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Governor Jerry Brown on September 25 signed historic legislation establishing a state policy that every Californian has a human right to safe, clean, affordable and accessible drinking water.

AB 685, authored by Assemblymember Mike Eng (D-Alhambra), also requires that all relevant state agencies consider the state policy when creating policies and regulations.

“Around 8.5 million people in Californians repeatedly experience excessive levels of toxicity in their drinking water every year,” said Assemblymember Eng. “As the representative of a district that sits on an aquifer that is the largest Superfund in the United States, I am very pleased that Governor Brown agreed that safe, clean, affordable and accessible drinking water is a basic human right and is willing to codify it into state policy.”

California’s failure to provide clean, safe drinking water to its residents captured the attention of the United Nations in a special report released in August 2010. Reporting on her mission to the United States, Catarina de Albuquerque, the Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation, cited a host of alarming drinking water supply and sanitation conditions in California. (http://blogs.alternet.org/...).

The report noted that over 250,000 California residents lack clean groundwater and are forced to purchase bottled water to ensure safe and clean drinking water. With annual median household incomes in some of the most severely contaminated areas reaching only $14,000, some households are devoting approximately 20 per cent of their income to water and sanitation, according to Eng’s Office.

Clean water and environmental justice advocates throughout the state, nation and world applauded Brown’s signing of the legislation.

“The basic human right to safe, clean, affordable and accessible water became part of state policy yesterday when Governor Brown signed AB 685,” said Caleen Sisk, Chief of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe. “Thanks to all who have supported the Winnemem and all the other advocates for clean water in this fight!“

"We are proud that the governor has signed this legislation, following the lead of the United Nations, states like Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, and communities like Detroit, which have already affirmed the human right to water," said Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director of Food and Water Watch. "AB 685, however, was truly the first citizen-led effort in a U.S. state to recognize this basic right."

A.B. 685 directs relevant state agencies to advance the implementation of this policy when those agencies make administrative decisions pertinent to the use of water for human consumption, cooking, and sanitary purposes, according to a news release from the Environmental Justice Coalition for Water (ECJW). (http://www.ejcw.org)

“Safe, affordable water is a basic essential of survival,” said Alecia Sanchez of the California Center for Public Health Advocacy (CCPHA), a member of the Safe Water Alliance that has worked on this issue. “We applaud the Legislature and the Governor for recognizing this and taking the bold action to cement it into law."

For years, grassroots activists, community leaders, faith-based groups, and dedicated environmental justice, public health and environmental organizations, drawn together by a shared commitment to improve access to safe drinking water in our poorest communities, have been advocating at the local, regional, and state level, combating powerful, entrenched interests determined not to change the status quo in California water policy, according to Paola Ramos EJCW Interim Executive Director.

“It is disgraceful that there are communities in California that have struggled to gain access to safe water for decades," said Maria Herrera of the Community Water Center, a member of the Safe Water Alliance. "What our communities have lacked in influence, we make up in heart. Our impacted communities have been the lodestar of our work. Their voices have carried us all forward."

On August 29, legislators from regions all over the state—from Coachella Valley to San Diego, Fresno to the Central Coast, and San Gabriel to Marin County to Berkeley— stood up to support this bill and through their speeches echoed the voices of communities challenged to ensure safe water.

“Governor Brown also heard our community’s voices and now, with his signature of AB 685, state agencies making decisions that impact drinking water will have to consider our voices when setting policy, funding criteria, and regulation,” Herrera emphasized. “Today’s action will move not just these communities, but all of California, forward to the day where everyone can enjoy something as basic as safe drinking water. We are very grateful to Governor Brown for taking this historic step.”

Catarina de Albuquerque, the United Nations Special Rapporteur, welcomed the adoption of AB 685. She said the law “will be an inspiration not only for other states within the USA, but equally for many other countries in the world.” (http://www.ohchr.org/...)

