ACWA Members Respond to Coronavirus Concerns by ACWA Staff Mar 17, 2020 Water News Across the state, member agencies have been responding to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) concerns and the rapidly changing fallout with both internal and external efforts. Early in the month, several members utilized ACWA’s talking points to reassure customers that their tap water remains safe to drink. The talking points are available to members on ACWA’s website. In addition, several agencies have instituted non-essential travel bans for staff and closed their offices to the public, and suspended water shut-offs for nonpayment. Governor Gavin Newsom issued an Executive Order on March 16 that asks the California Public Utilities Commission to monitor measures undertaken by public and private utility providers to implement customer service protections for critical utilities, including water service. Below are a few (of many) examples of what member agencies are doing to help safeguard their staff and communities: Numerous agencies including Vallecitos Water District, East Bay Municipal Water District, Helix Water District, Dublin San Ramon Services District, Nevada Irrigation District, City of Shasta Lake and Irvine Ranch Water District have released statements addressing the safety of their drinking water and posted information on their websites. Desert Water Agency submitted an op-ed to The Desert Sun newspaper encouraging customers to stop stocking up on bottled water because their tap water is safe to drink. Sweetwater Authority has suspended water shut-offs due to non-payment until further notice. Orange County Water District has suspended all staff travel through April 30 and is requiring that staff participation in off-site meetings be done remotely. While several agencies are encouraging customers to use the phone or website to conduct business, Sweetwater Authority and Cucamonga Valley Water District are among those who have taken a further step in closing their lobbies to the public. Coachella Valley Water District, Upper San Gabriel Municipal Water District and Palmdale Water District are among many that have cancelled public workshops and tours. Western Municipal Water District announced to customers that it has developed a Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Pandemic Response Plan. An internal Business Continuity Team has been established to review and update the plan, prepare and implement action plans, and make sure the district is ready to respond effectively if necessary.