By Adam W. Robin
On Wednesday, July 8, NCWA hosted the inaugural meeting of the North State Drinking Water Solutions Network via webinar. Over 65 participants joined the meeting to learn more about existing efforts and new opportunities to help ensure that all communities in the Sacramento River Basin have access to safe drinking water.
NCWA is convening the North State Drinking Water Solutions Network to serve as a forum for all parties interested in advancing safe drinking water solutions in the region. Issues discussed at the meeting included:
- Drinking water challenges in the Sacramento River Basin, including arsenic, nitrate, and hexavalent chromium.
- Updates from the State Water Board regarding new state funding and technical assistance opportunities through the SAFER Program, including the Safe & Affordable Drinking Water Fund and Administrator Policy.
- Existing non-profit technical assistance and training programs available to small water systems, schools, and others.
- Ongoing efforts by water suppliers to expand access to safe drinking water and the Sacramento Valley Water Quality Coalition’s work to protect surface water and groundwater quality.
Meeting participants were able to gain insights into these issues from the following speakers:
- Laurel Firestone, Member, State Water Resources Control Board
- Andrew Altevogt, Assistant Deputy Director, Division of Drinking Water, State Water Resources Control Board
- Ari Neumann, Director, Community & Environmental Services, Rural Community Assistance Corporation
- Dawn White, Water Quality Manager, Golden State Water Company
- Brent Smith, Director of Technical Services, Placer County Water Agency
- Bruce Houdesheldt, Director of Water Quality, NCWA
All Californians have a right to safe, clean, affordable and accessible water under the “human right to water” established in state law in 2012. While significant progress has been made toward establishing state-level policy tools and financial resources to help advance this goal, successful implementation of sustainable drinking water solutions for communities will require utilization of both the policy tools and financial resources available to state agencies as well as the knowledge and expertise of local communities and water managers.
NCWA is committed to advancing comprehensive policy approaches to ensure that all California communities have access to safe drinking water. Moving forward, NCWA will be convening the Network on a semi-regular basis to enable interested parties to further coordinate efforts to advance safe drinking water solutions in Northern California.
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For more information regarding the North State Drinking Water Solutions Network, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.