Consolidation and Small Systems


Topic: Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund Advisory Group (SAFER)

End of 2020 Update Consolidation continues to see higher prioritization with every meeting of the SAFER group.  At a session focused on Source and Treatment for Extremely Small Systems on September 2, 2020, as part of the 17th Annual EPA Drinking Water Workshop Michelle Frederick, supervising Engineer for the SAFER Program, made clear that the state’s priority is consolidation of small systems.  She reported that the state is currently working with 80 systems on the Human Right to Water list to facilitate voluntary or mandatory consolidations and on 10 regionalization projects.

She shared that the state believes that consolidation is the best solution for small systems that are within 5 miles of a larger water supplier.   Where systems do not have the management, financial or other resources to move forward with consolidation the state will be assigning Administrators with the task of moving consolidation forward.   While CalMutuals supports consolidation as a solution for some systems where there is an interest in moving forward in this way, we do not agree that consolidation is the best solution for small systems and will continue to advocate for a diverse set of solutions to help small systems provide safe and affordable water to their communities.

For more information and meeting schedule information go to the SAFER Group Advisory webpage at


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