Pierce Investigates Failing California Water Systems

Greg Pierce, associate director of the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation, spoke to Bay City News about the lack of access to clean drinking water in rural regions of California. Roughly 1 million residents rely on failing water systems with contaminated drinking water. According to Pierce, “about 90% of California’s public water system violations occur in systems serving less than 500 service connections, underscoring the inherent risk of small size and lack of capacity.” Smaller systems have less revenue and often fail to provide necessary system maintenance and repairs. Pierce is leading a Center for Innovation team seeking to identify all of the small community systems and private wells that need help meeting drinking water standards. The State Water Resources Control Board has identified more than 300 systems that are out of compliance and will use the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund, established last year, to upgrade and consolidate smaller water systems.

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