Community Water Center

Community-driven water solutions through organizing, education, and advocacy
Pages tagged "budget"

Governor Brown Prioritizes Safe and Affordable Drinking Water for All in Budget

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACTS: Jenny Rempel, (559) 284-6327, Jenny.Rempel@CommunityWaterCenter.org, Matt Davis +1 (510) 717-1617 mattdavis@cleanwater.org, Phoebe Seaton + (310) 980-6494, pseaton@leadershipcounsel.org  

Governor Brown Prioritizes Safe and Affordable Drinking Water for All in Budget

Sacramento, CA | January 10, 2018 -- Governor Brown commits to ensuring the basic human right to safe and affordable drinking water for all Californians in his January proposed budget.

The following statement was issued by Clean Water Action, Community Water Center, and Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability:

“Up to one million Californians have to turn on the taps to water that is unsafe to drink. Our organizations and the more than 100 organizations that have supported the creation of a statewide Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund look forward to working with the Governor and the state legislature to make this fund a reality in California this year. Every Californian deserves safe, affordable drinking water.”

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Our statement was featured in The Sacramento Bee on January 10th: http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article193991034.html


News Release: Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Needs Recognized in California Budget

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Needs Recognized in Budget

Advocates Say Administration and Legislature Must Create a Sustainable Funding Source to Guarantee Safe Water

Sacramento, CA | January 10, 2017 --- Water justice advocates and environmental, health, rural, and equity organizations were encouraged that language in the Governor’s budget referenced safe and affordable water. However, advocates urged the Governor to prioritize developing a sustainable funding source this year to ensure all Californians have safe and affordable drinking water.

Each year, more than 1 million Californians are served water that does not meet safe drinking water standards. The State Water Resources Control Board maintains a list of 296 small public water systems and schools that have been unable to supply safe drinking water to their communities for several years or even decades.

The Governor’s Budget states, “Although much progress has been made, some disadvantaged communities rely on contaminated groundwater and lack the resources to operate and maintain their water systems to deliver safe and affordable water. The Administration is committed to working with the Legislature and stakeholders to address this issue.”

Water justice advocates have been working for years to secure a sustainable source of funding to address water affordability challenges and meet both capital cost and operation and maintenance (O&M) needs in low-income communities impacted by nitrates, arsenic, pesticides, and other contaminants.

“It is unjust and unfair that we have had to live with contaminated water coming out of our taps for over a decade,” said Sandra Meraz, a resident of Alpaugh, a small community in Tulare County. “The state is helping us build a treatment plant, but our community needs support to cover O&M costs for safe water we can actually afford.”

Specific remarks from members of the Drinking Water Advocates Coalition and its partners:

“Like in Flint, California’s low-income communities and communities of color are forced to bear the burden of the drinking water challenges in our state. We appreciate the Governor’s commitment and look forward to working with the Governor and Legislature to ensure communities have access to the ongoing funding they need to get safe water.”
Susana De Anda, Co-Executive Director, Community Water Center

"The Governor has long recognized the importance of safe drinking water for all Californians, and we appreciate his backing up this recognition today in his statement. The Legislature, too, has been an ally on this, and we look forward to working with them on this over the coming months to flesh out the details.”
Jennifer Clary, Water Programs Manager, Clean Water Action California
 
“In addition to water quality, the Governor’s budget must address water affordability. It is unacceptable that some families are paying up to 10 percent of their income on drinking water alone.”
Phoebe Seaton, Co-Executive Director, Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability
 
“The cost and complexity of treating California groundwater that is becomingly increasingly contaminated is escalating.  Much as we appreciate the Governor's statement, we hope to work with the Governor and Legislature to address these issues in a more comprehensive way beyond just the resources the Governor can commit from the annual state budget.”
Stan Keasling, Chief Executive Officer, Rural Community Assistance Corporation
 
“We applaud the Governor’s commitment to address the needs of drought-impacted areas yet feel additional funding is needed to address the magnitude of needs in our most vulnerable communities. It is essential that the State also makes emergency operations funding available that can pay for unexpected expenses when systems have emergency outages unrelated to the drought.”
Tom Collishaw, Chief Executive Officer, Self-Help Enterprises
 
“On behalf of low-income Californians who struggle to afford enough food and also struggle without safe drinking water, we continue the call for two types of solutions: those that are immediate and those that are sustainable. Sustainable, long-term solutions, including funding sources, must be part of the state’s budget response while also addressing an immediate need for water that just can’t wait.”
George Manalo-LeClair, Executive Director, California Food Policy Advocates
 
