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SB-200 Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 01/31/2019 09:00 PM
SB200:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 200


Introduced by Senator Monning
(Principal coauthor: Assembly Member Eduardo Garcia)

January 31, 2019


An act to add Chapter 4.6 (commencing with Section 116765) to Part 12 of Division 104 of the Health and Safety Code, relating to water.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 200, as introduced, Monning. Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund.
Existing law, the California Safe Drinking Water Act, requires the State Water Resources Control Board to administer provisions relating to the regulation of drinking water to protect public health. Existing law declares it to be the established policy of the state that every human being has the right to safe, clean, affordable, and accessible water adequate for human consumption, cooking, and sanitary purposes.
This bill would establish the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund in the State Treasury and would provide that moneys in the fund are available, upon appropriation by the Legislature, to the board to provide a stable source of funding to secure access to safe drinking water for all Californians, while also ensuring the long-term sustainability of drinking water service and infrastructure.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Chapter 4.6 (commencing with Section 116765) is added to Part 12 of Division 104 of the Health and Safety Code, to read:
CHAPTER  4.6. Safe and Affordable Drinking Water

116765.
 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) Section 106.3 of the Water Code declares that it is the policy of the state that every human being has the right to safe, clean, affordable, and accessible water adequate for human consumption, cooking, and sanitary purposes.
(b) For all public water systems, the operation and maintenance costs to supply, treat, and distribute potable water that complies with federal and state drinking water standards on a routine and consistent basis may be significant.
(c) All public water systems are currently required to set, establish, and charge a schedule of rates and fees that are sufficient to recover the operation and maintenance costs required to supply, treat, and distribute potable water that complies with federal and state drinking water standards on a routine and consistent basis.
(d) Hundreds of public water systems in the state cannot charge rates and fees that are affordable and sufficient to recover the full operation and maintenance costs required to supply, treat, and distribute potable water that complies with federal and state drinking water standards on a routine and consistent basis due to a combination of low-income levels of customers, high treatment costs for contaminated water sources, and a lack of economies of scale that result in high unit costs for water service. Many schools that serve as their own regulated public water systems and have contaminated water sources cannot afford the full operation and maintenance costs required to provide water that meets federal and state drinking water standards.
(e) Nearly all state or federal drinking water project funding sources prohibit the use of that funding for operation and maintenance costs, and as a result, those systems that cannot afford required operation and maintenance costs are unable to access funding for capital projects to meet federal and state drinking water standards.
(f) As a result, close to one million Californians, particularly those living in small disadvantaged communities, may be exposed to unsafe drinking water in their homes and schools, which impacts human health, household costs, and community economic development.
(g) A significant number of California residents rely on state small water systems and domestic wells to provide their drinking water.
(h) State small water systems and individual domestic wells face a serious threat of contamination because they often draw their water from shallow groundwater sources and have fewer or no chemical monitoring requirements.
(i) State small water systems and domestic wells are not currently subject to any comprehensive federal or state requirements for chemical water quality monitoring. Many local agencies do not require any monitoring beyond what is required by state law and there are wide discrepancies among local jurisdictions in well monitoring programs.
(j) To ensure that the right of every Californian to safe, clean, affordable, and accessible water adequate for human consumption, cooking, and sanitary purposes is protected, it is in the interest of the State of California to identify where Californians are at high risk of lacking reliable access to safe drinking water or are known to lack reliable access to safe drinking water, whether they rely on a public water system, state small water system, or domestic well for their potable water supply.
(k) Long-term sustainability of drinking water infrastructure and service provision is necessary to secure safe drinking water for all Californians and therefore it is in the interest of the state to discourage the proliferation of new, unsustainable public water systems and state small water systems, to prevent waste, and to encourage consolidation and service extension when feasible.
(l) It is in the interest of all Californians to establish a fund with a stable source of revenue to provide financial support, particularly for operation and maintenance, necessary to secure access to safe drinking water for all Californians, while also ensuring the long-term sustainability of drinking water service and infrastructure.

116766.
 The Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund is hereby established in the State Treasury. Moneys in the fund shall be available to the State Water Resources Control Board, upon appropriation by the Legislature, for the purposes of this chapter to provide a stable source of funding to secure access to safe drinking water for all Californians, while also ensuring the long-term sustainability of drinking water service and infrastructure.