Publication | August 11, 2021

Comments on the California Public Utilities Commission Amended Scope for a Low Income Water Rates Assistance Program

This letter from the Center for Accessible Technology; Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security; Natural Resources Defense Council; The Environmental Justice Coalition for Water; Community Water Center; and Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability (collectively the Joint Advocates) contains comments on the California Public Utilities Commission Amended Scope for a Low Income Water Rates Assistance Program.

Blog | July 15, 2021

All Together Now? Differences in Water Shortage Conditions Across California 

California is back in a drought. You’ve heard it on the news, you’ve heard it from scientists, and they’re right — 100% of the state is in at least moderate drought. Yet, California Governor Gavin Newsom has yet to declare a statewide drought emergency, instead opting for county-level declarations — 50 of 58 counties have been declared so far this year.

Publication | July 2, 2021

Op-Ed: Dying from the Heat

No one wants to be a statistic in a climate disaster—an anonymous entry in a dataset of extreme events. But sometimes things sneak up on you. A couple of weeks ago, during one of the extraordinary and severe heat events striking western North America, I almost suffered from heat stroke.

Publication | June 21, 2021

At Risk: Public Supply Well Vulnerability Under California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act

Community water systems in California’s San Joaquin Valley face a host of challenges that threaten the safety and reliability of drinking water, including pollution, periodic drought, and chronic groundwater overdraft. Moreover, shallow wells, some of which serve community water systems, are vulnerable to short-term and chronic declines in groundwater levels. For example, during the 2012-2016 drought, many domestic wells and some public supply wells went dry. 

Publication | June 8, 2021

Stacked Incentives: Co-Funding Water Customer Incentive Programs

Water utilities throughout the United States offer customer incentives to motivate action and foster engagement with their customers. These incentive programs can take many forms, from rebates for high-efficiency fixtures and appliances to technical assistance for installing cisterns and rain gardens.

Blog | June 4, 2021

The 2021 Western Drought: What to Expect as Conditions Worsen

The American West has entered another drought crisis, with nearly the entire region (97 percent) facing abnormally dry conditions and over 70 percent of the region already in severe drought. State and local leaders are making emergency declarations. Water allocations are being slashed. We are already seeing fish die-offs and domestic wells running dry — and the dry season is just beginning.

Publication | May 24, 2021

Setting Enterprise Water Targets: A Guide for Companies

The complexity of global water challenges requires meaningful action across sectors, including the business sector. A critical aspect of business engagement in successful water stewardship is setting water targets that address the shared water challenges in the water basins where a company operates, sources, and provides goods and services, and that enable actions that reduce or eliminate the associated water risks. 

Blog | May 13, 2021

The Impacts of the Pandemic Remain for Small Water Systems and Customers In-Debt

In the U.S., the vital responsibility of continuing safe water supply during the pandemic is decentralized, spread among nearly 50,000 community water systems. More than 45,000 of these are small community water systems (SCWS), serving fewer than 10,000 people each. Together, SCWS provide water to more than 53 million people — 18 percent of the national population — across urban and rural areas, on tribal reservations, in the midst of larger utilities in huge metropolises, and in growing communities.

Publication | May 13, 2021

Customer Debt and Declining Revenues: The Financial Impacts of COVID-19 on Small Community Water Systems

More than 45,000 small community water systems exist in the United States. These small community water systems, defined as those serving fewer than 10,000 people, are distributed across the country. Altogether they serve 53 million people across rural and urban settings, on Tribal reservations, in the midst of huge metropolises, and in growing communities.

Publication | April 30, 2021

Drinking Water Cost Assessment & Gap Analysis

In 2012, California’s Human Right to Water was passed, calling for safe, clean, affordable, and accessible water for all citizens. Then in 2016, the California State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) adopted a Human Right to Water Resolution, making the Human Right to Water a primary consideration and priority across its programs.