Governor Gavin Newsom stopped in the Central Valley to visit the community of Tombstone Territory to sign a new safe drinking water bill.
Senate Bill 200 will allocate $130 million per year to help water starved communities statewide.
According to the Governor’s news release, the bill would require State Water Resources Control Board to develop a funding plan to identify failing water systems, as well as solutions to provide safe and affordable drinking water.
Newsom saw first hand how the people in Tombstone are living without clean water.
Many families receive five 8-gallon jugs of water every two weeks through a grant program, which they use for drinking and cooking.
Some private wells in this community have high levels of nitrate while others have simply gone dry.
The Governor made safe drinking water one of this top priorities when he took office in January.
According to the Governor’s office, about a million Californians are living without clean water, Newsom worked with lawmakers to set aside funding to help communities have access to safe drinking water.
“This is significant. This is over a billion dollars over the next decade that will be set aside for the purpose that’s noble. The idea that we’re living in a state where a million people don’t have access to clean, safe, affordable drinking water is a disgrace,” Newsom said.
Veronica Garibay, co-executive director for Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability has been working with other organizations to help put a spotlight on the water issue
“There has been a long standing call for resources at the state level to help pay for the ongoing operation and maintenance cost of treating contamination in disadvantage communities,” Garibay said.
Tombstone Territory is slated to get a million dollars in funding so residents can tap in to Sanger’s water system.
Newsom reaffirming his commitment to the tackle the issues in the Central Valley.
“I care about California, you can’t care about California unless you care about the Central Valley. I want to prioritize the Central Valley, you’ve seen me out here on multiple occasions, I’m committed to this part of the state,” Newsom said.