New Advisory Group Selected to Help Focus Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Funding Efforts

By on December 17, 2019
Fluoride in drinking water

The State Water Resources Control Board recently announced the members of an advisory group formed to help identify needs and designate spending priorities for the recently created Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund.

The Advisory Group is made up of 19 members chosen from among 50 applicants and include
representatives from public water systems, technical assistance providers, local agencies, nongovernmental organizations, the public and residents served by community water systems in disadvantaged communities, state small water systems, and domestic wells.

“The level of community interest was notable and encouraging,” said Chair E. Joaquin Esquivel. “We wanted to ensure broad-based representation. Unfortunately, not all who applied could be chosen, but that doesn’t limit participation on this critical work. There will be significant ongoing opportunity for engagement at the Board and with the Group, as we collectively identify community needs for safe drinking water.”

The Advisory Group was formed pursuant to Senate Bill 200, which established the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund and provides $130 million a year for 10 years to help local water systems provide safe, reliable drinking water to communities across California and begin closing the safe drinking water gap for more than one million Californians. The legislation was  signed by Governor Gavin Newsom on July 24.

SB 200 calls for the formation of an Advisory Group to advise the Board in developing a fund expenditure plan. The group also will assist the Board in tracking the program’s progress, including its impact on the number of Californians with safe drinking water, the effectiveness of water system administrators, and outcomes of water system consolidations.

The Advisory Group will meet quarterly in locations throughout the state to provide as many opportunities as possible for public and community input. The first meeting will be held in Sacramento in January 2020.