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January 2021 Newsletter

Register Today! New WELL Webinar on Recycled Water

Register here!

California water agencies have increasingly focused on implementing new technologies and developing new infrastructure to become more water independent. The Regional Recycled Water Program is one such infrastructure program. This potential project could produce high quality water to be used for groundwater recharge in basins in Los Angeles and Orange Counties. This programa partnership between the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districtsstarted with a demonstration facility that could eventually become one of the largest advanced water treatment plants in the world. At full scale, the project would produce approximately 150 million gallons daily, which is enough to serve more than 500,000 homes using a local water source.

In this upcoming WELL Webinar, A New Source of Water Supply for Southern California: A Panel Discussion on the Regional Recycled Water Program, join engineers, experts, and stakeholders on Thursday, February 4 from 10:00 a.m. 11:00 a.m. to learn the what, why, who, and how of the Regional Recycled Water Program. Register here for this informative event. This webinar will be moderated by Martha Tremblay, Assistant Department Head of Technical Services at the LA County Sanitation Districts.

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

Honoring Martin Luther King Jr. 

Earlier this month, the nation honored Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a celebration of the man and the civil rights movement he helped orchestrate. While the fight for civil rights marches on, it is important to reflect on all the individuals who got us to where we are now. We encourage you to learn more about the leaders of the Civil Rights Movement, and explore ways to get involved in your community, whether that be for environmental justice, immigration, racial equity, or another civil rights issue that interests you. 

Save The Date! WELL 2021 Virtual Conference | May 27, 2021

Register here

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.

Join WELL for this urgent and informative conference by registering here or on our website at latinosforwater.org/conferences

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!

WELLo Spotlights

Lamar Thorpe, Mayor for the City of Antioch and WELL UnTapped graduate of 2019, worked for more than seven years, along with his city staff, on a construction contract for a brackish water desalination plant. Mayor Thorpe and his colleagues’ hard work is paying off; the City of Antioch was recently awarded $86 million to begin construction on the project. The project will improve water supply reliability and stabilize water rates for his constituents. Congratulations, Lamar!

Marta Cruz, Vice Mayor of City of Cloverdale and UnTapped graduate of 2020, was recently appointed Board Chair for Zero Waste Sonoma, an organization focused on education about recycling, solid waste disposal, and sustainability for the residents of Sonoma County. Congrats, Marta! We can’t wait to see the great things you will accomplish in this new position.

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 January:

  1. KQED: Here’s How Newsom’s Proposing to Spend $4.1 Billion on the Climate and Environment
  2. Sierra Sun Times: California Attorney General Becerra Joins Multistate Effort to Hold Polluters Accountable Under the Clean Water Act
  3. Desert Sun: Salton Sea Habitat Project Breaks Ground Near New River Delta
  4. Valley Public Radio: Low Income Communities Drowning In Water Debt, New California Water Board Survey Finds

  5. CalMatters: What Biden’s presidency Means for California’s Environment

WELL Intern Spotlights

WELL’s day-to-day operations and programming would not be possible without the support of our interns! Meet two of our interns below:

Amado Castillo: Amado is a senior at UCLA from Downey, California; he is graduating in March 2021 with a Bachelor of Arts, double majoring in Sociology and Chicana/o Studies with minors in Environmental Systems and Society and Labor Studies. Amado resonates with how WELL programming informs Latino elected officials about the disparities that exist in underrepresented communities, which leads to meaningful race and class-conscious water policies. Outside of his role at WELL, Amado has served UCLA’s Latino community as a Student Assistant at the UCLA Institute of American Cultures and a Policy Fellow at the Latino Policy and Politics Initiative.

Briana Lopez: Briana was born in San Gabriel and raised in Boyle Heights. She is passionate about the environment, politics, and helping others and hopes to improve the quality of life in her community. Grassroots organizing and nonprofit organizations have made a big impact on her life. As a result, she is interested in working with the community to help get more affordable housing, healthy food options, investment in youth programs and education, affordable extracurricular activities, and better air and water quality. Some of her other personal interests include singing, playing the guitar, and exercising. She hopes to add roller skating and tennis to her hobbies soon. 

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




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.