Press Release

Majority Leader Hertzberg Introduces New Drought Resilient Communities Act

SB 552 enhances drought resiliency in California’s most vulnerable communities and will help prevent catastrophic water shortages

February 18, 2021

SACRAMENTO – Today, Senate Majority Leader Bob Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys) introduced new legislation to drastically improve drought preparedness for small and rural communities throughout California.

SB 552 protects vulnerable communities from extended periods of water shortages by making changes to local drought and water shortage contingency plans, and by enhancing coordination between local and state governments, small water suppliers, and rural communities. Once in place, these tools will build a drought preparedness framework for small and rural communities and will help ensure water security for all Californians.

“Access to water is a fundamental human right,” said Senate Majority Leader Bob Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys). “Every Californian should be able turn on their tap and expect clean water to flow - it is unacceptable this was not the case for thousands of Californians during the last drought. We must remain vigilant in protecting this core right and I am proud to continue this effort with SB 552 to improve drought resiliency in our most vulnerable communities.”

“History has shown the catastrophic damage that droughts have on our vulnerable communities. We can’t afford a repeat. California must be ready for the next big drought and SB 552 will help us get there.” - Susana De Anda, Executive Director and Co-Founder, Community Water Center

“Drought resiliency has never been more important and SB 552 will ensure the most vulnerable communities are better prepared when the next drought hits. We appreciate Senate Majority Leader Hertzberg’s leadership on the issue.” - Danielle Blacet-Hyden, Deputy Executive Director, California Municipal Utilities Association

2020 was one of the driest years on record, and 85% of California continues to face moderate drought conditions. Climate models predict that droughts will only continue to grow in severity and frequency. The varying levels of water contingency planning and for small water suppliers and self-supplied communities disproportionately impact these vulnerable communities. Access to water is a human right, and California must ensure that these spaces are equipped with the necessary tools to prepare for future droughts.

###

Media Contact: Cindy Baker
Cindy.Baker@sen.ca.gov
Communications Director
Senator Robert M. Hertzberg
Capitol Building, Room 313
(530)966-4143