The Human Right to Water in California

Human Right to Water image of faucet

The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment announces the release of the draft report, Achieving the Human Right to Water in California: An Assessment of the State’s Community Water Systems. OEHHA welcomes public comments on the draft report.

The draft assessment and data tool—comprised of a written report and an online interactive web tool—was released August 20, 2019. The comment period has been extended to November 8, 2019.  See the Public Comments section below for instructions on how to submit comments.

Background

California faces many challenges in providing clean, safe and affordable drinking water to all of its citizens, including low-income and minority communities, and climate change is exacerbating problems with water quality, availability and affordability. More than one million Californians lack access to clean water.

Since 2012, California law (AB 685) has declared that every person in the state has a right to clean, safe, and affordable drinking water. In 2019, Gov. Newsom signed SB 200 to provide funding to achieve the goal to “provide safe drinking water in every California community, for every Californian.”

As part of its commitment to ensure that all Californians have access to clean, safe, and affordable water for household use, the State Water Resources Control Board enlisted the expertise of the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) to develop a framework and analytical methodology for assessing how the state's water systems are providing safe, accessible and affordable drinking water over time. Achieving the Human Right to Water Report Cover August 2019

Report and Data Tool

This draft report presents a baseline assessment and data tool, and represents OEHHA’s first use of this proposed tool to evaluate the degree to which individual water systems deliver clean, safe, affordable and reliable water to their customers. It builds on the previously released report A Framework and Tool for Evaluating California’s Progress in Achieving the Human Right to Water, and associated public comment received on that report earlier in 2019.

Download the Report and Data Tool

Achieving the Human Right to Water in California: An Assessment of the State’s Community Water Systems

Human Right to Water Data Tool. (Click to open in a new window.)

Public Input and Outreach

OEHHA is releasing this Draft Report and Data Tool for comment, during which OEHHA and the Water Board will conduct workshops, and collect and review public input. OEHHA anticipates holding one webinar, several public workshops at locations across the state, and one scientific workshop with invited experts.  Below is a description of scheduled events. Please submit comments by November 8, 2019 through the link below.

Webinar

On Thursday, October 3, 2019, from 1:00 pm-2:30pm, OEHHA will hold a webinar to provide an overview of its recently released draft Human Right to Water report and data tool. The webinar will provide an opportunity for questions and public comment.

Academic Expert Workshop

On Friday, October 11, 2019, from 9:00 am -5:00 pm, OEHHA will hold an academic expert workshop in Sacramento to obtain input on the released draft Human Right to Water report and tool. This workshop will focus on scientific input from a panel of experts from various academic institutions. Members of the public are welcome to attend and will have an opportunity to comment. A detailed agenda for this workshop is available here.

Workshop location:
California EPA Building
1001 I Street, Sierra Hearing Room
Sacramento, CA 95814

The event will be webcast via https://video.calepa.ca.gov/

Please register here if you plan to attend. Registration is optional.

Technical Forum (Public)

On Thursday, October 17, 2019, from 10:00 am -12:00 pm, OEHHA will hold a Technical Forum in Sacramento to obtain input on the publicly released draft Human Right to Water report and data tool. This forum will be an opportunity for stakeholders and the public to provide input on topics presented in the report and tool.  Participants may wish to discuss key methodological questions or other topics, including those raised at the Academic Workshop (Attendance at prior workshops is not required). 

A detailed agenda on this workshop will be provided here (please check back for details).

Technical forum location:
California EPA Building
Sierra Hearing Room
1001 I Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

Please register here if you plan to attend. Registration is optional.

Community Workshops

OEHHA will hold several public workshops across the state. These workshops will focus on obtaining public input in specific locations. Workshops will be held after business hours to allow for as much participation by community members as possible. Broad local agency and stakeholder participation is also encouraged.  Below is a schedule of Public Community Workshops. Please check back for updates.

Fresno
Wednesday, October 23, 5:30 pm -7:30 pm
Mary Ella Brown Community Center
1350 E Annadale Ave
Fresno, CA 93706

Please register here for the Fresno workshop if you plan to attend. Registration is optional.
View the English flyer. Folleto en Español del taller.

Ontario
Monday, October 28, 6:00 pm -8:00 pm
De Anza Community Center & Teen Center
1405 S Fern Ave
Ontario, CA 91762

Please register here for the Ontario workshop if you plan to attend. Registration is optional.
View the English flyer. Folleto en Español del taller.

For webinar or workshop questions, please email hr2w@oehha.ca.gov.

Public Comments

Written comments may be submitted to OEHHA by November 8, 2019, or by mail to the address below. 

 

Mailing Address
HR2W
Attn: Carolina Balazs
Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment
1515 Clay Street, 16th Floor
Oakland, CA 94612

Comments received during the public comment period will be posted on the OEHHA website after the close of the comment period.  By sending us your comments you are waiving any right to privacy you may have in the information you provide.  Individual commenters should advise OEHHA when submitting documents to request redaction of home address or personal telephone numbers.  Electronic files submitted should not have any form of encryption.

Comments Received on Previous Drafts

Comments received on the draft released in January 2019 and the draft released in August 2019 are available.