Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) introduced Senate Bill 1144, the Safe and Efficient Water Act. This bill requires public schools and state agencies to conduct a water quality and efficiency assessment of their facilities. Essentially, this means that all school children in California will have access to clean water – something that far too many residents currently lack access to.
The bill requires public schools and state agencies to undergo lead, radon, legionella, and other contaminants testing. It will also require schools and agencies to measure the water efficiency of their systems. If any plumbing fixture is discovered to have contamination levels that are above legal limits or that uses more water than the current standards for water efficiency, the agency must replace the fixture as quickly as possible, subject to the availability of funds.
Groundwater usage in California’s agricultural sector, as well as the high consumption of water by residents, places entire communities at significant risk. Groundwater is being used more frequently in both agriculture and human consumption due to rising demands for food and water. Currently, about 85% of Californians get their drinking water from groundwater supplies. Agricultural runoff may contaminate these sources with substances that are dangerous to consume at concentrations too high.