Community Water Center

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

May 2020 eNews

May 2020

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So far May has been a month of unprecedented proportions. I say that because we continue to find new opportunities to grow and explore things from a fresh perspective during this difficult time for our communities and the world.

This month, CWC has:

  • Delivered masks to community partners, many of whom are essential employees 
  • Launched our own regional drinking water program in the Central Coast
  • Helped form a new, broader coalition  from diverse sectors to advocate in one voice for safe water needs due to Covid-19

I’m proud of what we can accomplish when we come together with each other, with our community partners, and with allies working toward a common cause. This is how we ensure all Californians have access to safe, clean, and affordable drinking water. Even though we’re apart, we’re working together.


Susana De Anda

CWC and Unprecedented Coalition Tells Congress:
Fund Urgent Water Needs ASAP!

In a May 12 letter to congressional leaders, CWC and an unprecedented coalition of water and environmental advocates called on Congress to fund critical water needs that are impacting Californians amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The broad-based coalition of 59 organizations, which collectively represents more than 450 California water agencies - and multiple other water, social justice environmental stakeholders - urged Congress to take action on four necessary solutions to meet the immediate and long-term drinking water needs for Californians.

Our proposed solutions are:

  1. $100 billion over five years for drinking water and clean water infrastructure.
  2. $4 billion for grants to help low-income households pay their water bills.
  3. Funding for utilities to offset declines in revenue and the costs of reconnecting water service.
  4. Requiring utilities to suspend the disconnection of water service during the emergency period and reconnect shut off homes so that all homes have running water during the crisis.

 Read the letter here.


CWC Delivers Masks to Comité Members















David Rodriguez from Monterey County wears his mask delivered by CWC.

Our Central Coast Community Organizer Mayra Hernandez delivered 35 masks to Comité members in Monterey County this month to support communities lacking personal safety supplies to protect themselves from Covid-19. Many members of El comité para Tener Agua Sana, Limpia y Económica (Committee for Safe, Clean, and Affordable Drinking Water) are essential workers and mentioned their concern over the lack of masks during last month’s platica (community meeting). So we worked on helping them obtain some! The masks were donated by Mandy Spitzer from Santa Cruz who is sewing them specifically for farmworkers and Mayra delivered them to members in early May. Thank you, Mandy, for showing solidarity with our hardworking farm workers during this crisis!



CWC Launches Regional Bottled Water Program

We launched a free bottled water delivery program for Central Coast residents who lack clean water during National Drinking Water Week (May 3-9)!

Through state funding, the Regional Bottled Water Program for Central Coast Households provides a safe drinking water source for qualifying households with contaminated well water.

Read more here. 



CWC in the News!  

Washington Post: Americans are told to wash hands to fight coronavirus. But some don’t trust the tap.

Now that the coronavirus has created shortages of bottled water, they have little choice but to drink from their well. “But that makes it worse, that makes the nitrates worse.” Cristobal Chavez, AGUA Coalition, Community Water Center

Horacio Amezquita, general manager of the San Jerardo Cooperative, says he has seen prices for bottled water rise from 20 cents to 35 cents per gallon. “Some people are taking advantage.” Horacio Amezquita, General Manager, San Jerardo Cooperative

“We are only allowed to buy two gallons of water per customer. That only lasts one day in my house.” Lucy Hernandez, AGUA Coalition, Community Water Center

KCET: Farmers Hijack Community Water Access Despite Groundwater Act, Activists Say.
“We’ve seen a fundamental imbalance of who’s been at the table. Many, if not most of the meetings, were held during work hours, without adequate translation services, and few members of the communities attended.” The meetings “have not been fair and equal spaces for community input.” Jonathan Nelson, Policy Director, Community Water Center

Central Coast Public Radio: Free bottled water delivery for those without clean tap water.

”People who may not even know that their water is contaminated. We really want to ensure that these resources get back specifically to the communities who fought so hard for this funding, which are some of the hardest to reach communities in the state.” Heather Lukacs, Director of Community Solutions, Community Water Center

SFGate: Coalition Asks Congress To Fund State Drinking, Wastewater Districts Amid Pandemic.

"Our organizations collectively represent both California frontline communities as well as over 450 California water agencies and other water and environmental stakeholders." CWC and Coalition

See previous CWC news coverage here.


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Thank You to our Generous Supporters!

Huge thank you to our regular monthly donors, whose continual contributions help to sustain our long-term work toward achieving safe, clean and affordable drinking water!

Cassie Morgan, Kristin Dobbin, Leonard Sklar, Kavita Vora, Sandra Hocker, Edward Bergtholdt, Vicente Guerrero, Natalie Garcia-Grazier, Carly Yoshida, Amy Helfant, Bessma Mourad, Anavel Valdez, Kelsey Hinton, Nancy Bruce, Jose Pablo Ortiz Partida, Victoria Klug, Jill Ratner, Arden Wells, Frank Lukacs, Paul Pierce, Bill Walker, Vicki Woods, Kathryn Wuelfing, Julian De Anda, F Thomas Biglione, Benigna Hernandez, Bryan Barnhart, Arohi Sharma, Ellen Rowe, Kat Gilje

And thank you to our generous donors this May! 

 Edwardo Valero, Barb Babson, Charlie & Pattie Firestone

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