• Description

The report's first chapter analyzes the origins of environmental discrimination in California water policy. After an overview of how low income communities and communities of color have been historically left out of California water management, we analyze political, economic and social trends that produce the current exclusionary system and emerging policies and technologies that could further harm low-income communities and communities of color. In the second chapter, we provide an overview of what we term "water governance": who controls water supply and quality and what agencies are responsible for ensuring that people have enough clean water. We explain the current system of water governance, examine changing patterns in control over water, and provide examples of communities that face profound barriers to participating in water decisions. We conclude by discussing barriers within water regulatory entities that prevent community voices from entering into water decision-making. In the third chapter, we provide a picture of water-related environmental injustices that low-income communities and communities of color face on a daily basis. These communities' lack of access to safe, affordable drinking water and healthy watersheds exemplifies the health burdens many communities bear as a result of California's water policies. Our report concludes with policy recommendations for how to remedy some of the most pressing water concerns low-income communities and communities of color face, in order to guarantee the basic right to safe and affordable water.