As more than a million Californians don’t have access to clean dinking water, there is an outpouring of lawmakers who are trying to help, but clashing on solutions.
Gov. Gavin newsom is proposing a safe affordable drinking water fund to clean up contamintated water in rural and low income areas.
The fund would come from water customers across California, proposing each pay between 95 cents to $10 a month, depending on the water meter.
Assembly Republican Devon Mathis’ district has areas where tap water is seriously contaminated.
Mathis and a bipartisan group of lawmakers are proposing a competing measure which would annually set aside two percent of the general fund to go toward a number of water improvement projects, including ground water clean up and emergency drinking water programs. It’s final approval would be up to the voters.
“It keeps that promise the state of California made to its people. This isn’t just one piece, it’s let’s get the water, let’s capture the snowpack let’s move it down, let’s put it back in the ground, let’s make sure we’re covering the environmental things we need to, let’s do everything we possibly can to cover all aspects in a hollistic fashion,” he says.
Dozens of contaminated water customers from the Central Valley lined up at the state capitol this week with their concerns.
“It’s our right to have that and not worry and have those concerns for our unborn children and for those that we already have,” says Tulare County resident Isabel Valdez.