Decision-makers are not prioritizing community drinking water needs.
Support and grow a diverse network of local water decision-makers who prioritize and effectively address community drinking water needs.
Engage at least 10,000 local low-prosperity voters (particularly Latinos, women, low-income residents and people of color) around local water issues.
Expand the AGUA Coalition, a coalition of impacted community residents participating in decision-makers who prioritize and effectively address community drinking water needs.
AGUA Coalition: AGUA is a regional grassroots coalition of impacted community residents and allied non-profit organizations dedicated to securing safe, clean, and affordable drinking water for the San Joaquin Valley. AGUA was formed in 2006 in response to widespread contamination of valley drinking water sources, recognizing the need for a united voice of impacted communities to advocate for action by responsible agencies.
Community Water Leaders Network: The Community Water Leaders Network is a leadership cohort that unites local board members to increase access to safe, clean and affordable drinking water in the San Joaquin Valley through information sharing and capacity building.
To join us in our mission:
Valley residents rely heavily on groundwater for drinking water, and the increasing impacts of drought threaten this critical water source. CWC’s Sustainable Groundwater Program aims to protect the quality and quantity of the Valley's drinking water supply.
Support the formation of effective, transparent, and equitable Groundwater Sustainability Agencies, which will govern groundwater resources.
Reduce further pollution of groundwater with effective regulatory actions and support development of programs for long-term groundwater quality restoration.
Sustainable Groundwater Act: Community Water Center has been working diligently to help educate stakeholders about the Sustainable Groundwater Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) of 2014. Working with partners throughout the valley we have hosted a series of workshops for regional stakeholders and have also visited many of our local water boards to conduct individual informational sessions.
Groundwater Action Team: Community Water Center and our allies have been working diligently to ensure that the Tulare County Board of Supervisors takes action to develop a strong emergency groundwater ordinance that limits increased groundwater extractions and prevents more families from losing their water supply.
To take action and sign up to be part of the Groundwater Action Team:
Over one million Californians are exposed to unsafe drinking water each year. Children are particularly at risk, because as many as 1 in 4 schools in the Central Valley have been impacted by unsafe drinking water. In multiple California cities, one fifth of the population is paying over 5% of their income on water, and some families we've worked with pay up to 10% of their monthly income on water. California needs to create a safe and affordable drinking water fund to deliver on its promise of the human right to water.
Community Water Center, impacted residents, and our allies aim to secure a statewide, sustainable safe and affordable drinking water fund, which would include funding for operation and maintenance costs in low-income communities struggling to secure safe water.
Ensure existing drinking water funds are reaching low-income San Joaquin Valley communities effectively and without delay, and state officials are continuing to better define unmet needs.
Safe Water In Schools: State agencies do not currently have access to sufficient information to assess the magnitude of the problem and ensure that children have safe drinking water at school. As many as 1,048,222 students attended schools impacted by water systems that did not meet primary safe drinking water standards during the period from 2003-2014. Multiple-year violations were found in up to nine percent of schools, with some schools impacted for a decade or more. While the problem exists statewide, the Central Valley had both the greatest number and highest percentage of schools impacted by unsafe drinking water.
To take action:
Local institutions lack the economies of scale, as well as the technical, managerial and financial capacity, to operate and maintain current water systems or to develop plans to adapt to future water shortages due to drought and climate change.
Support a transparent and equitable regional governance structure in Northern Tulare County to secure funds and operate a regional safe drinking water project.
Ensure Environmental Justice communities (particularly small and rural communities, including private well owners) have the necessary tools to address continuing impacts of climate change by building community water resiliency.
Continue to support drought-impacted East Porterville residents in connecting their community to the neighboring public water system to get safe, reliable water.
Community Water Resiliency: Last May, Governor Brown passed Executive Order B-37-16 which aims to improve drought planning and resiliency in California communities, and make water conservation a way of life throughout the state.We are working to ensure our most vulnerable communities (particularly small and rural communities, and private well owners) have the tools necessary to successfully implement this Executive Order. A group of nonprofits, including CWC, developed comment letters and messaging resources to aid in this work.
Long Term Solutions: The Community Water Center provides extensive organizing, outreach, meeting facilitation, and technical assistance support for local development of long-term, sustainable solutions for safe drinking water. This support includes helping local communities identify specific contaminants in their water supply, sources of pollution, and potential project alternatives. CWC also facilitates the development of joint-solutions among communities to reduce long-term vulnerability and strengthen the resources available to resolve the problem.
Interim Solutions: Because long-term solutions to drinking water challenges can take many years to achieve, CWC is helping to create community-driven interim solutions with communities, schools, and public spaces in the San Joaquin Valley that do not have access to safe drinking water.
Drought Relief: If you're out of water or impacted by the drought, resources are available. CWC can connect you with options for bottled water delivery, storage tanks, and funding for well drilling. CWC is working to leverage more resources for immediate and lasting solutions. Please call our Visalia office at 559-733-0219 if you would like to discuss drought relief options.
Private Well Testing: Community Water Center completed its private well testing program in May 2016. This program provided free water quality testing to private well owners in Tulare, Fresno, and Kern counties. The goal of the program was to provide residents with an understanding of their water quality and resources related to accessing safe drinking water. Our team sampled 32 private wells to analyze water quality. We also provided educational materials about the test results and resources about how to obtain safe drinking water.
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Sources for statistics in the infographic above can be found here.