Drought-impacted residents Adela Arellano from East Porterville and Simona Magaña from Seville testified at the December State Water Board meeting to encourage the Board to approve $5 million in drought-related emergency funding for individuals reliant on private wells. Arellano and Magaña were joined by CWC’s Ryan Jensen and Erasto Teran, who also testified in support of this much-needed drought relief funding.
Your support helped us fill 2015 with big wins. Mil gracias! Thank you! Here are three reasons and three ways to support CWC this holiday season.
After four years of drought, we need to take local action now to mitigate impacts and protect our most vulnerable residents. With thousands of dry household wells in the San Joaquin Valley, our counties need to do a better job monitoring well drilling and addressing the negative impacts of virtually unrestricted groundwater pumping.
From drought relief to consolidation tools to private well testing to regional solutions, you helped us accomplish a lot this year, and we're counting on your support to make 2016 just as successful! Read about what we've accomplished together in 2015!
Give the gift of safe, affordable water! We are excited to partner with sculptor Pattie Firestone to be offering beautiful earrings based on the Chinese characters for water and collaboration. Supporters who donate at least $30 to CWC will receive a pair of Firestone’s beautiful earrings. You can give the earrings as a gift to a friend to symbolize the beauty and importance of water and collaboration, or you can keep the earrings to show your support for water justice.
CWC and our partners worked hard to secure over half a billion dollars in the 2014 Prop 1 Water Bond specifically to address the water needs of disadvantaged communities, and now is the time for communities and nonprofits to be applying for this funding. Applications are continuously being accepted online for wastewater and drinking water projects, which communities and nonprofits can apply for here.
Earlier this month, CWC’s Co-Executive Director, Laurel Firestone, spoke on a panel with several other water experts before the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee to discuss chronically underfunded water needs. Laurel focused on the immense resources gap for safe, affordable drinking water in small, disadvantaged communities, including schools. Laurel stressed the issue of ongoing operations and maintenance costs and unaffordable rates, as well as need for better and more transparent data of California’s drinking water crisis.
With support from many of you, we achieved a lot in the 2015 legislative session! Governor Brown signed many water justice bills that CWC and our community partners supported, including: AB 401 (Dodd), which requires the state to develop a low-income water rate assistance program; SB 208 (Lara), which improves the Integrated Regional Water Management Program; and AB 1390 (Alejo), which streamlines groundwater basin adjudication while strengthening the goals and process set out in the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA).
The community of Arvin, which has had unsafe arsenic contamination for over a decade, is now on track to have safe water by the end of 2019. Six of the community’s seven wells currently exceed arsenic standards, which led to enforcement action from USEPA Region 9 starting in 2008. In September, the Arvin Community Services District (ACSD) agreed to a new Administrative Order with a timeline for the community’s Arsenic Mitigation Project.
On Tuesday, Nov. 17th, the Fresno County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously in favor of applying for state funding to develop an interim groundwater ordinance. This is a huge step forwards for a region where thousands of residents lack running water due to excessive groundwater pumping. After four years of drought, we need to take local action now to mitigate impacts and protect our most vulnerable residents.