We Advocate Thorough Environmental Review


Our mission is to advocate for the preservation of water, the environment and natural resources, serving to protect all citizens. We advocate long-range community planning and regenerative practices to promote a thriving community. We encourage community-wide participation in these efforts and are committed to defending these issues with public interest litigation if necessary. We provide public education, environmental advocacy, and extensive volunteer opportunities.

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Address: P.O. Box 873
Mount Shasta , CA 96067
County: Siskiyou
Email: mountshastawater@gmail.com
Phone Number: 530-918-8805
Website: http://www.cawater.net
We Advocate Thorough Environmental Review (W.A.T.E.R)
Our organization consists of volunteers who came together in 2013 to challenge Crystal Geyser Water Company's (CGWC) plans to set up an industrial operation next to Mt. Shasta City for the purposes of producing single-use plastic bottled beverages without a thorough environmental review. We have worked/are working diligently to ensure the environmental impacts of this operation are thoroughly studied and prevented.

We use the power of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) to engage the public in the environmental review process. CEQA is a tool to prevent corporate over-exploitation of natural resources. However, no state agency enforces the Act, thus enforcement is incumbent upon local agencies and the public. When local agencies fail to protect the public interest (because they shy away from challenging corporate power and/or are easily influenced by promises of jobs and economic benefits which are often unfulfilled), the public must stand up for community and environmental rights.

CEQA has clearly defined steps for public input:
• We have successfully engaged citizens in writing letters and commenting at public hearings.
• We have hired legal and environmental experts to provide input to the environmental study conducted by the County.
• We are currently engaged in legal actions against Siskiyou County and the City of Mt. Shasta for CEQA violations related to a flawed environmental study for the CGWC plant.
• We are also participating in the CEQA process for several other projects in our area.

We are a thread in the ever-expanding web of community groups and organizations that are working for positive social, economic, and environmental change:
• We are co-petitioners with the Winnemem Wintu Tribe in lawsuits challenging the validity of the County's approval of CGWC's Final EIR.
• We work closely with the Gateway Neighborhood Association (GNA), a group of residents neighboring the CGWC plant, and with citizens from the communities of McCloud and Weed who are both facing threats to their water supplies.
• We also participate in the City of Mt. Shasta's General Plan Update process providing input on issues related to environmental protections that will support the tourism economy and a healthy community.
• We are a member of the Upper Sacramento Regional Water Action Group (RWAG), which is a collaborative effort to manage many aspects of water resources in our region. Participants of RWAG apply for grants from the Department of Water Resources for local water infrastructure improvements and other water related projects, thus we are able to influence the prioritization of projects that protect water quality and quantity in our region. We participate in meetings of the NGO Groundwater Collaborative and the Sierra Water Working Group, groups that work with State legislatures to fix loopholes in law and legislation for California groundwater.

We live in a time when we face serious economic problems on local, regional and global scales. It is time to realize, as Albert Einstein said, "We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them." An attempt to solve our economic problems by privatization and extraction (depletion) of natural resources in the public commons, such as freshwater, is at odds with the necessity to clean up and protect the natural environment that is necessary for healthy communities and economies and supportive of human rights.

Our core leadership team consists of retirees (academics, machining, banking) and part time/self-employed workers (in home service, wellness education, printing industry). The work of running our organization is done by the core leadership team--we have no paid staff. As a group we strive for consensus in our decision-making process (although it requires long meetings).

Your contribution will help us with this essential work of protecting the environment and developing local economies that reflect the values and needs of our South Siskiyou County region.




