February 2021 Newsletter
New WELL Webinar: The Balancing Act of Water & Agriculture in California
The agriculture industry in California is pivotal not only to state residents, but also to the entire country at large. According to the California Department of Food and Agriculture, over a third of the vegetables in the US come from California, as well as two-thirds of the nation’s fruits and nuts. Without this state’s agriculture industry, many of the produce and dairy we have grown accustomed to having year-round would increasingly be in short supply. At the same time, however, more than 40% of California’s water is used by the agriculture industry. This pressure on the state’s water supply contributes to drought, exacerbates climate change, and impacts regional and state economies, particularly during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. At the local level, water allocation to agriculture may compete with community resources. The right to safe and affordable drinking water continues to be unrealized for rural and immigrant farmworker communities, even as they continue to perform essential work in our economy and feed our communities.
In this upcoming WELL Webinar, The Balancing Act of Water & Ag in California, we bring together experts in the agriculture industry from a variety of regions–from the Delta to the Central and Coachella Valleys–to discuss the relationship between water and agriculture in the state and explore environmental, social, and policy solutions that will help restore the balance between these two important resources. Register here to join us on April 1 from 6:30 pm-7:30 pm.
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 this WELL Webinar by making a donation upon registering. Our suggested donation is $25, but we will gratefully accept anything you are able to give. Every dollar counts, and we appreciate your support!
Thank you to our WELL Webinar Sponsors!
WELL would like to give a special thanks to our sponsors for supporting the upcoming WELL Webinar on April 1. Your generosity makes this event possible, and we appreciate your unending support.
Save The Date! WELL 2021 Virtual Conference | May 27, 2021
The WELL 2021 Virtual Conference, scheduled for Thursday, May 27 from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., aims to bring the link between water and the economy into the spotlight. While the world remains focused on the ongoing pandemic and subsequent economic challenges, WELL will highlight how water plays a pivotal role in the state’s economic recovery. We believe investments in water infrastructure will not only help mitigate climate change impacts and improve water security across the state, it will also help local governments get people back to work, something desperately needed in order to get back to pre-COVID economic levels.
WELL will also look at the Human Right to Water through a COVID lens, breaking down water utility debt and the sunsetting moratorium on water bills for struggling families. The right to safe and affordable water for our rural communities and farmworkers also continue to be neglected, even as their importance to our economy soars to greater heights. Additionally, WELL will refocus attention on the growing water issues that existed long before the pandemic: drought and the Colorado River, water contamination such as PFAS and TCP, and natural disasters like floods and fire.
This all-encompassing conference, aptly themed Water, Jobs, and a Post-COVID California Economy, will leave people with this key takeaway: Water is a gift, and if cared for properly, it can play an important role in the state’s most pressing economic and social problems.
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 this WELL Virtual Conference by making a donation upon registering. Our suggested donation is $50, but we will gratefully accept anything you are able to give. Every dollar counts, and we appreciate your support!
Olivia Trujillo, Mayor for the City of Arvin and WELL UnTapped graduate of 2020, recently hosted Governor Gavin Newsom in her city to address vaccination needs in Arvin and announce the city’s new COVID-19 vaccine site. Mayor Trujillo worked with other local officials to launch this site and led the Governor through a tour and press conference. To learn more about Governor Newsom’s visit to Kern County, click here. Great work serving your community, Olivia!
Javier Vargas, Director at the Valley County Water District, worked with his district staff to upgrade water meters within its jurisdiction. With this new project, staff will be able to identify any leaks or water issues remotely, allowing them to cut back on in-home visits and inspections. This technology upgrade comes just as Valley County Water District celebrates its 95th anniversary. Keep up the great work, Javier!
California Water News Highlights
Worried that you may have missed some important water news this month? WELL has you covered. Here is a sample of noteworthy water news for the month of February:
- Bay Nature: Atmospheric Rivers Like This One are Vital to Understanding California
- UC Davis: Saving Water Saves Energy and Reduces Greenhouse Gas Emissions
- Water Finance & Management: The Conundrum of Water Affordability: What’s at Stake?
- KPBS: State Launches Salton Sea Restoration Effort
- The Guardian: ‘California and Texas are warnings’: blackouts show US deeply unprepared for the climate crisis
WELL Associate Members
Earlier this year, WELL established an Associate Member Program. This program enables organizations to gain access to Latino leaders who share similar interests, allowing members to strategize about the best ways to solve California’s water challenges. Our Associate Members’ participation is a key component to our mutual continued success. We thank our Associate Members, listed below, for their support. If you’d like to learn more about the Associate Member Program, please visit: latinosforwater.org/associatemembers.
Follow WELL on Social Media!
Follow WELL on social media to get current California water news and updates about WELL programs and events:
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.