Environmental Justice Coalition for Water


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VICTORY!  Governor signs the Human Right to Water bill!

SACRAMENTO, CA, September 25, 2012… The basic human right to safe, clean, affordable and accessible water became part of state policy today when Governor Brown signed AB 685.

A.B. 685 directs relevant state agencies to advance the implementation of this policy when those agencies make administrative decisions pertinent to the use of water for human consumption, cooking, and sanitary purposes.

For years, grassroots activists, community leaders, faith-based groups, and dedicated environmental justice, public health and environmental organizations, drawn together by a shared commitment to improve access to safe drinking water in our poorest communities, have been advocating at the local, regional, and state level, combating powerful, entrenched interests determined not to change the status quo in California water policy. 

On August 29, legislators from regions all over the state—from Coachella Valley to San Diego, Fresno to the Central Coast, and San Gabriel to Marin County to Berkeley— stood up to support this bill and through their speeches echoed the voices of communities challenged to ensure safe water.


We need your help to continue to fight for Water Justice

Please Make a Donation to EJCW today!



 Water Justice:

the ability of all communities to access safe, affordable water for drinking, fishing, recreational and cultural uses.


About EJCW 

EJCW is a statewide coalition of grassroots groups and intermediary organizations building a collective, community-based movement for democratic water allocation, management, and policy development in California.  EJCW empowers low-income communities and people of color throughout California to advocate for clean, safe, and affordable water for their communities. 

We envision all communities throughout California having access to safe and affordable water, clean rivers, streams, and bays for personal, cultural, ceremonial, and recreational uses. 


  EJCW is a Bridge-Builder

EJCW plays a critical bridge-building role in connecting grassroots communities and statewide policy advocates across California. We maintain a strong presence in Sacramento, and have conducted many successful advocacy campaigns. We are coordinating a statewide message on the importance of identifying and meeting the water needs of the most underserved communities in California. By connecting our members to each other and potential allies throughout the state, as well as tackling structural inequity in how California’s water resources are managed, we are building a broad movement for water justice.

EJCW employs various strategies to accomplish our objectives, including policy analysis and advocacy, community capacity-building and advocacy training, and fostering new collaborations.  We also provide invaluable technical assistance to our members in grassroots communities by offering support for organizing, playing an essential fiscal agent role, and building community capacity through training and partnerships.  EJCW is a voice for low-income people of color in Sacramento and has created a seat at the Sacramento policy table by building the capacity of local groups to play a strategic role in state and regional water policy battles. 


Current Campaigns:

Human Right to Water - EJCW is working with our members and allies to pass the Human Right to Water legislative package, which includes:

AB685 (Eng) Human Right to Water - This bill would establish the human right to water as a statewide policy priority, ensuring all Californians have access to safe, affordable, and sufficient drinking water.


Clean Water for the Central Coast - EJCW is working with our members and allies to ensure that the agriculture industry in California's Central Coast does not continue to contaminate the region's groundwater, upon which residents rely for their drinking water.


Integrated Regional Water Management Plans (IRWMPs) - Integrated Regional Water Management Plans (IRMWP) are comprehensive planning documents meant to encourage regional strategies for management of water resources.  In 2008 EJCW won a major victory in securing 10% of IRWMP funds to be set-aside for projects in Disadvantaged Communities (DACs). 

Currently, there are many challenges in grassroots communities with respect to engagement in IRWMPs, and ultimately, in accessing the dollars that have been specifically set-aside for DAC projects. 

EJCW helps to facilitate a collective statewide IRWMP strategy, ensuring that the 10% is actually given to DACs, finding resources to help communities organize and participate in regional IRWMPs, and providing support in cases where the community process gets paralyzed.