For the first time Californians would pay a tax on drinking water, 95 cents per month, under legislation to fix hundreds of public water systems with unsafe tap water — a problem that’s most pervasive in rural areas with agricultural runoff.
Senate Bill 623, backed by a strange-bedfellows coalition of the agricultural lobby and environmental groups but opposed by water districts, would generate $2 billion over the next 15 years to clean up contaminated groundwater and improve faulty water systems and wells.
“My message is short and direct: We are not Flint, Michigan,” co-author Sen. Robert Hertzberg, D-Van Nuys, said at a Wednesday rally outside the Capitol, where demonstrators held signs reading “Clean water is not a luxury” and “Water is a human right.”
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