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California opts for climate change money to solve its clean drinking water problem

Angela Johnston
Years later, Pescadero High School is still trying to secure clean drinking water.

Millions of Californians across the state lack access to clean drinking water. If this sounds familiar or unsurprising, it’s because the problem and possible solutions have been in the headlines for years. 

When Governor Newsom took office, he revamped the discussion by proposing a fee on drinking water to fund unsafe systems. That didn’t pass, but earlier this month, the new state budget assigned money to a new safe drinking water fund with revenues from the state's cap-and-trade program.

"In hundreds of communities across the state, the water coming out of the tap was not drinkable. Some community water systems are flagged because they test high for toxins for just a couple of months — like arsenic, and nitrates and other chemicals that aren’t safe to drink. Others have more persistent problems that the communities just can’t afford to fix because many of they’re are low income. You’ve probably heard of places that have to truck in bottled water."