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Earth Day documentary film program Apr. 27: Thirsty for Justice: The Struggle for the Human Right to Water

Original post made by Judy A, Menlo Park: Downtown, on Apr 19, 2019

All are invited to the program at the Los Altos Public Library, Green Room (13 S. San Antonio Rd., Los Altos) 5-7 pm, free and wheelchair accessible. WHY THIS FILM? This short documentary celebrates the passage in 2012 of what has been called the Human Right to Water Bill 685, signed into law on Sept. 25, 2012 by Gov. Edmond G. Brown, Jr. It is part of the statutes of the State Water Resources Control Board and made California the first state in the nation to legislatively recognize the human right to water. The film tells the stories of the inspiring actions of the low-income Central Valley community members (including the tribe of Winnemem Winto near Shasta Dam who are still protesting the plans to raise the height of the dam to further flood their sacred land/waters under the dam) who became unlikely activists when their water supply was polluted by agricultural runoff with toxic herbicides and insecticides, the effects of climate change (drought). Forced to pay for high-cost bottled water for all their personal water needs, they allied with grassroots environmental groups and Sacramento legislators to pass the Human Rights to Water bill in CA.

There is current legislative action on the Federal level to increase clean water action (see
Web Link) Hear their stories and browse tables of information from local peninsula environmental groups on a wide variety of environmental issues, including clean water, climate change and other environmental projects. Door prizes will include a tree planted in a national park by the Arbor Day Foundation.

Organized by the Peninsula/Palo Alto Women’s Intl. League for Peace and Freedom (wilpf.peninsula.paloalto@gmail.com), co-sponsored by the Peninsula Peace and Justice Center, and supported by the many peninsula environmental groups whose brochures and project information will be on display in the room.

Refreshments: You guessed it - chilled water, coffee and tea available in the room, which does not allow us to provide other refreshments, but snacks are available until 5pm at the refreshment kiosk just outside the Garden Room, pay at honor-system cash box or bring your own snacks to eat at the tables in the area before coming into to the event.

Comments (2)

Like this comment
Posted by 2 kids
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Apr 20, 2019 at 6:27 am

How many places in this country still need access to clean water? Besides Flint, Michigan...


Like this comment
Posted by Judy A
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Apr 20, 2019 at 2:33 pm

Judy A is a registered user.

Here's an issue in Monterey county, reported in the Water Education Foundation's website*: Web Link quoting an article in the Monterey County Weekly April 11th, 2019: April 11, 2019 Monterey County Weekly
"WITH AN IMPENDING DEADLINE, CAL AM PUSHES FOR DESAL PLANT PERMITS AMID CHANGING WATERSCAPE. When you turn on a faucet on the Monterey Peninsula, you’re consuming water that’s been illegally pumped from Carmel River. Now, after more than two decades of this, scores of public officials, utility executives and citizen advocates are working – and sometimes fighting – to replace the region’s water supply before state-mandated sanctions kick in. California American Water (Cal Am) is forging ahead with its plan: a desalination plant near Marina." (Ca Amer Water supplies the water to the area] This is the link to the full article: Web Link. Cal Am is looking to establish a desalination plant as a water backup source, but onthe issue of Measure J in Monterey, the citizen-activist group Public Water Now supports an expanded recycled water supply, which is cheaper than desalinated water. From the article, "...operating a desal plant is energy intensive and the construction itself will cost about $329 million. Spread across Cal Am’s local customer base of 40,000, that sum averages $8,225 per ratepayer, an expense that would be collected over the course of a few years."
* a non-profit: 1401 21ST STREET, SUITE 200, SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA 95811(916) 444-6240

Re water issues in the San Joaquin Valley, a Feb. editorial in the Mercury News: PUBLISHED: February 10, 2019 at 6:10 am | UPDATED: February 10, 2019 at 11:52 pm. "For years, Californians regarded access to safe drinking water as a Third World problem. No more. About 1 million Californians can’t safely drink their tap water. Approximately 300 water systems in California currently have contamination issues ranging from arsenic to lead to uranium at levels that create severe health issues.
It’s a disgrace that demands immediate state action. Gov. Gavin Newsom proposes taxing water across California to create a dedicated fund to solve the problem. Imposing a new tax would require a two-thirds supermajority of the Legislature to pass.It’s a proposal first suggested by state Sen. Bill Monning, D-Carmel. He had proposed combining a 95-cents-a-month water tax on consumers with a fee on dairy and cattle operations, whose use of nitrogen fertilizers is a major contributor to the problem. He would create a fund managed through the State Water Resource Control Board’s Office of Sustainable Water Solutions. Water experts estimate the need to be about $150 million a year."

Water issues will undoubtedly continue to plague CA as our aquifer, groundwater (at the moment, on the rebound after our rains) is vulnerable to pollution. Clean water problems isn't only a "third world" issue, nor a problem in Flint and other cities, it's one of THE environmental issues of this century. I'm not a water expert, just planning what I believe is a thought-provoking film about ways to respond to a water crisis, and ways in which we can work for what the CA Clean Water Act aims to deliver, which is safe, affordable and sustainable water. We can provide copies of an excellent reports about progress towards that goal being made by a variety of environmental groups. Come join the discussion at the Los Altos library, Garden Room, Apr. 27th and we will look together for answers and strategies.


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