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SAFER Strives to Make Access to Drinking Water Easier -  Free Webinar for Needs Assessment Results

Nine new individuals were recently appointed by the State Water Resources Control Board to its Safe and Affordable Funding for Equity and Resilience (SAFER) Advisory Group.

A report by the Association of California Water Agencies indicates that Soren Nelson, an ACWA State Relations Advocate, was among the new individuals appointed this December. Others identified in that group include Edwin Alonzo, a resident; Stephanie Anagnoson, representing a local agency; Shannon Murphy, a technical assistance provider; and Silverio Perez, a resident.

“ACWA strongly supported the creation of SAFER in 2019,” the report stated.

Senate Bill 200 established funding through SAFER in an effort to enhance “access to safe and affordable drinking water” throughout California, with a particular focus on disadvantaged communities.

The State Water Board “allocates $130 million annually toward accomplishing this goal and identifies funding priorities in consultation with advisory group members,” the report noted.

“By participating in the advisory group, ACWA will be better able to provide valuable input and give association members a voice in the SAFER funding process,” the report contended.

Group members have a wide variety of drinking water backgrounds and experiences, such as public water systems, local agencies, tribes, nongovernmental organizations, and residents that rely on domestic wells as their water source.

“I thank the new appointees for their commitment to partnering on these issues,” said E. Joaquin Esquivel, the State Water Board chairman. “We are grateful for their collaboration, which ensures the board’s financial assistance is as effective as possible in helping communities and water systems achieve safe drinking water,”

A free webinar will be held on April 13, 2024 at 9:00 a.m. providing an opportunity for stakeholders to learn about the State Water Board’s Needs Assessment results. The State Water Board will provide an overview of the results of the Risk Assessment (public water systems, state small water systems, and domestic wells), Cost Assessment, and Affordability Assessment. Use this link to register: 

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