“When I received the good news about the adoption of this bill, my thoughts immediately went to those people I met last year in California who still do not benefit from this fundamental human right,” de Albuquerque said.

“I remember the tragic stories of farm-worker women in Seville, in the San Joaquin Valley, who were condemned to drinking the water from their polluted wells because they did not have the money to purchase bottled water. I recall the crying women who told me that they were devoting about 20 per cent of their US$14,000 per year income to water and sanitation. I am also thinking about the indigenous people of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, whose lack of water and adequate sanitation was appalling," she stated.

The Safe Water Alliance co-sponsored AB 685. This alliance includes the Alliance for Democracy, Asociacion de Gente Unida por el Agua, California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation, Clean Water Action, Community Water Center, California Center for Public Health Advocacy, Environmental Justice Coalition for Water, Food and Water Watch, Policy Link, San Jerardo Cooperative, Inc., Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry Action Network, Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, Urban Semillas, Winnemem Wintu Tribe and Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, U.S. Section.

Opponents of the bill included the Alameda County Flood Control and Water Conservation District 7, Association of California Water Agencies, California Chamber of Commerce, California Farm Bureau Federation, El Dorado Irrigation District, Friant Water Authority, Kern County Water Agency, Stockton East Water District, Valley Ag Water Coalition and Western Growers.

Opponents focused on the requirement that water be “affordable.” For example, the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA), questioned “to what extent water agencies would be forced to comply with the law.” Additionally, some opponents argued that by establishing a potentially enforceable human right to water, this bill has uncertain legal implications that may result in litigation, according to the Senate Analysis.

Last October, Brown signed Assembly Bill 983, the Access to Safe Drinking Water Act, as part of the Human Right to Water bill package backed by a broad coalition of environmental justice advocates. The Governor also signed three other bills in the package: AB 938 by Assemblymember V. Manuel Pérez (D-Coachella), AB 1221 by Assemblymember Luis Alejo (D-Salinas) and SB 244 by Senator Lois Wolk (D-Davis). (http://blogs.alternet.org/...)

AB 685, the Human Right to Water Measure, was held in the Senate Appropriations Commiteee and never reached Brown's desk in the 2011 Legislative session, but passed through the Legislature this year.

By signing AB 685, Brown made a clear break with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who vetoed a previous Human Right to Water Bill, bowing to powerful corporate agribusiness interests.

While clean water advocates applaud Brown’s signing of AB 685 and the other bills, Brown has continued and expanded many of the other controversial environmental policies of the Schwarzenegger administration.

Brown has followed in Schwarzenegger’s foot steps by fast-tracking the plan to build a peripheral canal or tunnel, forging ahead with the privately funded Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative that creates questionable “marine protected areas,” and presiding over record fish kills at the state and federal pumps in the 2011 water year.

The text of the bill is available at: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/...

Originally posted to Dan Bacher on Wed Sep 26, 2012 at 07:31 PM PDT.

Also republished by California politics, Community Manifesto Initiative, and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  thanks for reporting this story (15+ / 0-)

    let's hope other states follow.

    what a difference having dem in office. In 2009, this act passed both chambers, but vetoed by Arnold.

    some water companies opposed because afraid it creates an enforceable right which means lawsuits.

    it should not have been necessary to codify this right, but it was. and glad it was signed.

    Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Mohandas K. Gandhi

    by Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse on Wed Sep 26, 2012 at 08:25:02 PM PDT

    •  What a difference my ass (3+ / 0-)

      I've been sick again, right, I'm supposed to mellow out and chuck stress, so I refrain from formally blogging about this amazing governor of ours.

      The immutable, massive political wall of no new tax cuts has finally crumbled in California.  It's a great story but no one writes about because Jerry has fucked it up so much.

      He's terrified to do it, so he screwed the little people with a sales tax increase (unforgivable in these times, precisely what a fucking Republican would do.) No extraction tax on oil or minerals, no prop 13 reform, no real income tax reform, just a chickenshit sales tax.  What a leader to finally bring in revenue.

