión: Más de un millón vive sin agua limpia. Dolores Huerta took the time to author a powerful op-ed on why the legislature must pass the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund this year!

Your Central Valley: Dozens demand clean drinking water, support from lawmakers. Dos Palos High School senior Ace Mejia-Sanchez joined the National Drinking Water Week rally in Merced to ensure safe water for her community!

KCET: 100,000 Residents In Bountiful Central Valley Still Lack Access to Clean Water. Porterville resident Cristobal Chavez discussed his family's struggle for safe water due to high Nitrate levels in their drinking water.

CWC'S RECENT NEWS COVERAGE. CWC's work has been featured in Telemundo, La Opinión, Bakersfield Now and many other outlets recently. Check out our blog to stay up to date!

Be sure to check out our Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Stories blog. Over the past year, our fellow Charlotte interviewed twelve residents from different communities in the San Joaquin Valley that have struggled to access safe and affordable drinking water for their families. See their stories here.
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California Primary Election Day, June 5th. Make sure you get out and vote next Tuesday! You can do this by: visiting your local polling place OR returning your vote by mail ballot by mail or at any ballot drop off location in your county!  

Join us next month at Northern Tulare County community feedback meetings. We will be providing an update on the Northern Tulare County Water Alliance Joint Powers Agreement and asking for feedback on the possible alternatives to be considered for this regional water project. Tentative dates are: Seville/Yettem on June 21st, Sultana/Monsoon on June 26th and East Orosi on June 28th. Please contact Ryan Jensen at 559-733-0219 or for more information.

SUMMER 2018, TBD. The Safe Drinking Water Data Challenge is designed to explore data’s potential to help us better understand community access to safe drinking water, anticipate vulnerabilities, and identify and deploy solutions. We will be hosting a Launch Event in the summer. Stay tuned for details on this website and join the conversation on slack and social media with #CAWaterDataChallenge. Sign up for the community mailing list to receive the latest updates.

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  • $9.5 Million is Available for Drinking Water in Schools! If your school is a small, disadvantaged community, apply as soon as possible before the June 30 deadline. This funding may be used to install water bottle filling stations or drinking water fountains. It can also be used 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. You can also contact CWC at 559-733-0219 or Rural Community Assistance Corporation at for more information.
  • Funding available for water systems impacted by 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+ 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, funding sources at the state are available for eligible entities. The primary funding source is the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF). The Prop 1 Groundwater Grant Fund is a secondary option to cover instances 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.
  • 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.
  • Check out additional resources and stories in the most recent newsletter from the Office of Sustainable Water Solutions.The newsletter is available in both English and Spanish. CWC worked hard to advocate for the creation of the Office, which promotes permanent and sustainable drinking water and wastewater solutions in California’s most vulnerable communities.

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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, Brad Coffey, Bryan Barnhart, Carly Yoshida, Cassie Morgan, Edward Bergtholdt, Jill Ratner, Kavita Vora, Kelsey Hinton, Leonard Sklar, Nancy Bruce, Natalie Garcia, Nimmi Damodaran, Paul Pierce and Patience Milrod, Renata Brillinger

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

Les Deak, Dan and Linda Kida, Jennifer Rosner

None of our work would be possible without the support of our donors. Thank you!

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