The next time you bring home a case of those little 16-ounce bottles of water, imagine living out of them: pouring a little out every time you wash a dish and dumping them into buckets to shower or flush the toilet. That’s what Maria Medina’s family has done since their well went dry 18 months ago.
This Labor Day, some of the hardest-working families in California will be spending much of the holiday trying to secure a basic human right. They’ll drive to generous neighbors’ homes or, if they’re lucky, to central water tanks to fill up water buckets, because the wells that have supplied their homes for years have run dry. Some of these residents will also be making calls to the Governor’s Office and to their legislative representatives to advocate for the passage of a bill to ensure that Californians reliant on domestic wells have access to reliable, safe, and affordable water during the drought.
Susana De Anda has taken her passion for social justice and turned it into an effort to assist members of her community by providing access to clean drinking water. As co-founder and co-executive director of the Community Water Center, based in Visalia, California's San Joaquin Valley, she has helped create tools that give members of a largely agricultural region the chance to be heard.
Reacting to the drought emergency, state leaders have rescued trout from a warm San Joaquin River, offered $30 million in rebates for ripping out lawns and paid hundreds of millions to help communities facing water shortages. Yet one small group of Californians soon will fall through the safety net, water advocates say. They are private owners of failed wells – thousands in the San Joaquin Valley.
Representatives from multiple Valley counties, state and federal agencies, and NGOs convened for a productive conversation about challenges to providing drought assistance to disadvantaged communities...
A new report out today from Community Water Center, Clean Water Fund, and Union of Concerned Scientists highlights opportunities and strategies for engaging diverse stakeholders in California’s new system of groundwater management. “Collaborating For Success” draws on a wealth of research demonstrating the critical role of stakeholder engagement in achieving successful shared resource management.
On Wednesday, July 29th, residents from seven northern Tulare County communities met to participate in a summit regarding their region’s collective water future. These small, unincorporated communities have struggled to provide safe drinking water to their residents, because the region’s groundwater is contaminated with high levels of nitrates and the pesticide DBCP.
Even though the legislature is out on recess, we've been advancing the Human Right to Water in multiple policy contexts this month, including with the State Water Board's Drinking Water Program and exploratory Conservation Pricing Workshop, as well as the legislature's drought hearing.
We are excited to announce the recent opening of a third CWC office in Arvin, CA! This office will serve as the hub for our South Kern County work to bring interim and long-term solutions for drinking water issues faced by the region.
CWC's Ryan Jensen testified on vulnerable Valley communities at a State Assembly Hearing on Drought Emergency Services on July 15th. He highlighted the need for interim emergency solutions, long-term solutions, and proactive source water protection. Read his full comments here!