Community Water Center

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

Community Power and Engaged Leadership Program


The Problem:

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.

Related Campaigns and Projects: 

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.

For most recent news stories check out our Water Blog, or the related articles columns on the right.

To join us in our mission: 


Questions? Contact: 

Jonathan Nelson (TCP): (916) 706-3346 or
Susana De Anda (Agua Coalition): (559) 733-0219 or
Adriana Renteria (Community Water Leaders Network)

Sustainable Groundwater Program


The Problem:

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. 

Related Campaigns and Projects: 

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. 

For most recent news stories check out our Water Blog, or the related articles columns on the right.

To take action and sign up to be part of the Groundwater Action Team: 


Questions? Contact: 

Debi Ores: (916) 706-3346 or
Adriana Renteria: (559) 733-0219 or


Sustainable and Affordable Drinking Water Solutions Program


The Problem:

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. Additionally, in order to sustainability provide safe water for their communities, local water decision makers need to be able to access adequate funding resources, including through the creation of a Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund. 


  • 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. 

  • Establish a Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund for the state of California. 

Related Campaigns and Projects: 

Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund: This legislative package will provide an ongoing source of funding to fill the "O&M gap" and cover other unmet emergency and long-term drinking water needs, including drilling new wells, repairing or replacing failing drinking water infrastructure, installing water treatment systems, providing technical assistance, consolidating water systems or facilitating drinking water extensions, and other projects designed to secure long-term safe drinking water for all.

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.

For most recent news stories check out our Water Blog, or the related articles columns on the right.

Sign up to stay in the loop: 


Questions? Contact: 

Ryan Jensen: (559) 733-0219 or
Jonathan Nelson: (916) 706-3346 or

The Challenge


Sources for statistics in the infographic above can be found here.

For more on water quality, quantity, affordability, and governance click here. 


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