“California has an ugly history of failing to make sure low-income communities have drinkable water. The budget proposal is another step to rectifying this. But there is still more to do.”
Kyle Jones, Policy Advocate, Sierra Club California
 
“All Californians deserve reliable access to clean, safe drinking water. As President-elect Trump moves to dismantle the EPA and roll back the Clean Water Act it is incumbent upon California’s elected leaders to act to expand access to safe drinking water for all our communities.”
Sarah Rose, Executive Director, California League of Conservation Voters
 
“Throughout the world, clean safe drinking water is considered the most essential of public health guarantees.  Shouldn’t it be available to everyone in our Golden State? Of course it should!”
Dr. Harold Goldstein, DrPH, Executive Director, Public Health Advocates (formerly California Center for Public Health Advocacy)

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California budget includes crucial funds for water in schools

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PRESS RELEASE
For immediate release:
June 28, 2016
 
Contact:
Ari Neumann, Assistant Director
RCAC Community & Environmental Services
(916) 447-9832 ext. 1032
aneumann@rcac.org


Asha Kreiling, Policy & Communications Analyst
Community Water Center
(916) 706-3346
Asha.Kreiling@CommunityWaterCenter.org
 

California budget includes crucial funds for water in schools

More than one hundred thousand California students will have access to safe drinking water

 

Sacramento, Calif. -- Yesterday, Gov. Jerry Brown signed the $107.9 billion 2016-2017 state budget and supporting trailer bills including a $10 million additional investment to increase Californians’ access to clean, safe and affordable drinking water.

The Drinking Water Advocates Coalition, which represents rural water advocates, urban water districts, education and children’s organizations, and environmental justice, health and equity organizations applauds the Governor and Legislature for taking these important steps to address California’s drinking water crisis. We especially appreciate the work of Assemblymembers Bloom and Ting for helping secure this much needed funding. Their leadership along with their colleagues from the Senate and staff from all three branches helped to make this a reality.

The investments included in the budget will provide safe drinking water for more than one hundred thousand California students. For many students who live in small, low-income communities impacted by unsafe drinking water, school is the only option for access to free, fresh drinking water, which is essential to health and educational attainment.

The budget includes $9.5 million for improved water access and quality in schools and an additional $500,000 for nonprofit organizations to provide support for outreach and technical assistance. Additionally, $565,000 was allocated for four new positions at the State Water Resources Control Board to improve drinking water monitoring and data collection.

The coalition expressed its gratitude for these critical investments, while pledging to continue its work to advance the Human Right to Water. More than one million Californians are impacted by unsafe drinking water each year. Sustainable solutions are still necessary to address communities’ long-term drinking water needs, including water system operation and maintenance, metering and leak detection for small, low-income communities and households, and funds for low-income Californians reliant on small water systems and private wells impacted by unsafe or unreliable water.

Statements on these budget investments are available here from members of the Drinking Water Advocates Coalition.

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Rural Community Assistance Corporation

RCAC is a nonprofit organization that provides training, technical and financial resources and advocacy so rural communities can achieve their goals and visions. Headquartered in West Sacramento, California, RCAC serves rural communities in the western United States and the Pacific islands. RCAC has strong core services and expertise in housing, environmental infrastructure (water, wastewater and solid waste), leadership training, economic development and financing. To find out more about RCAC, visit www.rcac.org.

Community Water Center

The Community Water Center (CWC) is a non-profit environmental justice organization based in California’s San Joaquin Valley, whose mission is to act as a catalyst for community-driven water solutions through organizing, education, and advocacy. CWC’s fundamental goal is to ensure that all communities have access to safe, clean, and affordable water. CWC helps build strategic grassroots capacity to address water challenges in small, rural, low-income communities and communities of color. For more information, visit CWC’s website at www.communitywatercenter.org.

 


California Budget Prioritizes Investments in Safe Drinking Water

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On Monday, Governor Jerry Brown signed a $167 billion state budget that prioritized investments in safe drinking water. Our team at the Community Water Center has been working with the Drinking Water Advocates Coalition, the Administration, and the Legislature to make sure California invests in access to safe, clean, and affordable water, and we are delighted to report that our hard work has paid off through the 2016-17 California budget!

