Pierce on California’s Water Quality

Greg Pierce, director of UCLA’s Human Right to Water Solutions Lab, commented in a CalMatters article about nearly 1 million California residents whose water does not meet state standards, according to an annual assessment released by California’s State Water Resources Control Board. The report, which updates earlier research by Pierce and colleagues at the Luskin Center for Innovation, notes that while more than a decade has passed since the state recognized clean, safe, affordable and accessible drinking water as a human right, nearly 400 water systems statewide don’t meet state requirements, particularly in disadvantaged and lower income communities of color. Despite nearly a billion dollars spent on grants in disadvantaged communities, estimated costs of fixing water systems would require billions of dollars over the next several years. “The subtext of this report is pretty clear,” said Pierce, who commended the water board’s transparency and extensive analysis. “The state just needs to put its money where its mouth is.”

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