“Right to Water” Bill Gets Governor’s Signature

ACWA-opposed legislation establishing a “right to water” in state law has been signed into law.

AB 685 (Eng) declares it is the policy of the state that every human has the right to clean, affordable, and accessible water adequate for human consumption, cooking and sanitary purposes and directs state agencies to consider the policy when revising or adopting regulations, policies and grant criteria. Gov. Jerry Brown signed the measure Sept. 25.

ACWA and other opponents voiced concern throughout the legislative session that the measure could negatively affect the ability of water agencies to provide safe, clean and affordable water to all their customers.

The association worked with a coalition to offer amendments to address these concerns. However, the coalition and the bill’s sponsors were unable to reach an agreement.

In the final days of the session, Assembly Member Mike Eng (D-Monterey Park) wrote a letter to the Assembly Daily Journal attempting to clarify the intent behind some provisions. The letter did not satisfy ACWA’s concerns.

ACWA and numerous member agencies and others wrote letters to the governor requesting a veto.

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AB 685 Journal letter.pdf91.89 KB