© 2023 KVPR | Valley Public Radio - White Ash Broadcasting, Inc. :: 89.3 Fresno / 89.1 Bakersfield
NPR For Central California
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Community Advocates Say Water Shutoff Order Is Good, But Not Enough

Newsom delivering executive order.


On Thursday, Governor Gavin Newsom placed an executive order restricting water shutoffs retroactively from March 4th. That’s good news, community advocates say, but it doesn’t help those whose water was already shut off. 

Jonathan Nelson is the Policy Director for the Community Water Center. He says Newsom’s   order will help people who are worried about paying future bills. But what about those whose water has been shut off for over a month?

“How can you wash your hands? How can you shelter-in-place if you don't have access to water because your water has been cut off?” Nelson asks. 

He doesn’t have exact numbers but last year, 200,000 people had their water cut off in California. And it’s not just running water that’s a problem, he says. People are struggling even more to find safe drinking water.

“We are seeing rural communities being unable to find bottled water. They may not have an Albertsons or Whole Foods. They may rely on a smaller grocery store, even a corner market and there's no bottled water,” Nelson said. 

That’s why the Community Water Center and other water advocacy organizations are calling for relief programs for those without access to clean drinking water.


Madi Bolanos covered immigration and underserved communities for KVPR from 2020-2022. Before joining the station, she interned for POLITCO in Washington D.C. where she reported on US trade and agriculture as well as indigenous women’s issues during the Canadian election. She earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a minor in anthropology from San Francisco State University. Madi spent a semester studying at the Danish Media and Journalism School where she covered EU policies in Brussels and alleged police brutality at the Croatian-Serbian border.
Related Content