Addressing what he termed “a moral disgrace,” California Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed a bill that will provide funding to improve local communities’ access to safe drinking water, according to a story on the Huffpost website.
The piece of legislation he signed, the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund, will provide money to projects aimed at improving local water systems. The new fund will get up to $130 million currently allocated to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
According to the governor’s office, about 1 million Californians lack access to clean, safe drinking water.
“The fact that more than a million Californians can’t rely on clean water to drink or bathe in is a moral disgrace,” Newsom said in a news release. “Parents shouldn’t have to worry about their kids drinking from the water fountain at school, and families shouldn’t have to dump water over their heads to shower every day.”
Standing alongside workers’ rights activist Dolores Huerta, Newsom spoke to residents in Sanger, a small central California community in Fresno County. It’s one of the places where families don’t have access to safe drinking water. A grant program provides deliveries of bottled water every two weeks, but that is a short-term solution.
The story reports that, in a video, one resident tells the governor in Spanish “In our home, the water stopped for three months. We didn’t have any water — not even to wash our hands, not to cook. When my kids ― I have five ― went to the bathroom, we didn’t have water to flush. When they brought the bottled water, I cried of happiness.”