      Then this ass.....hole held our kids and cripples hostage:  if his stupid sales tax on the little people fails he won't cut prisons or roads too, no, all of the revenue burden guts our kids and wheelchair folks.

      What a man.  What a Christian.  What a Democrat.  What a great fiduciary manager our dear Jerry is, I suppose it never occurred to him that it's his duty in any one of those roles never to let even a remote chance of cuts happening against our children occur.  But he openly threatens it.

      Economically the cut threats are insane too, it's so so stupid to cut now, but Jerry loves to put the scenario out there endlessly.  He's so fucking obnoxious I should vote No just as a rejection of his utter rectum brain.  My God.

      You tunneling fool, tunnel under the San Gabriel mountains to save that incredible pump bill for LA if you're so hot to dig.  Dear Jerry's latest Delta ploy will steal water from the delta, of course, so cotton growers can raise billions more than pear orchards.  Another California environment--the delta--given up for grower money. Fight like hell, delta towns.

      That's three stories right there, and this guy is no fucking liberal or Democrat, give me a break.  He's stupid, mean and defensive, because being a liberal Democrat is what's called for and he hates the idea, he's actually a cranky old man who really wants to be a Republican.  Now it's time for my fucking yoga.

      •  my comment only discusses the issue (6+ / 0-)

        of making water a human right. GOP and companies opposed, GOP gov vetoed; and now dem signs. so yes, on this issue, having a dem made a difference.

        Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Mohandas K. Gandhi

        by Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse on Thu Sep 27, 2012 at 07:58:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  So clean water is a human right in California. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          EthrDemon

          What about the rest of the world?

          Oh, they don't matter?

          And just where is California going to get all this water WHICH THEY DON'T HAVE NATURALLY?

          "I believe more women should carry guns. I believe armed women will make the world a better place. Women need to come to think of themselves not as victims but as dangerous." Anna Pigeon

          by glorificus on Thu Sep 27, 2012 at 12:12:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  2 years ago, UN adopted resolution w/ right (4+ / 0-)

            to water as a human right. The right to water was derived from the right to an adequate standard of living, which is already contained in several international treaties on human rights. This was a critical first step and the question now is whether it is legally binding right.

            Why you would think i don't care about the rest of the world just because i limited my response to the precise narrow issue addressed in this diary is beyond me.

            The right to water is about "safe, clean, affordable and accessible drinking water" i.e., not contaminated or polluted water.

            Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Mohandas K. Gandhi

            by Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse on Thu Sep 27, 2012 at 12:53:16 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  So where is this water supposed to come from? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              happymisanthropy, EthrDemon

              "I believe more women should carry guns. I believe armed women will make the world a better place. Women need to come to think of themselves not as victims but as dangerous." Anna Pigeon

              by glorificus on Thu Sep 27, 2012 at 02:38:54 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  "Right" to an adequate living standard? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              EthrDemon

              How exactly does that work?

              I can understand free speech rights, religious liberty, etc.

              But a 'right' to a standard of living, basically that just because you are alive, other people are obliged to expend their own resources on your behalf? And if you choose to have children, perhaps many more than you can support, the rest of us have our own right to a living standard abrogated to make room for yours or those of your children? And what if it isn't possible, that there literally is not enough to go around?

              I like state-sponsored potable water and high living standards just as much as the next guy, but how do you establish an economic concern on the same level as free speech? Free speech is free in the economic sense too: how do you establish a right that's not free economically?

              (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
              Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

              by Sparhawk on Thu Sep 27, 2012 at 02:48:08 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I think the idea is that (0+ / 0-)

                anyone that stands in the way of a person getting clean water would be liable for some kind of penalty.

                Water polluters, perhaps, or people upstream who dry up the river and drought out the downstream folk.  

                Corporations that 'corner' the water supply and refuse to share.

