Statewide Safe Drinking Water Funding Solution

On July 24, 2019, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed SB 200 (Monning) into law, creating the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund, which provides the legal structure and process for funding safe drinking water solutions for disadvantaged communities in California that currently do not have that access.

The California Legislature had previously passed the bill in early July 2019.

The governor’s signing of SB 200 follows the June 27 enactment of the 2019-’20 State Budget, which sets forth the first part of the funding solution.  The State Budget provides $130 million for Fiscal Year 2019-’20 for safe drinking water solutions in disadvantaged communities that do not have access to safe drinking water.

In the first year, Fiscal Year 2019-’20, the safe drinking water funding solution will be funded with $100 million from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) and $30 million from the General Fund.

After the first year, the funding will be 5% of the GGRF continuously appropriated – capped at $130 million per year.  The agreement includes General Fund funding as a backstop if 5% of the GGRF is less than $130 million in any year.  The funding will sunset in 2030.

The solution does not include a water tax.

In addition to Gov. Newsom, many legislators on both sides of the aisle played key roles in making this agreement possible.  To name just a few of those, Senator Monning (D-Carmel) has championed this issue from the beginning.  Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee Chair Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella) encouraged stakeholders to come forward with ideas for how to solve the problem.  Senator Anna Caballero (D-Salinas) authored the ACWA and California Municipal Utilities Association co-sponsored SB 669, which proposed a Safe Drinking Water Trust.  Discussions on that bill helped inform the broader discussion regarding solutions.

ACWA staff appreciate the guidance on this critical issue from the ACWA Board of Directors, the ACWA DAC Drinking Water Initiative Task Force, and the State Legislative Committee and its Safe Drinking Water Funding Working Group. ACWA also appreciates the tireless legislative outreach support from member agencies.

Why is there a need for safe drinking water funding in California?

  • Most Californians have access to safe drinking water, but some disadvantaged communities do not
  • Lack of access to safe drinking water is a public health issue the state must address
  • A funding gap exists for operations & maintenance (O&M) costs for community water systems that treat water
  • In general, O&M costs cannot be financed using existing state and federal drinking water funding sources
  • In some situations, consolidation of a community water system may be the most effective solution
  • A financial solution is needed for O&M and consolidation costs in disadvantaged communities that can complement existing federal and state funding sources for capital costs.

Why is a statewide water tax not the right approach?

  • It isn’t sound policy to tax a resource that is essential to life
  • A regressive statewide tax on local water bills is in conflict with keeping water affordable for all Californians
  • It would be highly inefficient to require more than 3,000 local water agencies to serve as tax collectors for the state
  • The combined local administrative costs would exceed the combined statewide water tax revenue collected with local water bills

Californians Oppose a Drinking Water Tax

Tulchin Research conducted a statewide poll in early 2018 based on a previous drinking water tax proposal. That poll showed that 73% of likely voters oppose a new tax on drinking water, both initially and even after hearing more information.

Additionally, 74% would prefer using existing funding sources rather than establishing a new tax on drinking water.

For more on the polling, please read the polling results memo or see our news release.

Tools & Resources

2019 ACWA & Coalition Letters

2019 Media Coverage

2018 Coalition Letters

Questions

For questions about the agreement or Conference Committee action, please contact ACWA Deputy Executive Director for Government Relations Cindy Tuck at (916) 441-4545.

For media inquiries, please contact ACWA Director of Communications Heather Engel at (916) 441-4545.

 

Suggested Resources

15 RESOURCES prev next
Designation of PFOA and PFOS as Hazardous Substances

Agency: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Subject: Request for Extension of Public Comment Period – Designation of Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) and […]

ACWA and CMUA Comments on Draft Intended Use Plans

Agency: State Water Resources Control Board Subject: Draft Intended Use Plans for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund and Clean […]

Proposed Water Loss Performance Standards Comment Letter

Agency: State Water Resources Control Board Subject: Comment Letter – Proposed Water Loss Performance Standards Letter excerpt: The Association of […]

ACWA and CMUA Comments on Draft Fund Expenditure Plan

Agency: State Water Resources Control Board Subject: Comment Letter – Draft Fund Expenditure Plan for the Safe and Affordable Drinking […]

ACWA and CMUA Comments on Proposed 2022 Cost Assessment Changes

Agency: State Water Resources Control Board Subject: ACWA and CMUA Comments regarding the Draft White Paper Discussion On: Proposed Changes […]

SB 222 Veto Request (ACWA Letter)

Veto Request Subject: SB 222 (Dodd) – VETO REQUEST Letter excerpt: The Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) respectfully urges […]

SB 222 Veto Request (Coalition Letter)

Veto Request Subject: SB 222 (Dodd) – REQUEST FOR VETO Letter excerpt: The undersigned organizations from the public water agency […]

2022 Water Professionals Appreciation Week Toolkit

Sorry, but only ACWA members have permission to view this content. Member login is required.

