SACRAMENTO – Senate Bill 513, authored by Senator Melissa Hurtado (D-Sanger), is headed towards Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk for approval. The bill, which received bi-partisan support, will provide relief for families without reliable access to water by delivering a temporary alternative source of water supply.
“Today, water shortage in the southern Central Valley continue to impact thousands of families who face limited access to clean drinking water,” stated Sen. Hurtado. “Many of these homes have gone dry as a result of a dry well and are in need of ongoing assistance. SB 513 was a community effort and supported by legislators like Assemblymember Joaquin Arambula (D-Fresno) and Assemblymember Devon Mathis (R-Visalia). This bill will ensure that we provide temporary alternative sources for water supply,” says Sen. Hurtado.
During the drought, community based organizations like Self-Help Enterprise, in partnership with county Offices of Emergency Services and other non-governmental organizations, installed about 1,200 water tanks in homes. However, hundreds of families continue to suffer from the aftermath of the drought.
SB 513 will authorize the State Water Resources Control Board to administer grant funds towards interim relief measures like household water tanks and hauled water, outside of a drought declaration. If signed, the bill will be effective January 1, 2020.
“We appreciate Sen. Hurtado’s responsiveness and diligence in addressing the ongoing issues surrounding access to clean drinking water in the San Joaquin Valley,” said Tami McVay of Self-Help Enterprises. “Self-Help Enterprises is grateful for the bi-partisan collaborative efforts that allowed SB 513 to pass. It has been an honor to be part of this process and we look forward to working with the residents of the San Joaquin Valley in restoring access to safe and clean water in their homes,” continued McVay.
The bill conforms to budget allocations for the program of $2.5 million dollars, which Senator Hurtado secured in AB 74, announced in June of this year. As a result of the legislation and budget allocation, families in need of household water tanks will receive $2.5 million towards temporary water tanks.