Californians facing the daily reality of unsafe water need investment in solutions

Sacramento, Calif. — Today, Governor Jerry Brown released the May Revision to his proposed 2016-17 state budget, which included an increase of $5.5 million to address California’s safe drinking water crisis.

“While we thank the Administration and others in the State of California for investing funds to address California’s safe drinking water crisis through Prop 1 funds and funds allocated in today’s budget proposal, we call on the Governor and the Legislature to work together to make the state budget reflect the dire circumstances that affect California’s most vulnerable communities on a daily basis,” said Stanley Keasling, RCAC’s chief executive officer.

More than one million Californians are impacted by unsafe water annually, and over 10,000 Californians have completely run out of water during this drought.

“Additional resources are needed beyond what is in the Governor’s budget. That is why we have been working with leadership in both houses on a proposal to increase funding for safe drinking water,” said Laurel Firestone, co-executive director of the Community Water Center. “Californians ultimately need an ongoing source of sustainable funding to secure safe and affordable water, but until that is secured, our communities need immediate investments to meet urgent drinking water needs.”

“Our coalition of drinking water advocates has proposed a $56 million budget proposal as a substantial investment to alleviate the state’s drinking water crisis and advance the Human Right to Water,” said Phoebe Seaton, Co-Director and Attorney at Law, Leadership Counsel for Justice & Accountability.

The $56 million, one-time budget package includes funding to provide for permanent, interim and emergency drinking water solutions for small, low-income communities and households; improve water access and address water quality challenges in schools; promote water efficiency in low-income communities and households; and improve data collection and tracking to determine where access to safe water and sanitation is lacking.

Rural Community Assistance Corporation

RCAC is a nonprofit organization that provides training, technical and financial resources and advocacy so rural communities can achieve their goals and visions. Headquartered in West Sacramento, California, RCAC serves rural communities in the western United States and the Pacific islands. RCAC has strong core services and expertise in housing, environmental infrastructure (water, wastewater and solid waste), leadership training, economic development and financing. To find out more about RCAC, visit

Community Water Center

The Community Water Center (CWC) is a non-profit environmental justice organization based in California’s San Joaquin Valley, whose mission is to act as a catalyst for community-driven water solutions through organizing, education, and advocacy. CWC’s fundamental goal is to ensure that all communities have access to safe, clean, and affordable water. CWC helps build strategic grassroots capacity to address water challenges in small, rural, low-income communities and communities of color. For more information, visit CWC’s website at


Ari Neumann, Assistant Director
RCAC Community & Environmental Services
(916) 447-9832 ext. 1032

Asha Kreiling, Policy & Communications Analyst
Community Water Center
(916) 706-3346

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