For Californians without access to clean water, the COVID-19 pandemic has only added another layer of stress and struggle. Over 350,000 Californians were estimated to have had their water shut off in 2019 due to the inability to pay their water bills. Meanwhile, nearly one million Californians are exposed to unsafe drinking water each year.
Last week, the Water Foundation and US Water Alliance published a New Report summarizing the insights, successes, and shared challenges of over 100 water leaders, including water managers, public officials, environmental and watershed advocates, and community and philanthropic organizations who met through a series of regional roundtables across the US to achieve safe, reliable, and affordable water across the nation.
CCKA joined a coalition of over 140 organizations, led by environmental justice partners Community Water Center, Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability, and Clean Water Action to join these discussions and steadily advance drinking water solutions in California. We’re proud to help foster a shared understanding of the drinking water threats facing communities throughout the U.S. and amplify innovation state and tribal policy solutions. As the report notes, when we bring together community-driven solutions and diverse coalitions, we can unleash tremendous power to drive significant and equitable policy change.
At a time when everyone needs to be able to wash their hands and shelter in place, the fight for safe, reliable, and affordable water for all takes on new urgency. California Waterkeepers are committed to securing safe and affordable drinking water for all – because safe, clean, affordable water is a basic human right. We’ve overdue in making this right a reality.