EXETER, Calif. — On behalf of the California citrus industry, California Citrus Mutual applauds Governor Brown’s inclusion of funding for safe and clean drinking water in his 2018-19 budget proposal.
The Administration is proposing statutory language consistent with the policy framework of the California Safe Drinking Water Act (SB 623, Monning), introduced in the 2017-18 legislative session and widely supported by a broad coalition of agricultural, health, and environmental groups.
The Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund will establish a special fund within the State Water Board to provide grants, loans, and administrator contracts or services to assist eligible communities and households in securing access to safe and affordable drinking water.
The following statement is issued by California Citrus Mutual President Joel Nelsen:
“We commend the Governor for his commitment to creating a long-term solution that ensures all Californians have access to safe and clean drinking water. For decades, farmers have worked side-by-side with the University of California to improve farming practices and eliminate the potential for nitrates to reach the groundwater. Unfortunately, due to the wide array of naturally occurring contaminants present in the groundwater, up to one million Californians throughout the State are without clean drinking water.
“Together with our partners in the health, environmental, and agricultural industries we applaud Governor Brown for his leadership and urge the legislature to join together in solving this issue once and for all. ”
The budget proposes $4.7 million in 2018-19 for the State Water Board and the Department of Food and Agriculture to take initial steps toward implementation of this new program, including (1) developing and implementing fee collection systems, (2) conducting an assessment to estimate the level of funding needed to assist water systems in the state to ensure the delivery of safe and affordable drinking water, and (3) developing and making available a map of high-risk aquifers used as drinking water sources.
About CCM: CCM is the only advocacy organization representing CA citrus growers on the economic, regulatory, and political issues that impact them most. Our 2,500 members represent 75% of California 270,000 acre, $3.3 billion citrus industry.
—California Citrus Mutual
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