                Like all the other legislation for human rights, nice to have on paper, hell to put into practice.

                •  Sure, but (0+ / 0-)

                  What if those "upstream people" are only using a subsistence level themselves?  Should they be forced to go without?

                  Those who support banning cocaine are no better than those who support banning cheeseburgers

                  by EthrDemon on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 09:05:52 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  The first step is to declare it as a right. (0+ / 0-)

                I'm sure there are many good people working on how to do it from there.

          •  Gov. Brown's authority only extends to California (0+ / 0-)

            but the word "affordable" when it comes to safe drinking water is excellent leadership for the rest of the world too

          •  CA doesn't control the world's water. (0+ / 0-)
      •  Good evaluation of Brown! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        shaharazade, happymisanthropy

        paradox

        "...he's actually a cranky old man who really wants to be a Republican."

        You summed up Jerry Brown very well. Jerry Brown is a corporate "Democrat," a servant of corporate agribusiness and Wall Street. For the most part, he has become another Schwarzenegger, in some ways better than the Governator, in some ways actually worse. This bill is one of the few good things he has done for the environment, in my opinion.

        As I say in my piece, While clean water advocates applaud Brown’s signing of AB 685, Brown has continued and expanded many of the other controversial environmental policies of the Schwarzenegger administration.

        Brown has followed in Schwarzenegger’s foot steps by fast-tracking the plan to build a peripheral canal or tunnel, forging ahead with the privately funded Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative that creates questionable “marine protected areas,” and presiding over record fish kills at the state and federal pumps in the 2011 water year.

        In water politics, there is little real difference between corporate Democrats like Brown and corporate Republicans like Schwarzenegger. In fact, the corporate Democratic operatives I have had the misfortune to encounter are much worse and more vicious than any corporate Republicans I have had the misfortune to encounter.

        Jim Hightower says it best: "Some people say we need a third party. I wish we had a second one."

      •  Yes, Meg Whitman would have been much better. nt (0+ / 0-)

        Kick apart the structures - Seth

        by ceebee7 on Thu Sep 27, 2012 at 05:25:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Water IS life. Fracking water pollution next? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LillithMc, indres

      GO CALI!

    •  So say I live in an environmentally sensitive area (0+ / 0-)

      and there are state laws / environmental regulations that make it impossible to pipe in water.

      Obviously, a human right trumps environmental considerations.

      I get my water pipe, right?

  •  Now if only the rest of the nation and the (10+ / 0-)

    world will follow suit. We need a quick end to the insidious practice of privatization of water, even if it is pushed by the world bank and the US tTate Department.

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Wed Sep 26, 2012 at 08:40:37 PM PDT

  •  this should be of some help (5+ / 0-)

    in fighting the expansion of fracking in the san joaquin valley, i would think.

    •  Fracking and pollution (3+ / 0-)

      The main reason for this bill is the proliferation of surface and groundwater supplies contaminated by nitrates from fertilizers, selenium, pesticides and other pollutants. This bill should help the fight to stop the expansion of fracking in the San Joaquin Valley and elsewhere in California also.

      Ironically, while Brown signed this bill, he is fast-tracking the Bay Delta Conservation Plan to build two peripheral tunnels to divert more Delta water to agribusiness interests who irrigate toxic, drainage-impaired land on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley, land that should have never been farmed.

      In other words, the peripheral tunnels will not only kill fish and result in Delta farm land being taken out of production, but they will result in more agricultural pollution that will contaminate surface and groundwater supplies!

      •  far better IMO to just take the westside offline (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        profundo

        and turn it into a grassland wildlife refuge or something. but then i'm 4th generation norcalifornio and have been hearing about LA stealing our water since before i can remember. ;)

        best hopes for winning the peripheral canal battle again.

