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August 2020 Newsletter

WELL 2020 Virtual Conference Launch!

Registration for the WELL 2020 Virtual Conference is officially open! WELL is virtually convening its informative state-wide educational water conference for local elected officials on November 13, 2020. We at WELL know that local elected officials make important decisions that ensure clean, safe, and affordable drinking water for all, protect our natural resources, and bolster our local economies. The goal of the WELL 2020 Virtual Conference is to provide these elected officials with a better understanding of important water issues in order to maximize the positive impact they have in their communities. What local elected officials learn from this conference will help them work toward developing comprehensive, long-term water policies. We invite you to participate in this educational opportunity!

Please fill out this form to register.

While it is our priority to make our educational content free and accessible to  all, WELL is funded in part by your generous donations. Please consider supporting the WELL Virtual Conference by making a donation when you register. Our suggested donation is $50, but we will gratefully accept anything you are able to give. Every dollar counts, and we appreciate your support!

WELL Webinar Recap: How Has COVID-19 Impacted the Water Sector?

On August 19th, WELL hosted its first WELL Webinar regarding COVID-19 impacts on the California water sector. Because of the pandemic, WELL has shifted all of its programs online. The WELL team worked around the clock to bring its high-quality informational water content to a virtual space in an accessible and equitable way. What we discovered is that by making our programs virtual, we could generate a broader reach and bring people together who may have not been able to participate otherwise. 

At our August WELL Webinar, we had more than 100 people log in to engage in the discussion and ask questions of our esteemed panel of experts. We would like to thank each and every one of you who took the time to participate. Although circumstances may seem somewhat grim right now, the WELL team is seeking to rise above and look forward by utilizing online programming to bring more people into the fold and generate more engagement in water policy in California. We hope to see you at the next WELL Webinar!

WELL Webinar Panelists and WELL Team (left to right): Alma Marquez, WELL Executive Director; Gracie Torres, Western Municipal Water District; Miguel Luna, WELL Advisory Board Member; Marty Adams, LADWP; Victor Griego, WELL Founder and President; Patty Cortez, Upper San Gabriel Valley Water District; Brianne Logasa, WELL Program Manager. Not Pictured: Enrique Zaldivar, LA Environment & Sanitation.

WELL Webinar: Time Is Running Out! More Than 100 Communities Are About to Be Left Holding the Bag on Tainted Water

Many communities across Californiaespecially in the Central Valleyare negatively impacted by water contamination from 1,2,3-trichloropropane (TCP). TCP is a known carcinogen, and water agencies and suppliers impacted by this human-made contaminant may overlook the opportunity to hold the manufacturers accountable that caused the contamination in the first place. Without taking legal action, these water systems are often forced to pass the high costs of treating TCP onto their customers. More than 100 water systems in California face significant clean-up costs from TCP in their water, yet only a few dozen have taken legal action against the manufacturers of the products that caused it.

Time is running out to bring these claims, and cities and water agencies that miss the deadline for filing a lawsuit will be left to pay for the cleanup on their own. In this webinar, you’ll learn how groundwater contaminants like TCP and PFAS impact the health and wellness of communities across California, and how you can beat the December 31st deadline for making the polluters pay for TCP cleanup.

You can register by clicking here. 

Special thanks to the SL Environmental Law Group and AARP!

WELL would like to give special thanks to the SL Environmental Law Group and AARP for sponsoring the upcoming WELL Webinar on October 6, 2020. Their generosity is what is making this event possible, and we appreciate their support of WELL and its programs. We look forward to putting on a wonderful WELL Webinar with them!