We applaud the Governor and the Legislature for investing $80 million to address California’s drinking water crisis. Funding prioritizes drought disaster relief, emergency drinking water projects, safe water in schools, and better data tracking and reporting, among other programs. Key investments include:

  • $9.5 million for improved water access and quality in schools and an additional $500,000 for nonprofit organizations to provide support for outreach and technical assistance

  • $26.7 million for technical assistance and drought disaster relief

  • $5.4 million (General Fund) and $16 million (Cleanup and Abatement Account) for water rights enforcement and curtailment, and grants for emergency drinking water projects

  • $12 million for operation of the drought management operations center, water transfer support, and water supply modeling

  • $10 million for emergency drinking water support for small communities, including addressing private well owners’ needs

  • $565,000 for four new positions at the State Water Resources Control Board to improve drinking water monitoring and data collection

We applaud the Governor and the Legislature for taking important steps to address California’s drinking water crisis. We especially appreciate the work of Assemblymembers Bloom and Ting for helping secure this much needed funding. Their leadership along with their colleagues from the Senate and staff from all three branches helped to make this a reality.

The Drinking Water Advocates Coalition, which represents rural water advocates, urban water districts, education and children’s organizations, and environmental justice, health and equity organizations, has expressed its gratitude for these critical investments in the 2016-17 budget.

Even as we celebrate these important investments, the Coalition recognizes the vital need to continue our work advancing the Human Right to Water in California. Our efforts to secure additional short- and long-term funding sources to address the unmet drinking water needs of communities across the state are not over. More than one million Californians are impacted by unsafe drinking water each year.

California’s small, low-income communities and communities of color disproportionately face drinking water challenges which have not been adequately addressed through existing funding sources, such as Proposition 1, the Cleanup and Abatement Fund, and the recent one-time allocations in the state budget. An ongoing, sustainable funding source is still necessary to secure safe, clean and affordable drinking water and sanitation (the Human Right to Water) for all Californians. We will continue to advocate for a sustainable funding source to address communities’ long-term drinking water needs, including water system operation and maintenance, metering and leak detection for small, low-income communities and households, and funds for low-income Californians reliant on small water systems and private wells impacted by unsafe or unreliable water.

Years of advocacy by CWC and our allies for increased investment in California’s small, rural communities helped place the draft budget in a strong place for addressing the state’s drinking water needs, and our continued efforts this year further strengthened drinking water investments in the budget. We look forward to working with directly impacted communities to make sure this funding gets put to good use quickly!


​​California Takes Action to Address Its Drinking Water Crisis

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For immediate release:
June 16, 2016

Contacts:

Asha Kreiling, Community Water Center
Ari Neumann, RCAC Community & Environmental Services

 

California Takes Action to Address Its Drinking Water Crisis

State Budget Invests in Better Data and Safe Water at Schools but Falls Short in Other Areas

The Drinking Water Advocates Coalition representing rural water advocates, urban water districts, education and children's organizations, and environmental justice, health and equity organizations expressed support for the Legislature’s investment in guaranteeing that all Californians have access to safe, clean, and affordable drinking water and urge the Governor to support.

Part of the $170.9 billion 2016-2017 state budget and supporting trailer bills approved by the Legislature today advanced two key priorities that our Coalition worked hard to see incorporated into the final budget. They are:

  • $9.5 million for school filtration systems to ensure California students, particularly those living in low-income communities or areas of acute water shortage or contamination, have access to safe drinking water, and $500,000 for nonprofits to provide support for outreach and technical assistance; and
  • $565,000 for four new positions at the State Water Resources Control Board to improve compliance monitoring and data collection.

Our Coalition commends these investments, which bring California closer to delivering on the human right to safe, clean, affordable, and accessible water for every Californian.

However, even as advocates celebrated progress on these two issues, they recognized that this budget leaves other drinking water programs unfunded as well as California as a whole without a sustainable funding source to address long-term needs, including water system operation and maintenance expenses. Advocates pointed out that the budget did not invest in metering and leak detection for small, low-income communities and households, nor did it fully fund solutions for low-income Californians reliant on small water systems and private wells impacted by unsafe or unreliable water.

 

Specific remarks from members of the Drinking Water Advocates Coalition:

"The new funding for school filtration systems, as well as the four new Water Board positions, will meaningfully improve access to safe drinking water in our state and represents a significant step forward. However, our work is still far from finished, so we look forward to partnering with our allies to continue advancing the human right to water in California."

Laurel Firestone, Co-Executive Director, Community Water Center

 

“We are pleased that California’s Legislature prioritized safe drinking water for California’s school children in this year’s budget, and urge the Governor’s support as well. Access to safe drinking water is critical to children’s overall health and educational achievement. This funding is particularly important to disadvantaged communities that already deal with multiple challenges.”

