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With public health at the forefront of everyone’s mind, refocusing on investing in California’s aging water infrastructure presents key opportunities to provide clean, safe drinking water to all and begin to sustainably rebuild state water infrastructure resources. It is no secret that clean safe drinking water is necessary for a healthy life, nor is it a secret that significant portions of California’s water infrastructure, including distribution and transmission pipelines, water storage facilities and water treatment facilities, are well past their expiration dates. In the unfortunate wake of COVID-19, it will be critical for local and state level decision makers to keep in mind the direct correlation between clean water and human health.

The health and well-being of Californians has always been connected to water. The state has made major strides toward a resilient water future by recognizing the human right to safe drinking water and creating the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund. And to address water infrastructure issues head on, including drinking water supply, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Executive Order N-10-19, directing state agencies to commission the first Water Resilience Portfolio.

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