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California Taps Clean Air Money To Pay For Drinking Water

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- California lawmakers have agreed to pay for drinking water improvements with money from a climate change fund.

Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom had wanted to tax residential water customers to raise the money. But lawmakers have chosen to tap a fund aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Some environmental activists say that sets up an unfair choice between clean air and clean water.

Newsom's administration says the spending is appropriate because communities without clean drinking water have to bring in bottled water on delivery trucks that pollute the air.

Newsom says more than one million people in California don't have access to safe drinking water. The proposal would not spend the money to build things. Instead, it would help some distressed water systems pay for things like operating costs.

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