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Legislature Continues Work On Safe Drinking Water
Whats in your water? Well, if you live within the city limits, you have a low-dose of chlorine, which is something your nose and taste buds have probably already told you. After a third failed routine sampling, the state water board instituted a permanent chlorination protocol. - photo by Kim Van Meter/The Leader

The state Senate on Monday approved SB 200 (Monning), putting California one step closer to enacting the second part of critical funding for a safe drinking water solution. The Assembly approved the bill on Friday, July 5 and it now awaits Gov. Gavin Newsom’s signature.

The Association of California Water Agencies, ACWA, applauded the move.

SB 200, which creates the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund, is the second part of an historic funding solution for disadvantaged communities in the state that do not have access to safe drinking water. The first part is in the state’s 2019-20 budget, which Governor Newsom signed on June 27. The budget allocates $100 million from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) and $30 million from the General Fund for the current fiscal year. SB 200 provides $130 million per year from the GGRF for safe drinking water for future years until 2030.

“ACWA and its members applaud the leadership of Governor Newsom, Senate President pro Tem Atkins, Assembly Speaker Rendon and the work of many other legislators who played key roles in solving this complex problem,” said ACWA President Brent Hastey.

ACWA has long been a supporter of a sustainable funding source that would close the funding gap that exists for operation and maintenance costs for community water systems that treat water in disadvantaged communities but that does not tax a resource that is essential to life.

“While the vast majority of Californians have access to safe and reliable drinking water, the fact that there are residents in disadvantaged communities still lacking this access is unacceptable. Together with the State’s new budget, the passage of SB 200 provides a durable solution for ensuring access to safe drinking water for all Californians,” Hastey said.