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In June, community members impacted by unsafe water in their homes, schools and communities gathered in a powerful call to action at the steps of the Capitol joined by residents from the San Joaquin Valley and Central Coast, Dolores Huerta, and allie organizations. Earlier this month, Governor Gavin Newsom signed the 2019-20 budget, which included more than $160 million to begin addressing decades of drinking water contamination and inadequate water system infrastructure throughout the state. Finally, we are thrilled to share that this week, at long last, California made history by passing SB 200, the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund on a strong bipartisan vote. This will provide over $1.4 billion in sustainable funding over the next 11 years to finally realize California’s promise of safe water for all! See more information below!
Susana De Anda
JULY 26, 5-6 PM. Central Coast Comité Platica. Comité members will be sharing their experience working to secure safe bottled water delivery and next steps in working toward obtaining safe drinking water directly from the tap. All residents of the Bluff Rd., Jensen Rd, and Springfield Rd. area in north Monterey County are invited to this meeting to learn more about the efforts of the Comité. Please contact Cesar Garcia Lopez at (831) 288-0450 or email@example.com with any questions.
NowThis: California’s Contaminated Water Crisis. An excellent overview of the CA drinking water crisis and experiences of valley leaders including AGUA member Josie Nieto and CWC Executive Director Susana De Anda.
Associated Press: California Lawmakers Agree to Tap $130M of Clean-Air Funding to Pay for Drinking Water. California legislative leaders agreed to spend $130 million a year to improve water systems in communities where people can’t drink from their taps. To pay for it, the state would tap a fund dedicated to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Natural Resources Defense Council: Progress in the Fight for Safe Drinking Water. The California Budget agreement would fund $1.4 billion in stable safe water for all funding over 11 years. A big thank you to NRDC for supporting the safe water budget proposal!
Valley Public Radio: With Updated Budget, Safe Drinking Water Fund Inches Closer to Reality. For the first time in two years, legislators in Sacramento may have paved the way toward establishing a statewide safe drinking water fund. Governor Gavin Newsom’s latest state budget allocates over $100 million this year to a fund that would support drinking water projects in impacted communities. The current language calls for roughly $1.4 billion over the next 11 years.
California Healthline: A Million Californians Don’t Have Clean Drinking Water. Where Do They Live? Julia Mendoza wants the tap water she pays for to be clean and safe, but it hasn’t been for nearly a decade. “If we want clean water for bathing, that’s not for us,” she said in Spanish. “That’s for rich cities, not for us.” Mendoza, 42, and her family live in Cantua Creek in western Fresno County, a town of about 100 homes that is inextricably tied to the farmland surrounding it.
Bloomberg: Editorial: California Needs Clean Water. In 2012, former California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law the Human Right to Water Act, recognizing that “every human being has the right to safe, clean, affordable, and accessible water.” At least 1 million Californians are still waiting to exercise that right. Although the vast majority of the state’s water remains clean, some areas are struggling to solve serious supply and pollution problems. Without sustained action by the state, these dire challenges threaten to grow worse.
See the latest CWC news coverage here.
CENTRAL COAST COMITÉ ORGANIZES FOR BOTTLED WATER IN THEIR COMMUNITY! (BLUFF/JENSEN/SPRINGFIELD)
Community members of El Comité para tener agua sana, limpia y económica (Committee for Safe, Clean and Affordable Drinking Water) have been advocating for funding to cover delivered bottled water for their whole community after many residents participated in a well testing program. The results showed very high and unsafe levels of nitrate and 123-TCP. Comité members attended a board meeting of their local community services district, Pajaro Sunny Mesa, to request that the CSD apply for the state grant for bottled water delivery for impacted residents. The Board unanimously voted to apply for the program, demonstrating strong leadership. This is a short-term plan to protect the health of residents now while we work in partnership with residents and others for a long-term solution for safe water. Community members are eligible to start receiving bottled water in early July.
Contact Cesar Garcia Lopez at (831) 288-0450 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
CIVIC ENGAGEMENT TEAM REACHES THOUSANDS OF LATINO VOTERS
Last month, we launched our Spring Civic Engagement Program (CEP) with a team of eight canvassers. Our team of canvassers will be calling Tulare County Latinx voters to share important information about drinking water concerns and accountability. So far we have reached more than 2,400 Latinx Voters from Tulare County! We will be continuing our program through early July, and hope to reach 1,500 more voters. We will continue to follow up with contacted voters throughout the year, and include them in key CWC work and campaigns that will impact their community’s access to safe and affordable drinking water.
As a result of our multi-year campaign to pass the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund, the Governor and Legislative leadership announced a safe water budget detail in early June that would provide targeted funding for vulnerable communities.
Then in late June, Governor Gavin Newsom signed the 2019-20 budget, which included more than $160 million to immediately begin addressing decades of drinking water contamination and inadequate water system infrastructure throughout the state.
We are thrilled to share that this week, at long last, California made history by passing SB 200, the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund on a strong bipartisan vote! This will provide over $1.4 billion over the next 11 years to finally realize California’s promise of safe water for all! This represents a historic victory and is a testament to the years of work by impacted community members alongside ally groups representing environmental justice, health, education, business, agriculture, and more.