California Water News Highlights

Worried that you may have missed some important water news this month? WELL’s got you covered. Here is a sample of noteworthy water news for the month of July:

  1. The National Law Review: California Wastewater Treatment Plants Subject of State’s New PFAS Initiative

  2. The OC Register: Focus on COVID might hamper state’s push against rising sea

  3. Capitol Weekly: CPUC ‘yes’ vote could cut water bill surcharges for millions

  4. CNBC: The CDC wants state and local sewage systems tested for coronavirus

  5. The Sacramento Bee: California’s Delta tunnel project inches forward — and just got a $15.9 billion price tag

 WELL 2020-2021 Internship Program

WELL is kicking off its 20202021 academic year internship program for undergraduate college students throughout California. Unlike in the past, this year’s program will be 100% remote until further notice due to state mandates in place due to COVID-19. We are excited to make this rigorous and enlightening internship program open to a broad range of students. Please let the students in your life know about this amazing opportunity!

About the Position

WELL is currently seeking Programs & Research Interns for the 20202021 academic year. These interns will receive a deep dive into water education, policy, social and environmental justice, and nonprofit management as they support WELL’s various programs. This includes WELL’s flagship program, UnTapped, which was created for local elected officials to engage with water issues through a comprehensive and active exploration of history, governance, public policy, geography, economics, climate change, and human rights. Additionally, WELL organizes water legislative workshops, online webinars, and statewide conferences that bring together local leaders around water issues facing California. The primary scope of the Programs and Research Intern position will be to assist in the design and implementation of these projects and support in educating public officials on water management, environmental justice, and leadership development.

The WELL Internship Program is a hands-on learning opportunity for students to explore environmental justice and water resource management from the perspective of a nonprofit organization. The Programs & Research Interns will get the chance to explore:

  • Local water policy
  • Water education principles
  • Nonprofit management
  • Environmental justice 
  • Community outreach
  • Leadership development

Required Qualifications

  • Must be currently enrolled in a local accredited college or university pursuing a major in public policy and/or affairs, political science, environmental science, urban planning, nonprofit management, or related disciplines.  
  • Must be able to work part-time (1016 hours/week) for the duration of the academic year. 
  • Strong computer skills and proficiency in Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and Google Suite.
  • Excellent written communication skills with a keen attention to detail.
  • Excellent phone and customer service skills with a professional demeanor.
  • Ability to work both independently and collaboratively. 

How to Apply

  • Submit resume and cover letter to Brianne Logasa,  WELL Program Manager, at brianne@latinosforwater.org.
  • The position will remain open until filled.  

Past Intern Testimonials

“WELL provided a hands-on opportunity for me to learn about environmental career opportunities, work in administration and communication, and develop my own project in an environment of people who truly cared about my success. The experience has given me the skills and knowledge to land internships and jobs in the future and has helped guide my university education.”

Teresa Gonzalez, Environmental Studies Sophomore at UC Santa Barbara 

“Interning at WELL has taught me to further acknowledge the value of organizing at the local level. Being an Intern at WELL was also rewarding, because I was encouraged to develop my own research project where I worked directly with local elected Latinx leaders. In all, the WELL internship enabled me to grow as a learner, researcher, and environmental justice advocate.”

Selena Melgoza, Society and Environment (Global Environmental Politics) Junior at UC Berkeley 

WELLo Spotlights

Carmen Ramirez, Mayor Pro Tem for the City of Oxnard, UnTapped Graduate of 2018, and WELL Advisory Board Member, recently won the Environmental Justice Leadership Award from the California Environmental Justice Alliance. According to the Alliance, she received this prestigious award for her work fighting polluting projects in her city, transitioning her community to renewable energy, and supporting social and economic justice. Congratulations, Carmen! 

Marta Cruz, Council Member for the City of Cloverdale and UnTapped Graduate of 2020, has recently been accepted to The Leadership Institute for Just and Resilient Communities. She will be participating in their 10-month leadership program focused on empowering civic action around climate change, resiliency, and inequality. We’re excited to see what Councilmember Cruz learns through this next leadership endeavor. Congratulations, Marta!

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 Water Education for Latino Leaders




Water Education for Latino Leaders (WELL) educates local Latino elected officials on California water policies to promote timely and equitable actions that strive to develop a robust economy, healthy communities, and a resilient environment for all Californians. Visit our website: www.latinosforwater.org.