Last May, Governor Brown passed Executive Order B-37-16 which focuses on water conservation and drought resiliency throughout the state. One component of the executive order called on counties to work with the state to develop "improved drought planning" for those areas not covered by Urban Water Management Plans (i.e. small and rural communities).
It's been almost a year since CWC kicked off our campaign to protect drinking water from cancer-causing drinking water contaminant 1,2,3-TCP, and we've come a long way. But, we still have work to do. What may be the most critical point in this process is still to come. Once the State Water Board staff has drafted the regulations, they must solicit input from the public. The formal public comment period is set to take place in December - January, with the public hearing before the State Water Board members in January.
Now more than ever, we must stand together in the movement for water justice. Together, we can and will resist racism, sexism, xenophobia, and hate as we fight to secure safe and affordable drinking water for all.
Talking about groundwater regulations and governance can occasionally seem a little dry and boring, but it’s a huge issue for California.
Visalia, CA – The State Water Resources Control Board will be in Bakersfield this Wednesday, November 9, at the Junior League Community Center to gather public input on a proposed statewide water affordability program. The meeting, one of five held around the state this fall, is the first step toward shaping a program that will ensure all Californians have affordable drinking water.
Pedro Ramirez is the head of voter outreach for the Visalia-based Community Water Center – but he can’t vote. Ramirez was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and brought to the United States illegally at age 3. He now holds a work permit and temporary protection from deportation under the Obama administration’s 2012 program, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. “People that can register to vote should, and they should vote because there’s people like me that can’t,” he said.
The State Water Board provided the space to solicit input from residents and other stakeholders about how to design a statewide low-income water rate assistance program. At the first workshop in Fresno, several residents discussed the impacts of unaffordable water rate hikes and how factors such as unemployment, having disabilities, and being low-income increase challenges to paying for basic water needs. State Water Board staff explained that these types of factors would be considered in the development of the Low-Income Water Rate Assistance program.
Poplar doesn’t have a mayor or a city council. The only local elected officials are the five members of the board of the Poplar Community Services District, which manages water, sewage and the community’s one park. Now there are two open seats on that board. And activists like Isaiah hope to fill them with someone who can help Poplar residents with a basic necessity: drinking water.
A state water agency has told some farmers in Tulare County that their operations caused nitrates to get into drinking water, and that the contamination must be replaced with a clean source. If the farmers don’t do it voluntarily, the state will order them to do so, the enforcement division of the State Water Resources Control Board says in a confidential letter obtained by The Bee.
Last month, the AGUA Coalition and CWC hosted federal officials from the US EPA’s Office of Water to share their experiences and expertise as the federal agency develops its National Action Plan for Safe Drinking Water.