News Worth Noting: State Water Board Adopts Pair of Resolutions on the Human Right to Water, Beneficial Use; LAO Report on the 2016-17 Budget: Resources and Environmental Protection; State Water Board to host Data Fair and Data Innovation Challenge
State Water Board Adopts Pair of Resolutions on the Human Right to Water, Beneficial Use
From the State Water Resources Control Board:
“Today the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) highlighted the important uses of water, both for drinking and cultural use, by adopting a pair of resolutions related to the human right to water, Native American tribal cultural uses of water and subsistence fishing.
Assembly Bill (AB) 685, signed by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. in 2012, added section 106.3 to the Water Code on Jan. 1, 2013 declaring every human has a right to clean, affordable and accessible water for consumption, cooking, and sanitary purposes.
The adopted resolution identifies the human right to water as a top priority and core value of the state and regional Water Boards “to preserve, enhance, and restore the quality of California’s water resources and drinking water for the protection of the environment, public health, and all beneficial uses, and to ensure proper water resource allocation and efficient use, for the benefit of present and future generations.”
The resolution affirms the State Water Board’s commitment to consider how its activities impact and advance the human right to safe, affordable and clean water to support basic human needs. Actions taken by the Water Boards in which the human right to water would be considered are those that implicate sources of drinking water. They include revising or establishing water quality control plans, policies and grant criteria; permitting; site remediation and monitoring; and water right administration.
Under the resolution, State Water Board staff will work with relevant stakeholders to — as resources allow — develop new or enhanced systems to collect data needed to identify and track communities that do not have, or are at risk of not having, safe, clean, affordable and accessible water for drinking, cooking and cleaning.
Another point highlighted in the resolution is that State Water Board staff will prepare annual progress reports to the board regarding implementation of the human right to water, and those benchmarks will be incorporated into the State Water Board’s annual performance report.
Understanding and recognizing California Native American tribes’ cultural connection to the waters of the state, and subsistence fishing by tribes and other cultures, the State Water Board adopted a resolution to direct staff to develop proposed beneficial use categories pertaining to those uses. The resolution also directs the Board to consider the proposed beneficial use categories no later than April 2017.
The resolution also directed staff to engage Native American tribes in the public participation process when developing these beneficial use categories, as well as seek input from environmental justice groups, the regulated community and other interested stakeholders.
LAO Report: The 2016-17 Budget: Resources and Environmental Protection
From the Legislative Analyst’s Office:
The Governor’s budget for 2016–17 proposes a total of $9 billion in expenditures from various sources for programs administered by the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Agencies. In this report, we assess many of the Governor’s budget proposals in the resources and environmental protection areas and recommend various changes. We provide a complete listing of our recommendations at the end of this report.
State Water Board to host Data Fair and Data Innovation Challenge
From the State Water Resources Control Board:
The California State Water Resources Control Boards’ Office of Information Management and Analysis (OIMA) is excited to announce that we will be hosting a series of data-centered events from March 18 – April 22, 2016, including a Data Fair and a Data Innovation Challenge. These events will be focused on fostering transparency and collaboration within the Water Boards, with other agencies, and with the general public, to help turn data into knowledge and insight that supports our mission of preserving and enhancing Waters of the State. We would like to invite you to participate, and to help us spread the word to anyone who may be interested!
The events will begin with a Data Fair on March 18, 2016, which will be an open house for our publicly available data, and will include a combination of thought-provoking presentations and access to dataset stewards (see the event flyer for more information). The Data Fair will also serve to kick off the Water Boards’ Data Innovation Challenge. The Data Innovation Challenge (similar to an apps challenge or codefest) is a competition of brainstorming and computer programming that will draw together the talent and creativity of software developers and designers to create apps, visualizations, and other tools that can help better harness the Water Boards’ data (see the event flyer for more information). Keep an eye on our data website for more news on these events, as well as other news and events related to the Water Boards’ data initiatives!
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About News Worth Noting: News Worth Noting is a collection of press releases, media statements, and other materials produced by federal, state, and local government agencies, water agencies, and academic institutions, as well as non-profit and advocacy organizations. News Worth Noting also includes relevant legislator statements and environmental policy and legal analyses that are publicly released by law firms. If your agency or organization has an item you would like included here, please email it to Maven.