Aug 20, 2019

California County Implements Drinking Water Program; Receives Lawsuit

Fund will receive $130 million each year through 2030

Fund will receive $130 million each year through 2030

The California State Water Board have discussed how to implement a $14 billion program called the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund. 

The fund will receive $130 million each year through 2030. According to KAZU, the money will be controlled by the State Water Board and can be used to build projects and pay for ongoing maintenance. California State Senator Bill Monning said the objective is to get families on to clean water systems. According to KAZU, Monning authored legislation that created the fund.

According to KAZU, the community north of Moss Landing could benefit from this new program. Testing results show the drinking water in the Monterey County community and surroundings areas show at least one contaminant above the legal limit. These contaminants include nitrates and 1-2-3 TCP, a carcinogen. According to KAZU, it used to be used in pesticides but was banned decades ago. 

Residents Garcia Lopez and Mayra Hernandez helped organize the well testing, according to KAZU

“But then this well testing program, we really help people understand what is really in their water.  Why they're not supposed to be drinking their water. And so it became even more urgent for people to you know be drinking bottled water,” Lopez said, according to KAZU

A lawsuit also has been filed in the county. According to the Monterey Herald, the county has been sued by Marina Coast over the approval of Cal Am’s desalination plant permit. In the filed suit, Marina Coast argues that officials ignored groundwater impact information and a recycled water alternative. The suit filed Thursday, Aug. 15, seeks to half the construction of the plant, according to the Monterey Herald.

Marina Coast asks the court “to order the county to rescind its approval of a combined development permit for the project until full compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act, water code, and planning and zoning law,” according to the Monterey Herald.