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Looking Forward: Shaping the Next Generation of Water Leadership

Dorothy Green forever changed the way California’s water agencies interact with each other and with the communities they serve. She challenged us to capture more stormwater to increase local water supplies, use natural systems to improve water quality and focus on investing in the neighborhoods suffering the worst impacts from pollution.

During her early years leading the Council for Watershed Health, Dorothy launched a “Consensus Campaign” to build understanding around the power of water to achieve multiple benefits for our communities and watersheds: health, safety, resource preservation. Over 20 years later, the Council continues this work by actively engaging individuals, communities and water agencies to preserve, restore and enhance the Los Angeles and San Gabriel River Watersheds. Through science-based research, education and inclusive stakeholder engagement, the Council’s work is connecting people to water and their environment and shaping the next generation of water leaders.

Now we are celebrating another year of meaningful work advancing the health of the region’s watersheds, but equally importantly, the partnerships that truly make success happen. From our green infrastructure projects in neighborhoods and schools, to our student internships and LA River monitoring program, our partnerships help engage, educate and connect people to their local watershed and each other. This is our vision - one that invests in building the capacity of individuals, local community groups, water managers and policy makers to carry forward a more sustainable water future for the LA Region.

Fostering Water Stewardship

In partnership with universities – including UCLA, Occidental, CSUN - our internship program embraces students’ leadership in watershed stewardship and trains our future water leaders by providing hands on project-based learning by monitoring the health of the LA River and sharing water science education with local partners from Long Beach to Pacoima.

Building a Water Community

Our work with LAUSD engages students, teachers and staff in the vision of sustainable water management through the development of green infrastructure on campus and science-based learning tools. Through our involvement with schools, we build a deeper bench of local watershed advocates in the community - engaging students, parents, teachers, administrators and maintenance staff.

Connecting Communities with Agencies

Our Community Dialogues initiative focuses on engaging and educating residents in underserved communities on where their water comes from, how we keep it safe and the multiple benefits of investing in their local water supply development, such as keeping their neighborhoods clean and improving health and safety in their communities. This CWH partnership with LADWP, LASAN and LA City OneWater truly demonstrates the power of inclusive dialogue with community members voicing their priorities and becoming proactive watershed stewards for the good of their community.

Looking Forward

It’s time to launch a new “Consensus Campaign,” one that brings us together with a common goal – to invest in building the capacity of all communities throughout the LA region to achieve the multiple benefits water projects can provide. Join us on Wednesday, November 8th, 2017, as we celebrate another year of impact and the work of water leaders throughout Los Angeles County, at the California Science Center Ecosystems Gallery. We will honor the work of Mel Levine, President, LADWP Board of Commissioners, and the next generation of water leaders, Thomas Wong, San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District Board President; David Diaz Avelar, Social Innovation Director at Day One; and open-space champion, the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust.

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