- More than one million Californians are exposed to unsafe drinking water each year.
- Approximately 300 communities have been unable to meet safe drinking water standards for over a year, and in some cases over a decade.
- Children are particularly at risk. 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.
- Some families we've worked with pay up to 10% of their monthly income on water.
- Latino and low-income communities are disproportionately impacted.
- California needs to create a safe and affordable drinking water fund to deliver on its promise of the human right to water.
- Funding would come from a safe drinking water fee on fertilizer and dairies and a modest safe drinking water fee on water bills (95 cents per month for most households). Low-income rate exemptions are provided for households under 200% of the federal poverty level.
- This funding will be used for emergency drinking water relief and operations and maintenance of drinking water treatment plants.
Senate Bill 623 (by Senator Monning) recently moved out of the Assembly Appropriations Committee to the Assembly Rules Committee. We urge the Legislature to act as swiftly as possible to resolve California's long-standing drinking water crisis, and to take advantage of the unique opportunity afforded by SB 623 for the good of California both now and for decades to come.
For more information, see our backgrounder on the issue and the fact sheet on Senate Bill 623. The SB 623 fact sheet is also available in Spanish.
Take action to tell the California Governor and Legislature to guarantee this basic human right.