The Sequoia Foundation, in collaboration with the California Department of Public Health and the Public Health Institute, conducted an HIA to provide recommendations to the California Water Board on criteria used to determine funding for drinking water projects, and work to standardize the use of HIAs among California agencies. The state annually revises its drinking water project priorities for the year. Data-driven decisions about funding allocations can improve access to safe and reliable drinking water, especially in rural communities that lack advanced infrastructure.
The HIA team issued two recommendations to the California State Water Resources Control Board: to put a water pricing structure in place that is affordable for low-income consumers but encourages water conservation, and to develop communications plans to inform the community about how consolidating water systems will affect water costs and quality. Recommendations from the HIA will inform future California water resource policies as the state continues to combat a severe drought. Additionally, with funding from a Health Impact Project program grant, the organizations provided training opportunities, HIA resources and tools, and technical assistance for state and local agencies, with a particular emphasis on collaboration among members of the California Health in All Policies Task Force.