The Community Water Systems Alliance remains committed to monitoring and responding to water quality, affordability, governance and sustainability issues with the lens of its small member agencies to ensure equity for all systems.  As such, the Community Water Systems Alliance frequently provides public comments on issues in the water industry when the opportunity is provided.

Please check back for a constantly updated consortium of CWSA’s writings.

Media: Community Water Systems Alliance Highlight Precious Resource Endangerment through Media Engagement

The Community Water Systems Alliance leads a multi-faceted effort, the Highway 62 Initiative, to raise awareness of the challenges that the cannabis industry in California causes for water suppliers.  While CWSA is primarily focusing on the problems developing in San Bernardino county, they are observed statewide. In addition to public safety and water contamination problems, illegal cannabis cultivation is using excessive amounts of water in a time when California is experiencing some of its driest years in history and entering an extreme drought.

CWSA is working to heighten awareness of this unacceptable development through the media, as individuals in much of the state are largely unaware. CWSA has published articles with multiple traditional media publications including MSN, CalMatters, and most recently the Desert Report published by Sierra Club California.

The following synopses highlight various local and state media vehicles CWSA has utilized to spread awareness and we have briefly summarized their contents and included links to the full publication below.


Sierra Club: Desert Report

Authored by CWSA Managing Director Dr. Timothy Worley, the most recent article highlights the toll that illegal cultivation and resulting water over usage are placing on the environment and the water supply we all depend on. Read the article here; on page 18 of the most recent report to learn more about the impact.  He details the background of the situation, providing quotes and aerial photographs of the “grows” before proposing what we can do about it.


CalMatters: CWSA Member Agencies Weigh in on Water Theft

Community Water Systems Alliance leaders are not only developing original content, but proving to be vital resources in providing key information to additional publications.  A recent nonprofit, nonpartisan newsroom CalMatters published an article focusing on the water theft aspect of illegal cannabis cultivation being observed. CWSA Policy Committee Chair Marina West provided information on the scope of the water usage and the worrisome situation the criminals create for water suppliers and community members alike.


CalMatters: Local CWSA Leaders Provide Clarity In a Gray Area

Water theft can be difficult to prosecute, and in some cases residents are allowing usage of their well due to the money they are offered for it. In the Helendale area, General manager of Helendale Community Services District, a CWSA member agency, informed CalMatters that some residents, in desperate need of cash, will allow haulers to come use wells and extract their allotted amount of water, in some cases not knowing that such agreements are indeed illegal.  In this case we see that the growers will get creative; making their actions even harder to prosecute and staying out of the limelight.


MSN: What Makes It Such a Difficult Problem?

In an MSN article highlighting the community’s respectable response, CWSA member agency Twentynine Palms Water District representative and CWSA consultant and industry expert Adan Ortega explains why it is such a difficult issue to address. Professional water associations have responded by asking the local legislators to introduce legislative changes allowing denial of service due to the malpractice, but it is a difficult request due to public health and safety, especially now.

Case Studies: Regional Agency Assistance for Small Water Systems

The Community Water systems Alliance (‘CWSA’) has conducted a review of three Southern California water providers to gain an understanding of their efforts and programs directed at assisting small and/or disadvantaged water systems in their region.  Participants were interviewed about a variety of topics related to their water system consolidations or assistance projects including collaboration, project funding, time management and resource allocation.  CWSA’s review found that the state grant funding process can be difficult for some California water suppliers to access and a section of the paper includes recommendations for policy updates from these systems who have worked through it.

Read the white paper here.

Topic: Hexavalent Chromium Costs

Summary: The State Water Resources Control Board has been attempting to enact a new MCL for hexavalent chromium for several years.  Unfortunately, it is CWSA’s view that this important rulemaking process has not been considered carefully enough yet. For example, the source of CR6+, whether natural or synthetic, has financial implications that are not considered. Additionally, stronger economic analysis is required; the State Water Resources Control Board must present a plan for compliance for systems whose costs will not be economically feasible.

Read CWSA’s Comment Letter

Contact Us

1370 N Brea Blvd, Ste 235
Fullerton, CA 92835
714.784.0001 x103

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software