What is WaterTalks?
WaterTalks is a public program designed to generate and increase community involvement in planning a sustainable water future for California. Its goal is to explore the strengths and opportunities of 128 communities in the Los Angeles and Ventura counties facing ongoing economic and environmental distress, and gather input to prioritize and recommend water-related projects based on issues of greatest concern. (See map online of WaterTalks communities).
WaterTalks aims to ensure that regional water resource management considers the health, safety, welfare, and resiliency of lower-income community members. To do so, WaterTalks is providing a series of community events for the benefit of local residents to raise questions and concerns about their water-related issues, provide crucial input regarding their community’s water needs, possible solutions, and to learn about the State’s most current water related topics. These include drinking water, water conservation, flood management, drainage, vector control, access to parks and recreation, and the overall health of our watersheds.
Participation in a WaterTalks Community events will help ensure communities’ needs, concerns, questions, and insights become part of the State’s future water projects. A schedule of meeting dates and locations is available on the WaterTalks website:
WaterTalks is funded through the California Department of Water Resources. In 2014, voters approved “The Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act” – Proposition 1 – to meet the State’s long-term water needs. Proposition 1 funds an array of sustainable water-related projects, including drinking water protection, public water system improvements, water recycling, wastewater treatment, drought relief, emergency water supply management, and watershed protection.
The Los Angeles-Ventura Funding Area received $98 million in Proposition 1 funding, ten-percent ($9.8M) of which is dedicated to planning and outreach in underserved communities. WaterTalks is being implemented in three regions in the Los Angeles-Ventura Funding Area:
- Greater Los Angeles County (GLAC) Region
- Watersheds Coalition of Ventura County (WCVC)
- Upper Santa Clara River (USCR)
TreePeople, along with the Council for Watershed Health, is engaging communities in activities for the Greater Los Angeles County (GLAC) Region. The California State University’s Water Resources and Policies Initiative (WRPI) is involving communities for the Watersheds Coalition of Ventura County (WCVC) and Upper Santa Clara River (USCR) regions. The two teams collaborate with numerous community based organizations to host local WaterTalks community events.
Where can I learn more?
Proposition 1: California’s Integrated Regional Water Management, and the Disadvantaged Communities Involvement Program (DACIP), see the following websites: