RCRC has expressed support for the Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program Establishment Act, a legislative effort by U.S. Senator Alex Padilla, which would establish a national, low-income water assistance program.  

The Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) was established by Congress on an emergency basis, to help households afford drinking water and wastewater services during the COVID-19 pandemic. When LIHWAP expired in September of 2023, it was the end of a program that was critical to rural residents throughout California.  

The LIHWAP Establishment Act would formally put in place LIHWAP to assist low-income households in paying arrearages and other rates charged to such households for drinking water or wastewater services. Like the original program, benefits under this legislation would be targeted towards households with low incomes and that have the highest home water burdens and importantly, allow for recipients of programs such as the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and means-tested Veterans programs to be categorically eligible for LIHWAP assistance. 

RCRC’s letter of support is available here. For more information, contact RCRC Policy Advocate, Sidd Nag

Update: This measure was officially introduced on February 28, 2024.