We are so proud that this victory was secured by the direct advocacy, over the course of years and decades, of impacted communities themselves. Together we -- and you -- persevered and built a movement for water justice and never gave up. Through it all, we remained thirsty for justice -- and this week justice has finally been achieved.
We thank Senator Monning, who made his office a welcoming space for our communities, for his tireless work to pass the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund. We also thank the Governor, the Speaker and Pro Tem, Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia, and the many other legislative supporters and coalition organizations who joined hands together in partnership with environmental justice organizations to make history.
We now urge a swift signature of SB 200 by Governor Newsom so that California can begin the necessary work of implementing safe and affordable drinking water projects for the communities that desperately need them -- and thereby finally achieve the California promise of safe and affordable drinking water for all.
Our team is excited to introduce you to our new staff member! Wendy Avila joined the Visalia team last month as a Community Organizer. Check out her bio and make sure to give her a warm welcome!
KATHRYN GILJE JOINS CWC BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Our team is excited to introduce you to our newest member of the Board of Directors. She is director of Ceres Trust, a foundation that supports healthy and resilient farms, forests and communities; and the ecosystems upon which we all depend. Kathryn works with institutional philanthropy to shift money, hearts and minds to organizing and movement–building for a just and regenerative economy. Check out her bio and make sure to give her a warm welcome!
Complete job descriptions and more information on how to apply, please visit: https://www.communitywatercenter.org/careers.
The Water Leadership Strategist is primarily responsible for coordinating the Community Water Leaders Network (CWLN) and supporting efforts to build regional power. CWLN is a network of 22 elected representatives from city councils, county board of supervisors, local water boards, public utilities districts, community service districts, school boards who have made a commitment to securing safe, clean and affordable water for their communities. The network is designed to support local elected decision makers by connecting leaders to each other for peer support and mentorship, providing accurate information and water expertise, and by sharing information on opportunities to secure safe and affordable drinking water. If you have any questions, please contact Adriana Renteria at email@example.com.
Communications Manager - Sacramento:The bilingual (English and Spanish) Communications Manager is primarily responsible for overseeing media relations, organizational communications (eblasts, web presence, social media), and supporting CWC’s fundraising efforts. The Communications Manager is a full-time position based out of our Sacramento office and will report to the Director of Strategic Partnerships. This position will work closely with CWC’s Policy Director and the Executive Director, as well as other CWC staff, community members, ally organizations and agencies, and various interns. If you have any questions, please contact Natalie Garcia-Grazier at firstname.lastname@example.org.
RESOURCES AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
- Do you know if your water is safe to drink? Check out our bilingual Water FAQ page to see what steps you can take to find out what is in the water coming out of your tap.
- Funding available for water systems impacted by 1,2,3-TCP. On December 14, 2017, the State Water Board approved an early effective date for the maximum contaminant level (MCL) of contaminant 1,2,3-Trichloropropane (1,2,3-TCP). In order to obtain cost recovery for your impacted system, you need to obtain legal representation in order to sue the responsible parties, Shell and Dow Chemicals, for 1-2-3 TCP contamination. Litigation can take anywhere from a year to 3 or more years, so if you are impacted by 1-2-3 TCP and are in need of financial assistance to come into compliance with the new MCL, there are funding sources at the state available for eligible entities. The primary funding source is the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF), and the Prop 1 Groundwater Grant Fund is also a secondary option to cover instances where the DWSRF doesn’t cover. In order to qualify for state funding sources you will likely be required to show you are initiating efforts to recover costs from the responsible parties. For any questions, contact the State Water Resources Control Board.
Resources for Protecting Groundwater. Summer and fall 2019 are an important time for groundwater planning. In preparation for this, Community Water Center has just released two new resources for protecting drinking water quality in the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA):
- Guide to Protecting Drinking Water Quality Under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act
- Groundwater Quality in the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA): Scientific Factsheet on Arsenic, Uranium, and Chromium (In partnership with researchers at Stanford University)
We hope these resources support your involvement in groundwater planning. If you are new to the SGMA process, there is still time to get involved. Click here for a step-by-step process for how to get involved in your local area.
Huge thank you to our monthly donors, whose continual contributions help to sustain our long-term work toward achieving safe, clean and affordable drinking water!
Amy Helfant, Anavel Valdez, Benigna Hernandez, Bessma Mourad, Brandon Hill, Bryan Barnhart, Carly Yoshida, Cassie Morgan, David & Ide Weinsoff, Ellen Rowe, Frank Lukacs, Julian De Anda, Kathryn Gilje, Kat Wuelfing, Kavita Vora, Kelsey Hinton, Kristin Dobbin, Leonard Sklar, Nancy Bruce, Natalie Garcia- Grazier, Nimmi Damodaran, Paul Pierce & Patience Milrod, Renata Brillinger, Sandra Hocker, Vicki Woods
And thank you to our generous donors for the month of May and June!
Mari Amend, Alf Brandt, Michael Grazier, Linda Kida, Teri Marsh, Joanna Waen, Rob Weidner
If you would like to donate to CWC, please click here!