Stanley Keasling, CEO,  Rural Community Assistance Corporation

 

“This represents a huge step forward in a long journey towards safe, clean and affordable drinking water for kids and families throughout the state.”

Phoebe Seaton, Co-Director and Attorney at Law, Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability

 

“We applaud Leadership for including the budget item for grants to schools impacted by drought or water contamination. This is a vital first step in creating a healthy, sustainable, and equitable drinking water system. We look forward to continuing to work with the Governor, regulators and the legislature to fund strategies to enforce state law that defines water as a basic human right.”

Harold Goldstein, DrPH, Executive Director, Public Health Advocates (formerly California Center for Public Health Advocacy)

 

"Access to safe water is the foundation of health and food security. We commend the Legislature for the much-needed funding for schools to provide students with safe drinking water.  However, we need to do more to ensure that Californians in poverty are not continually burdened by inequitable access to safe water. Families in poverty cannot afford to wait for long-term solutions to our water crisis."

George Manalo-LeClair, Executive Director, California Food Policy Advocates

 

“Providing free, clean, drinking water in schools is an important strategy to increase consumption of water and decrease consumption of sugary drinks. Overconsumption of sugary drinks can contribute to heart disease, tooth decay, and diabetes, and increased access to water can play a huge role in steering youth away from unhealthy beverages. We thank the Legislature for this budget allocation to provide clean drinking water to children and contribute to their overall wellbeing.”

Eric Batch, Vice President of Advocacy for the Western States Affiliate of the American Heart Association

 

“We commend Governor Brown and the Legislature for investing in delivering clean and affordable drinking water to California students. This is a positive step forward that we hope continues so families living in rural, low-income communities, particularly those affected by the persistent drought, can have access to clean drinking water.”

Paul Boyer, Community Development Director, Self-Help Enterprises

 

“We appreciate the Legislature's commitment to support the needs of drought impacted rural farmworker families and their school communities. We look forward to working towards continued efforts to address the long term sustainability of our communities.”

Noe Paramo, Co-Director of the Sustainable Rural Communities Project, California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation

 

"We are thrilled that the state of California has taken a step towards prioritizing access to safe drinking water for our children. It is vital that we understand that many times children are the most vulnerable in our communities. This is a great step towards the future and securing safe water access to those in need."

Sergio Carranza, Executive Director, Pueblo Unido Community Development Corporation

 

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Prioritizing Drinking Water in the 2016-17 California Budget

As the final decisions on the 2016-17 California Budget are being made by Governor Brown and state legislative leaders, CWC and our coalition of drinking water advocacy groups are hard at work to secure a budget package that advances the Human Right to Water. Our budget proposal includes:

•    $10 million for emergency drinking water support for small communities
•    $10 million to address the lack of drinking water access and water quality issues in schools
•    $20 million to small, disadvantaged communities and low income households to improve water system efficiency, repair leaking pipes and other infrastructure, install meters, and replace outdated appliances, from the Senate's proposed allocation from Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund proceeds for drought actions, appliance rebates and water conservation and efficiency
•    $1.3 million for lead-related programs and improved drinking water collection and management

We have had overwhelming support from our non-profit allies, municipal water agencies, and local water boards who felt the Governor's May Revise fell short of addressing California's drinking water crisis and that more targeted drinking water resources need to be prioritized for drought relief, safe water in schools, water efficiency, and data collection. In addition, 21 Assemblymembers, including both Republicans and Democrats representing districts across California, signed onto a letter supporting the budget package promoting safe water in schools.  

On May 24th, the Assembly Budget Subcommittee 3 voted to approve the drinking water items totaling approximately $21 million, and the Senate moved forward with their Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund items, which included $20 million for water efficiency projects in disadvantaged communities. CWC and members of our growing coalition of drinking water advocates - including Rural Community Assistance Corporation, Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability, Self-Help Enterprises, California Food Policy Advocates, Public Health Advocates, and American Heart Association - are making a final push to Budget Conference Committee members, the Governor's office, and leadership to make this $41 million drinking water budget package a priority in the 2016-17 budget. 

Visit our Take Action page to learn more and help us advocate for additional resources to address unmet drinking water needs in California's most impacted communities. 


Action Alert - join our Twitter campaign #FundSafeH20

Great news! Last week the Assembly Budget Sub-Committee voted to include $41 million in the 2016-2017 California budget to fund the following:

  • $10 million to provide for permanent, interim and emergency solutions to deliver safe drinking water to small, disadvantaged communities and low-income households
  • $10 million to address the lack of drinking water access and water quality issues in schools
  • $20 million for water efficiency investments/technologies in disadvantaged communities and low-income households to reduce energy and water use and promote water affordability and system sustainability
  • $1.3 million for data collection and management to track access to safe and affordable drinking water and sanitation (wastewater) in California

But we’re not finished yet! Both houses of the Legislature must come together to agree on the budget’s contents by the June 15 deadline and we have more work to do to make sure these vital investments are included!

