Aiming to inform the general public and stakeholders alike about its program to bring safe drinking water to the nearly 1 million Californians who lack it, the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) is launching a series of virtual workshops called the “SAFER Summer Series” over the next two months.
The Safe and Affordable Funding for Equity and Resilience (SAFER) program was established in July of 2019 to help realize California’s commitment to safe, clean, affordable and accessible water as a human right. Using short- and long-term strategies, SAFER is designed to ensure Californians who lack safe, adequate, and affordable drinking water receive it as quickly as possible, and that the water systems serving them establish sustainable solutions. In doing so, SAFER minimizes the disproportionate environmental burdens experienced by some communities and advances the fair treatment of people of all incomes, races, and cultures.
So far the SAFER program has worked with water systems to implement long-term solutions in 39 communities serving 64,502 residents, and has provided project planning assistance for systems serving 76 communities with 85,354 residents. It has also ensured that 312 communities with 14,157 residents have had access to interim safe drinking water through bottled water service, repairs and point of use filtration.
The SAFER Summer Series offers a way for community members to get answers to their drinking-water questions, participate in addressing drinking water challenges, and learn more about the SAFER program.
June 3: SAFER Summer Series Kick-Off
June 8: Tribal Drinking Water Workshop: Central California
June 10: SAFER Advisory Group Meeting
June 16: Annual SAFER Workshop on Budget and Priorities
June 17: SAFER Tribal Drinking Water Workshop: Northern California
June 17: SAFER Community Workshop
June 22: Tribal Drinking Water Workshop: Southern California
Aug 4: SAFER Advisory Group Application Workshop
Aug 11: SAFER Summer Series Wrap-Up
The kick-off event will be attended by a State Water Board member and include an overview of the SAFER program. Remaining events will focus on various topics related to the SAFER program, such as funding and program budget, data, opportunities available to California Native American Tribes, and community engagement. Each event also will provide an overview of the SAFER drinking water program and how it supports communities. SAFER program receives $130 million per year through 2030 to help develop and implement sustainable solutions for small water systems struggling with chronic shortcomings related to drinking water standards.
For details about the SAFER Summer Series, visit the SAFER webpage and calendar, which are updated regularly with the latest news and information related to the program.