In 2012, the state of California passed the Human Right to Water to ensure that every California resident has safe, clean, affordable, and accessible water adequate for human consumption, cooking, and sanitary purposes. Making this policy a reality has been a priority for Clean Water Action ever since. We work in many ways to make this work; today we want to talk about the connection of groundwater to the Human Right to Water and our victory in convincing the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) to uphold that right when it comes to groundwater.
Angelina Cook is an environmental activist based in Siskiyou county. She advocates for including the City of Weed in the Shasta Valley Groundwater Sustainability Plan and working to protect the city’s groundwater from expanded pumping by private bottling companies. Clean Water Action's communications manager interviewed Angelina about her involvement in local water politics.
What basin/basins are you currently working in/involved with?
Shasta Valley Groundwater Basin
Imagine over 600,000 acres of wilderness. You are surrounded by blue sky, mountains, rock formations and a cornucopia of plants including creosote, palo verde, cacti, and ocotillo. As you walk around, you have the opportunity to see bighorn sheep, mountain lions, kit foxes, mule deer, coyotes, greater roadrunners, golden eagles, black-tailed jackrabbits, ground squirrels, kangaroo rats, quail, prairie falcons, desert iguanas, chuckwallas, and red diamond rattlesnakes.
Candice Meneghin serves on the board of the Fillmore and Piru Basins (FPB) Groundwater Sustainability Agency as an environmental representative for the Santa Clara River Environmental Groundwater Committee. She also serves on the board of a local nonprofit, Friends of the Santa Clara River, which both fills the Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) seat as the environmental lead for the committee on the Fillmore and Piru Basins GSA, and fills the environmental representative seat on the Mound Basin GSA on the low Santa Clara River.
In some California basins, sustainable groundwater management can mean the difference between whether a species goes extinct or a community’s drinking water becomes contaminated. The stakes are high.
What's behind the recent headlines on California groundwater? Does a new study suggest the problem is solved, and that we can all go home? Er...no!
You know that feeling when there’s something that really needs discussing, but nobody wants to talk about it?