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Will Senate Bill 200 Alleviate the Central Valley Water Crisis? – A Policy Analysis
California's Central Valley is ground zero for the state's water war as farmers and the rural communities continue to fight for water access. Due to mismanagement of its water system and lack of funding, the rural communities of the Central Valley are now facing drastic inequality regarding safe water access. The water crisis called for more social justice for communities of color and low-income whites as years of systematic exclusion have cut them off from nearly all safe water access. Additionally, the water crisis also has a negative impact on the California healthcare system since thousands of the state's residents are at risk of water-related illnesses. With the passage of legislation such as Senate Bill 200, marginalized communities begin to see hope of better opportunities toward more social and economic equality. This policy analysis focuses on determining how California Senate Bill 200 (SB-200 Drinking Water, 2019-2020) will affect the social and economic disparities of water access in the Central Valley. Using Jillian Jimenez's adapted social policy analysis framework, this policy analysis will explore how the objectives of Senate Bill 200 will help alleviate the social disparities of the Central Valley water access. While newly added to California's legislation, Senate Bill 200 could be a powerful tool of social justice for the Central Valley's rural communities.