  •  This is great! Now... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Creosote, exterris, paradox, akmk, indres

    ...if water agencies can't comply with the law, perhaps they should get out of the way of other groups of people -- like tribes -- who seek not only to exercise their rights to clean, affordable water but also to fulfill their responsibilities to the watersheds supplying that water.

  •  Dirty Soshullists! (8+ / 0-)

    Next they'll be saying people have a right to breathe air!

    Everything there is to know about the GOP: They're the Bad Guys.

    by Troubadour on Thu Sep 27, 2012 at 12:50:18 AM PDT

  •  What is wrong with people on here and in (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happymisanthropy

    California???

    Much/Most of the state is a DESERT!!!

    Which means LIMITED amounts of water.

    The Colorado River is already destroyed by people who just have to live a water-rich life in a desert.

    Maybe there should be fewer people in than environment.

    Yes, people should have clean water. As it is, Calfornia does not have enough for its population, where else will they steal from? Build a popeline from Minnesota?

    If this issue created an enormous push to develop an affordable way to desalinate sea water, great. Although there may be pollution issues to counteract  also.

    Clean water is a huge issue. Why do Californians think they are entitled to the water of someone else?

    "I believe more women should carry guns. I believe armed women will make the world a better place. Women need to come to think of themselves not as victims but as dangerous." Anna Pigeon

    by glorificus on Thu Sep 27, 2012 at 06:38:02 AM PDT

    •  A popeline? Is that for holy water? Too funny. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FG, Crider, EthrDemon, indres

      Water used for drinking and cooking is only a miniscule portion of the total amount of water that must be filtered and purified.  It applies to all municipal and other public water sources.  In addition to agriculture well water, which doesn't have to be filtered and purified, a huge amount of snow-melt/reservoir/river water is used in California for agriculture and municipal water which doesn't have to be purified.  Much of this water is wasted due to the growing of inappropriate crops, and inefficient use recovery systems.  

      Unfortunately, drinking water standards need to be applied to ALL the the water piped into your house or business establishment, even that used for baths and showers, watering lawns and gardens, washing cars, process cooling, etc.  The fact that kids drink out of a hose or other utility outlet provides one argument that all water - huge amounts, must meet drinking water standards.  Applying the new standard only to water that is used for drinking or cooking wold not be very expensive, relatively speaking.  Applying it to all municipal and domestic water supplies is a huge issue and very expensive.  It's a very complicated issue, and my attempt at a summary opinion is not very comprehensive.

      The American desire for convenience and overweening protection from stupidity and accidents is very costly, and the alternatives are complicated and controversial.  As Keb Mo said in one of my favorite songs, we're "victims of comfort."

      If the world were only a simple black and white place like some "conservatives" like to think, life would be much easier.

      The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking that created them - Albert Einstein

      by DaveVH on Thu Sep 27, 2012 at 07:44:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well, this is simply not true. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      doinaheckuvanutjob

      45% of California is forest.  Approximately 24% is desert, according to various Wikipedia sources...  

      Water is obviously a political football, and its distribution needs leglislation.  Agri-business has for much too long held sway in Sacramento.  Maybe this bill will force agri-business to farm something besides thirsty rice...  but I've never heard a Californian say we have "the right" to some other state's water.

      Where do you live?

      I agree about desalination, btw, don't know why it can't get a toehold.

      Kick apart the structures - Seth

      by ceebee7 on Thu Sep 27, 2012 at 05:48:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  desalination is expensive and energy intensive (0+ / 0-)

        or at least it used to be. I don't know the current state of the technology.

        "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

        by AaronInSanDiego on Fri Sep 28, 2012 at 09:17:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Unfortunately, the law is vague and toothless (6+ / 0-)

    I live in a very small town in Lake County. We have a small private water utility that serves our town of 2,000. It was bought by a huge water company, CalWater and ever since they took over, they've applied for, and received huge rate increases from the California Public Utilities Commission. They even have another 70% rate increase before the PUC right now.