Tweet with us!

Today we’ll start a Twitter campaign to engage legislators whose support we need during the budget process. Here’s how you can help – simply log into your Twitter account, copy, paste and send the following tweets today:

@JerryBrownGov's #MayRevise falls short of addressing CA H20 crisis @MarkLeno support Asm’s #CAbudget drinking water proposal

@JerryBrownGov's #MayRevise falls short of addressing CA H20 crisis @PhilTing support Asm’s #CAbudget drinking water proposal

@JerryBrownGov's #MayRevise falls short of addressing CA H20 crisis Senator Nielson support Asm’s #CAbudget drinking water proposal

@JerryBrownGov's #MayRevise falls short of addressing CA H20 crisis @JayObernolte support Asm’s #CAbudget drinking water proposal

Our coalition will retweet your tweets and tag the Assembly members leading this budget proposal (@AsmEGarciaAD56, @AsmRichardBloom) so they know you support their proposal!

We’ll continue this campaign right up until the June 15 deadline so stay tuned for more tweets! Thank you again for your support. We’ll keep you posted as budget negotiations continue.


Governor’s Budget Falls Short of Addressing California’s Drinking Water Crisis

PRESS RELEASE
 
For immediate release:
May 13, 2016
 
Contact:
Ari Neumann, Assistant Director
RCAC Community & Environmental Services
(916) 447-9832 ext. 1032
 
Asha Kreiling, Policy & Communications Analyst
Community Water Center
(916) 706-3346
Asha.Kreiling@CommunityWaterCenter.org
 
 

Governor’s Budget Falls Short of Addressing California’s Drinking Water Crisis

 Californians facing the daily reality of unsafe water need investment in solutions

 

Sacramento, Calif. -- Today, Governor Jerry Brown released the May Revision to his proposed 2016-17 state budget, which included an increase of $5.5 million to address California’s safe drinking water crisis.

“While we thank the Administration and others in the State of California for investing funds to address California’s safe drinking water crisis through Prop 1 funds and funds allocated in today’s budget proposal, we call on the Governor and the Legislature to work together to make the state budget reflect the dire circumstances that affect California’s most vulnerable communities on a daily basis,” said Stanley Keasling, RCAC’s chief executive officer. 

More than one million Californians are impacted by unsafe water annually, and over 10,000 Californians have completely run out of water during this drought.

“Additional resources are needed beyond what is in the Governor’s budget. That is why we have been working with leadership in both houses on a proposal to increase funding for safe drinking water    ” said Laurel Firestone, co-executive director of the Community Water Center. “Californians ultimately need an ongoing source of sustainable funding to secure safe and affordable water, but until that is secured, our communities need immediate investments to meet urgent drinking water needs.”

“Our coalition of drinking water advocates has proposed a $56 million budget proposal as a substantial investment to alleviate the state’s drinking water crisis and advance the Human Right to Water,” said Phoebe Seaton, Co-Director and Attorney at Law, Leadership Counsel for Justice & Accountability. 

The $56 million, one-time budget package includes funding to provide for permanent, interim and emergency drinking water solutions for small, low-income communities and households; improve water access and address water quality challenges in schools; promote water efficiency in low-income communities and households; and improve data collection and tracking to determine where access to safe water and sanitation is lacking.

 

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Rural Community Assistance Corporation

RCAC is a nonprofit organization that provides training, technical and financial resources and advocacy so rural communities can achieve their goals and visions. Headquartered in West Sacramento, California, RCAC serves rural communities in the western United States and the Pacific islands. RCAC has strong core services and expertise in housing, environmental infrastructure (water, wastewater and solid waste), leadership training, economic development and financing. To find out more about RCAC, visit www.rcac.org.

Community Water Center

The Community Water Center (CWC) is a non-profit environmental justice organization based in California’s San Joaquin Valley, whose mission is to act as a catalyst for community-driven water solutions through organizing, education, and advocacy. CWC’s fundamental goal is to ensure that all communities have access to safe, clean, and affordable water. CWC helps build strategic grassroots capacity to address water challenges in small, rural, low-income communities and communities of color. For more information, visit CWC’s website at www.communitywatercenter.org.

 

 


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