9/24/18

Since October 2013 I have been working closely on local water privatization and water bottling issues with members of WATER. Before they formally incorporated, I was a member of the group that organized surrounding these issues, and I have continued to strongly support their work. Members of WATER also have been involved in efforts in Weed concerning
environmental review and the protection of the Beaughan Springs Weed municipal water supply from privatization threats.
My group, Water Flows Free will continue to support the excellent ongoing work of WATER. Additionally, activist groups in Weed, Water for Citizens of Weed CA (WCWC) and Weed Area Water Alliance (WAWA) have also followed the Crystal Geyser Water Company/Siskiyou County EIR process and the resultant legal challenges by WATER. As a member of both groups, but only speaking as an individual, I greatly appreciate the dedication of members of WATER. There is mutual respect and cooperation among the members of these four groups. Water protection requires people working together who see the big picture, who are patient and who share the same vision of water as a public trust and a human right. WATER always presents this vision and strives to educate the public and our local representatives about water issues.

Vicki Gold
2102 Tanager Lane
Mt Shasta CA 96067
530.926.4206
victoria7@snowcrest.net

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Thu, Sep 20, 2018

Protecting communities and watersheds in Siskiyou County is not an easy task, yet W.A.T.E.R. swiftly rises to the challenge. The Herculean efforts of volunteer Board members hold corporations accountable and exemplify participatory democracy in an area that tends to favor private over public interests. If Weed, Dunsmuir and McCloud had a W.A.T.E.R. equivalent, Mount Shasta communities would be far less vulnerable to economic exploitation and environmental degradation. I am deeply grateful for the dedication, skill and tenacity that W.A.T.E.R. bestows upon the City of Mt. Shasta.

Angelina Cook, Watershed Advocate


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10/29/2017
WATER is the organization that has taken the lead in this most important effort and it is a pleasure to recommend them for your support.
As the Community Liaison for the Gateway Neighborhood Association, I have worked side by side with W.A.T.E.R. for 4 years. During that time, I have watched how the W.A.T.E.R. Board of Directors and core group of volunteers have shown themselves time and time again to be principled, honest and extremely hard-working.

The Board goes to great lengths to be sure that money raised from the community and grants go directly to the work of ensuring that the community and environment are protected. I have seen individuals pay for printing, ink costs and travel expenses out of their own funds so that the money raised goes further.

Each press release and newsletter is thoughtfully written, without any untruths or inflammatory language. The group understands that the credibility and reputation of W.A.T.E.R. is vital when doing this work. Their dedication to that is beyond compare.

It's an honor to continue to work with them to protect our most precious resources - our community, the environment and Mt. Shasta Water.

Raven Stevens
Gateway Neighborhood Association


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The pure and sacred Water of Mt. Shasta, the environment and local neighborhoods are at risk from the internationally owned, Crystal Geyser Water Company's proposed bottling plant.

For the last 4 years, we have watched the group W.A.T.E.R. (We Advocate Thorough Environmental Review) fight relentlessly to get a full environmental impact report first from the City of Mt. Shasta and later, Siskiyou County. Finally in 2016 they were successful in forcing Otsuka Pharmaceutical (Crystal Geyser) into a full EIR.

W.A.T.E.R. has collaborated with our Tribe by gathering documents, keeping us updated on issues, providing documents and by supporting our work to fight the County's unlawful attempt to ignore our traditional cultural resources via the California law, AB52. We consider Water to be a traditional cultural resource for our Tribe, that must be protected at all costs.

W.A.T.E.R. also supports the Gateway Neighborhood Association and other local groups to educate and help focus the community's energy and efforts into sustaining this battle for our Water and environment.

We consider them to be Water Protectors and are grateful for their continued efforts.

Mark Miyoshi, Tribal Historic Presentation Officer
Luisa Navejas, Mt. Shasta District Representative
Winnemem Wintu Tribe

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The W.A.T.E.R. group has been a dedicated group of volunteers who have spent countless hours going through the Crystal Geyser EIR with a fine tooth comb, and currently spearheading the appeal to the Board of Supervisors. If the Board of Supervisors won't protect us from the harm this project brings to Mt. Shasta, then we all need to support strong legal actions. It's not over yet!

Mount Shasta Bioregional Ecology Center
Angelina Cook
Andy Fusso