    It would be nice if that law just might have some teeth, because that water company is killing our little town.

    Just having service is $50 per month, and each 100 cubic feet of water is $7.80. We're averaging more than $100 per month for water, and that's with no lawn. The whole town is dried up — nobody can afford a lawn, and few can afford a garden. We're on the shore of a huge natural lake.

    The little towns just north and south of us have rates less than half of what we pay.

    Looking at the text of the law, the PUC isn't even mentioned, and the last paragraph is a joke:

    e: The implementation of this section shall not infringe on the rights or responsibilities of any public water system.
    Property rights remain supreme over human rights when it comes to water policy in the wild west.

    "Societies strain harder and harder to sustain the decadent opulence of the ruling class, even as it destroys the foundations of productivity and wealth." — Chris Hedges

    by Crider on Thu Sep 27, 2012 at 07:57:13 AM PDT

    •  Your problem is not really with Brown. It's with (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      indres

      the privatization of water service in your community.  And that is a huge problem.

      Internet service in small communities, also, is a huge problem, because they utility companies in small communities, have no competition, and are not regulated by the PUC for internet services.  

      Hopefully, we can all take more steps in providing the necessities of life in a manner that everyone can afford.

      Water is essential and affordable safe drinking as a "right" is an excellent concept.  So is essential communication, and in today's world that is defined by affordable broadband service.

  •  What about these "uncertain legal implications"? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    EthrDemon, happymisanthropy

    I like the idea of the law, but I also thought of some legal implications that I hope they addressed in the bill.

    We certainly shouldn't take away someone's water, pollute it, or charge absorbent fees for it. We should make every effort to make sure poor communities have access to clean water.  

    But what if someone in southern California moves out into the Mojave Desert and demands their right to have water delivered to them?

    I'm not arguing against the law in any way.  I'm just cutious.

    •  Exactly. This is the situation in L.A. already. (0+ / 0-)

      The movie 'Chinatown' had water rights as the main crime, covered over by sex and violence.

      "I believe more women should carry guns. I believe armed women will make the world a better place. Women need to come to think of themselves not as victims but as dangerous." Anna Pigeon

      by glorificus on Thu Sep 27, 2012 at 12:14:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  New pipeline (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Helpless, indres

    Odd that Brown sponsors this and also supports a massive diversion of fresh water from above the Delta that will degrade the Delta and send water through the central valley to LA.  It is a power-play by Southern California to steal water which is very valuable.  In the past they ignored flow requirements in the rivers going to the Delta.  Now they say "trust us".

  •  Sounds so fundamental (0+ / 0-)

    why am I so suspicious?

    Even Democrats can be asses. Look at Rahm Emanuel.

    by Helpless on Thu Sep 27, 2012 at 10:15:52 AM PDT

  •  Jerry Brown is a wild card for me (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    indres

    I do admire his efforts in promoting high speed rail in California although from what I understand, even a number of Democrats in the State Assembly and State Senate are raising issues over how Brown is handling the issue.

  •  So exactly how is Calfornia's "need" for water (0+ / 0-)

    substantially different from the rush to settle parts of America that killed/relocated Cherokee and many other tribes?

    Everyone decries the former, but this is already happening in Arizona as Old Fart McCain and Odious Jim Kyl try to steal water from tribes.

    Maybe California should stop dreaming and be realistic.

    "I believe more women should carry guns. I believe armed women will make the world a better place. Women need to come to think of themselves not as victims but as dangerous." Anna Pigeon

    by glorificus on Thu Sep 27, 2012 at 12:10:14 PM PDT

  •  Desalinization (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    indres, LucyMO

    A recent article in the Sacramento Bee said there are several attempts on the coast to build desalinization plants that are used widely in the Middle East.  They have had problems and are expensive.  Pipelines from Sacramento to LA are also very expensive and they are taking fresh water needed for drinking.  Fracking  pollutes water aquifers and is exempt from Clean Water laws.  Water conservation and recycled water not used for human consumption are options.  Notice this bill was opposed by the usual cast of thieves like the Chamber of Commerce and the pipeline people who have ignored the laws to begin construction of the pipeline.

