A Bill introduced on August 23 by Senator Bill Monning (D-Carmel) would tax drinking water in an effort to repair the state’s public water works.
According to SB 623, an affordable drinking water fee would be in place per Article 5: Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fee:
- (A) For a customer with a water meter that is less than or equal to one inch in size, the fee shall be ninety-five cents ($0.95) per month.
- (B) For a customer with a water meter that is greater than one inch and less than or equal to two inches in size, the fee shall be four dollars ($4) per month.
- (C) For a customer with a water meter that is greater than two inches and less than or equal to four inches in size, the fee shall be six dollars ($6) per month.
- (D) For a customer with a water meter that is greater than four inches in size, the fee shall be ten dollars ($10) per month.
- (E) For a customer without a water meter, the fee shall be ninety-five cents ($0.95) per month.
Below is a copy of the Press Release
Bill to Tackle California’s Clean Drinking Water Crisis Announced Today by Senator Monning and Bipartisan Coalition
(SACRAMENTO, CA) – Today, Senator Bill Monning (D-Carmel), state legislative leaders, community leaders, and environmental justice and agricultural groups announced Senate Bill (SB) 623, which would establish the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund to provide short- and long-term drinking water solutions to Californians who lack access to safe and affordable drinking water.
“In Flint, Michigan, 100,000 people were exposed to unsafe drinking water, but right here in California more than 1 million Californians are annually exposed to unsafe drinking water,” said Senator Monning. “Having access to clean drinking water is a basic human right that should be guaranteed to every person in California, and it is time that we act on this issue. SB 623 represents a historic achievement that will establish a Fund to finance projects to ensure clean drinking water for all.”
The bill will establish the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund to provide an ongoing source of funding to finance water improvement projects throughout California. Approximately 300 water systems in California currently have pollutant violations, such as arsenic, lead, nitrates, and uranium that have been linked to nausea and vomiting, cancer, reduced mental functioning in children, nervous system decline, miscarriages, and numerous other health issues.
Support of the Fund will come from a fertilizer mill fee, a fee on dairies, and a fee assessed on water bills of no more than $1 a month per household, and is anticipated to generate $140 million a year. Low-income rate exemptions are provided for households under 200% of the federal poverty level.