Eastern Municipal Water District Honors Assemblywoman Caballero as 2018 Water Champion

By on December 3, 2018
Eastern Municipal Water District

Assemblywoman Anna Caballero (D-30th District-Salinas) has been honored by Eastern Municipal Water District (EMWD) as the district’s 2018 Water Champion. Caballero authored AB 2050 – the Small System Water Authority Act of 2018 – to address and help remedy failing small water systems throughout California. AB 2050 had been co-sponsored by EMWD and the California Municipal Utilities Association (CMUA).

EMWD’s Water Champion Award is presented to an individual who shows exemplary service in helping the district achieve its mission of providing clean, reliable water and wastewater management services for residents of western Riverside County. Past recipients have included former Riverside County Supervisor Marion Ashley, California Governor Jerry Brown, Congressman Ken Calvert (R-42nd District-Corona), former State Senator Bill Emmerson, and United States Bureau of Reclamation area manager Bill Steele.

“Assemblywoman Caballero was instrumental in authoring a piece of legislation that would have created a better future for many Californians without the need for a statewide tax on water,” EMWD Board President David Slawson said. “Her hard work on this matter has helped reshape the conversation regarding the governance of failing water systems as we continue to develop a long-term solution.”

Caballero penned AB 2050 to promote the regionalization of failing systems through the creation of Small System Water Authorities, which would then have additional governance oversight and financial resources. The bill sought to address failing water systems in California by authorizing the creation of small system water authorities that would have powers to absorb, improve, and competently operate noncompliant public water systems. Such governance, or the lack thereof, is often the root cause of why water systems fail. Although AB 2050 successfully passed through both houses of the California legislature with overwhelming support, it was ultimately vetoed by Governor Jerry Brown.

In a response the members of the California State Assembly regarding his veto of AB 2050, Gov. Brown stated that, “While I appreciate the author’s intent, this bill creates an expensive, bureaucratic process and does not address the most significant problem with providing safe drinking water – a stable funding source to pay for ongoing operations and maintenance costs.”

Caballero has been a key voice in the state’s process of establishing updated water use efficiency standards. She also supported an approach that recognized investments in diversified water supplies.

“Water is perhaps one of the most important issues facing our state, and I am honored to have worked with EMWD and CMUA to propose solutions to the significant challenges facing our state’s water future,” Caballero said. “I also stand firm in my commitment in continuing to find creative and responsible solutions toward the governance of our state’s water supplies so that all Californians can have access to safe and reliable drinking water for generations to come.”

Assemblywoman Caballero was recently elected to the California State Senate and will represent District 12 currently headquartered in Ceres. She previously served on the Salinas City Council from 1991 to 1998 and served as mayor of Salinas.