  •  Water flows uphill to money (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LillithMc

    It is said in the west that whiskey is for drinking but water is for fighting.

    The peripheral canal/ tunnel primarily would benefit not LA but San Joaquin Valley giant land owners in the Westlands Water District and other giant agbusinesses. They would like an $11 billion and counting bond issue passed to benefit them and not the whole state; much of the crops grown there such as cotton have had government support. None of the vast dam and irrigation projects have been paid for by the benefiting agricultural interests, but were paid by the federal government in the name of flood control. This is corporate welfare at its most extreme.

    Never forget it was that great environmentalist (sarcasm) James Watt, Reagan's environmental secretary, who put an end to the water projects, when he said he would never let a fish like the snail darter stop a dam, he would build any dam that passed a cost benefit analysis. There weren't any.

    Two great sources on the water wars:
    Marc Reisner's Cadillac Desert
    Donald Worster's Rivers of Empire

  •  Wait 'til Rmoney hears we're entitled to water. (4+ / 0-)
  •  Release from Food and Water Watch re. bill (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    indres, doinaheckuvanutjob

    I just got this news release from Food and Water Watch on the bill:

    For Immediate Release

    Thursday September 27, 2012

    California Affirms Human Right to Water

    Statement by Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director, Food & Water Watch

    San Francisco—“This week, Governor Jerry Brown signed A.B. 685, which gives the basic human right to water and sanitation to all Californians. We are proud that the governor has signed this legislation, following the lead of the United Nations, states like Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, and communities like Detroit to become the first citizen-led effort in a U.S. state.

    “Such commonsense legislation to ensure that all people – regardless of where they live or how much money they have – have access to clean and affordable water is critical in a civil society.  There should be no compromising our access to clean and reliable supplies of this life-giving resource for profit. Hopefully more states will affirm this basic human right to water and sanitation.

    “This policy is a crucial first step in resolving the water crisis faced by over 300,000 Californians who have undrinkable water and millions more whose drinking water does not meet clean water standards. Safe and clean water is the foundation on which California's people, economy, and environment are secure. As California needs to invest billions of dollars in upgrading and rebuilding its water systems, it is essential that these investments be made to benefit all Californians, regardless of their economic status.”

    Food & Water Watch works to ensure the food, water and fish we consume is safe, accessible and sustainable. So we can all enjoy and trust in what we eat and drink, we help people take charge of where their food comes from, keep clean, affordable, public tap water flowing freely to our homes, protect the environmental quality of oceans, force government to do its job protecting citizens, and educate about the importance of keeping shared resources under public control.

    ###

    Resources:

    Our Right to Water: A People’s Guide to Implementing the United Nations’ Recognition of the Right to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation in the United States

    Water=Life: How Privatization Undermines the Human Right to Water

    Contact: Anna Ghosh, 415-293-9905, aghosh@fwwatch.org

  •  Cute, typical for California but... (0+ / 0-)

    ....no law can be passed requiring it to rain, for instance.

    California's always been great on rhetorical symbolism, short on true achievement.    (My favorite was the ZEV law, passed in 1990 with great fanfare, which required California to have 10% ZEV by 2003.)

    They're one of the disaster states that shut a nuclear plant with an insipid claim that it would be replaced by so called "renewable energy" which - as is always the case when such bulll is handed out - was actually replaced by dangerous fossil fuels.

    The climate disaster will definitely have a greater impact on human water supplies than all the laws that the California legislature could pass.   Rhetoric does not effect the laws of physics.

  •  Without good water you have nothing (0+ / 0-)

    When you don't have it you realize just how important it is.

    Women create the entire labor force.

    by splashy on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 02:06:03 AM PDT

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