Empowering Local Communities.
There is no greater way to impact a community in the long-term than to build local capacity and empower its people to advocate for themselves. CWC promotes the direct participation of impacted communities in the development of effective and affordable regional clean water solutions. Our work focuses on:
1. Building community capacity to engage in water infrastructure planning and funding processes;
2. Advocating for better water quality, water planning, and water funding policies, as well as working to eliminate barriers to disadvantaged community participation at the local, regional, and state levels;
3. Facilitating direct contact and communication between impacted community members and the decision-makers impacting local community drinking water challenges; and
4. Developing and disseminating resources and information to support strong community voices in decision-making processes impacting drinking water in the valley.
To these ends, CWC provides extensive organizing, outreach, meeting facilitation, and technical assistance support for local development of long-term, sustainable solutions for safe drinking water. This support includes helping local communities identify specific contaminants in their water supply, sources of pollution, and potential project alternatives. CWC also facilitates the development of joint-solutions among communities to reduce long-term vulnerability and strengthen the resources available to resolve the problem. In this work, CWC utilizes a strong and growing list of project partners to develop additional funding sources through public agencies, private organizations, and charitable foundations to invest in drinking water solutions.
Funded by a $2 million grant from the California Department of Water Resources to Tulare County, this plan will ultimately be integrated into the various regional water management plans in the region. It will also be used to inform the County General Plan and funding application efforts.
The project has created a comprehensive database of more than 500 unincorporated communities reaching over 700 stakeholders in the four-county region, and identified their water and wastewater needs. Nearly 200 of these communities lack any type of centralized or regulated drinking water system. The project used the priorities identified by the stakeholder group to develop pilot studies that guided the development of a comprehensive plan for the region. The final plan is now complete and will be available publicly in September 2014, along with the database of unincorporated communities. The three-year study provides concrete recommendations to ensure safe drinking water and effective wastewater treatment for disadvantaged communities. CWC will work to foster implementation of the Study recommendations at all levels, local, regional and state.
The final report documents can be found here: https://tularecounty.ca.gov/cao/index.cfm/tulare-lake-basin-disadvantaged-community-water-study/final-report/
Public database of DACs that Tulare County is hosting for the whole basin: Tularelakebasin.com
This project identified more than 100 disadvantaged communities in the sub-basin and engaged in smaller-scale integrated planning efforts to identify potential shared solutions. As a result, the project developed a comprehensive inventory of DACs for the Upper Kings Basin Authority’s Integrated Regional Water Management Planning efforts. It has also resulted in more disadvantaged communities engaging directly in the region’s Integrated Regional Water Management Planning efforts. Furthermore, seven communities have committed to working together to explore the sharing of services and many more joint study projects will develop solutions for five different sub-regions. For more information on this study, click here or read the final report here.