SB 222 (Dodd) Floor Alert – August 24 Version

Assembly Floor Alert Subject: SB 222 State Water Rate Assistance Program Oppose Unless Amended Letter excerpt: SB 222 would require […]

Federal Regulatory Issues Chart

Sorry, but only ACWA members have permission to view this content. Member login is required.

2022 Membership Directory

ACWA’s latest member directory is now available to public agency members and associates. View the 2022 directory.

SB 222 (Dodd) Floor Alert

Assembly Floor Alert Subject: SB 222 State Water Rate Assistance Program Oppose Unless Amended Letter excerpt: SB 222 would require […]

Bay-Delta Plan Revised Draft Initial Biological Goals

Agency: State Water Resources Control Board Subject: Comment Letter – Bay-Delta Plan Revised Draft Initial Biological Goals Letter excerpt: The […]

SB 222 (Dodd) Floor Alert

Assembly Floor Alert Subject: SB 222 State Water Rate Assistance Program Oppose Unless Amended Letter excerpt: SB 222 would require […]

Updated PFAS Toolkit

Sorry, but only ACWA members have permission to view this content. Member login is required.

Suggested News

15 Articles prev next
Vallecitos Videos Shared Nationwide by EPA WaterSense

Videos produced by the Vallecitos Water District public affairs team are now being distributed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s […]

WVWD Earns Financial Reporting Award

RIALTO ­— West Valley Water District (WVWD) Board of Directors today announced that the organization earned the Government Finance Officers […]

CVWD Board of Directors approves the 2022 Strategic Plan Update

On August 23rd at its regularly scheduled board meeting, the CVWD Board of Directors approved the 2022 Strategic Plan Update.  […]

Helix Water District Charging Forward With First Zero-Emission Truck

Helix Water District received its first all-electric, zero-emission, Ford F-150 Lightning pickup truck — another milestone in the organization’s sustainability […]

After Nearly 30-Year Delay, Annual Littlerock Sediment Removal Starts

PALMDALE – A dump truck filled with 10 cubic yards of sediment rolled out of the Littlerock Dam on Wednesday, […]

JCSD Files Lawsuit Against 3M, DuPont, and Others Over PFAS Contamination

JURUPA VALLEY — Jurupa Community Services District (JCSD) has filed a lawsuit through SL Environmental Law Group against 3M Company, […]

MSWD Board Appoints Robert Griffith to Fill Division 2 Vacancy  

During its regularly scheduled meeting Thursday, the Mission Springs Water District Board of Directors voted unanimously (4-0) to appoint local […]

West Basin Announces New Assistant General Manager

The West Basin Municipal Water District Office of the General Manager is pleased to announce the promotion of Edward J. […]

EPA Announces $18 Million WIFIA Loan to Helix Water District

WASHINGTON – Today, at an event in Southern California, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced an $18 million Water Infrastructure […]

Governor Newsom Signs Climate Measures

MARE ISLAND – Today, California enacted some of the nation’s most aggressive climate measures in history as Gov. Gavin Newsom […]

September 16, 2022 ACWA News Available Online

Sorry, but only ACWA members have permission to view this content. Member login is required.

PCWA Board Receives Update on Mosquito Fire

AUBURN — At the September 15 meeting of the Placer County Water Agency (PCWA) Board of Directors, the Board received […]

ACWA and Membership Prove Mettle During Tumultuous Legislative Year

Another session of the California Legislature came down to the wire with some wins earned in the late hours of […]

CVWD Approves Additional $3 Million for Water Conservation Programs

Coachella Valley Water District’s (CVWD) Board of Directors approved an additional $3 million to encourage customer participation in conservation rebate […]

September 2022 Priority Issues Update Available

The September 2022 Priority Issues Update is now available online to members. The update is a summary of the latest […]