Securing Our Water Future During and After COVID-19
Tuesday, April 28, 2020
by: Danielle Blacet-Hyden, CMUA Deputy Executive Director

Section: CMUA News

Danielle Blacet-Hyden

The COVID-19 pandemic is reshaping us in ways that simply were unimaginable months ago. Job losses are quickly mounting by the millions, and the world’s economy is sputtering as we shelter at home. Sadly, tens of thousands of Americans have lost their lives, and there is uncertainty and anxiety about when our society will return to the way it used to be.
There is a lot on our minds right now, so it can be easy to forget how water is fundamental to nearly every aspect of life, both in normal times and especially now during a worldwide public health crisis.

Water utilities in California continue to deliver safe, high-quality water to the customers they serve.  Whether it is a wet year or drought year, local water systems dependably supply their communities with drinking water and irrigation thanks to forward-looking management, planning and investments in surface storage, groundwater, water recycling and the latest water treatment technologies.
The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked a crisis of a magnitude not seen in several generations. To be clear, our water resources are safe. While the pandemic is not only amplifying existing challenges related to the water supply, it is also raising concerns about the financial health and infrastructure needs of water utilities of all sizes.

There are thousands of water utilities in the United States, and like other sectors of the economy they need a coordinated plan of action and shared set of priorities to ensure strong water systems during this crisis and after the pandemic subsides. That’s why the California Municipal Utilities Association (CMUA) has joined more than 230 water utilities and advocacy organizations nationwide to support COVID-19 Relief and Recovery: Guiding Principles to Secure Our Water Future.
CMUA, which represents more than 70 publicly owned electric utilities and water agencies statewide, believes in the importance of strengthening all water utilities and ensuring water is reliable, affordable, and accessible for all Californians, now and in the future.
The COVID-19 relief and recovery principles outline recommendations in four areas:
  • Ensuring water is reliable and affordable for all.
  • Strengthening water utilities of all sizes.
  • Closing the water access gap.
  • Fueling economic recovery by investing water systems.
These recommendations include two vital elements: short-term solutions to help communities and water utilities weather the crisis, and forward-looking solutions to shore up the future sustainability of America’s water supply, including robust investment in water utility infrastructure. California and the nation have a unique opportunity to come together at this moment and make real change by implementing these impactful ideas.
CMUA and its member water agencies are anchor institutions in their communities, proudly serving our customers with this essential public health resource. We are eager to work with organizations like the US Water Alliance and the Water Foundation to make safe and sustainable water a reality for all.