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September 2021 Newsletter

Message from WELL

Today marks the end of the month and also marks the end of the water year (October 1 through September 30). Reflecting back in October 2020 the biggest concern was a dry winter; the 2020 water year ended with below-average levels of precipitation and accumulation which demonstrated the impact of climate change on the state’s water supply. These concerns have intensified, resulting in the Governor’s drought emergency proclamation in April. Since then, the emergency proclamation now covers 50 of 58 counties in California. Therefore, it is imperative that as leaders we continue to educate ourselves on the actions we can take now to mitigate additional hardships on our communities.

That is why we are excited about our two upcoming webinars in October and December of this year. Our October webinar will be held on Wednesday, October 13 from 121 p.m., and will focus on the future of water jobs and how you as elected leaders can increase opportunities for your constituents to have access to higher-paying jobs in the water sector. We have invited three panelists from different areas of the water sector to share their knowledge and resources with you and your community. We encourage you to invite others to join in this important conversation by registering for this webinar (Click here to register). 

Our December webinar is titled, California Drought: Exploring the State’s Upcoming Response to Current Drought Conditions and How the Drought May Financially Impact Your Communities. Panelists will share recommendations to help navigate the next water year and how the new California Water Resilience Portfolio will assist all of us moving forward. Learning about these action items now can help to mitigate the financial hardships your community may experience during a prolonged period of drought. 

Sí Se Puede!


Victor Griego                                                   Paul C. Hernandez
Founder and Board President                     Executive Director

WELL Webinar: October 13, 2021 12:00 1:00 PM 

The Future of Water Jobs: Training the Next Generation of Water Sector Practitioners

The WELL water-sector jobs webinar is happening on October 13, 2021, from 121 p.m. We have just announced our panelists! 

Joining our panel discussion are Channing Hawkins, Board Director at the West Valley Water District, Beverli A. Marshall, General Manager at the Valley Sanitary District, and Chris Hannan, Executive Secretary at the Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council. Our moderator is Stephan Tucker, General Manager at the Water Replenishment District of Southern California. Together, they will highlight workforce development initiatives, job training, and apprenticeship programs, and discuss related funding to help assist women, people of color, and other underrepresented individuals seeking employment in well-paid jobs in the water sector. Ultimately, skills training in this field supports local economies and the sustainability of utilities in California and beyond.

Join us on Thursday, October 13 from 12:001:00 p.m. by registering here!


Upcoming Webinar: December 2021 

California Drought: Exploring the State’s Upcoming Response to Current Drought Conditions and How the Drought May Financially Impact Your Communities

WELLo Spotlight

Jennifer Santana, Director for the Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District (SGVMWD) and WELL UnTapped Graduate of 2020, announced the Water Education Grant Program. This program awards grants up to $1,000 for K12 classroom or school projects that further a better understanding of water and its important role in Southern California. For more information, please click here.

Gracie Torres, Vice President of the Board of Directors at the Western Municipal Water District and WELL UnTapped Graduate of 2019, sat down with Univision this month to discuss how her grandmother, Angelita Ramos, inspired her to help students who dream of going to college. Gracie saved up for three years to be able to offer scholarships in her grandmother’s name. Her scholarship awarded $500 each to six incoming college students. To watch the full recording, please click here.

Javier Vargas, Director for the Valley County Water District and WELL UnTapped Graduate of 2020, assisted in the recharter of the Kiwanis Club of Baldwin Park. Kiwanis International is a global community of clubs, members, and partners dedicated to improving the lives of children one community at a time. The club had been dormant for more than 10 years, but through the leadership of Director Vargas, the group was reorganized in September. Director Vargas was elected the revitalized club’s president because of his effort and commitment to youth. 

Acquanetta Warren, Mayor of the City of Fontana and WELL UnTapped Graduate of 2018, provided the keynote address at the California Chapter event for the Association of Women in Metal Industries (AWMI). Mayor Warren provided insights on logistics and supply chain management as it pertains to manufacturing. The AWMI is an organization dedicated to promoting and developing the growth of women in metal industries.

WELL Partner Highlights

American Association of Retired Persons (AARP): On October 5, 2021, Victor Griego, Founder and President of WELL, Mayor Rey Leon, a WELL UnTapped Graduate of 2019, and Joone Lopez, General Manager at the Moulton Niguel Water District will serve as moderator and panelists for the  AARP-California Climate Chats series on the topic of The Future of California’s Drought & Water. 

Click here to register.

Water Replenishment District of Southern California (WRD): From September 19 to September 21, Water Reuse California hosted its annual conference, bringing together California’s water recycling community to learn, network, and discover the latest trends in the design, management, operation, and use of water recycling facilities and projects. WRD’s General Manager Stephan Tucker joined a panel to discuss the future of LA’s recycled water. Upcoming in October, WRDin collaboration with Green Media Creationswill also host a series of webinars focused on educating the local community about sustainable landscaping. Click here to register.

Inland Empire Utilities Agency (IEUA): On September 10,  Michael Camacho, IEUA Board Vice President, and Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) Board Member hosted a meet-and-greet with Adel Hagekhalil, General Manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. General Manager Hagekhalil discussed MWD’s goals for the region and state as well as the One Water initiative.

California Water News September

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 September:

  1. The San Francisco Gate: California falls short of Newsom’s water conservation goals, mandatory restrictions could come soon
  2. The Modesto Bee: As drought gets worse, some wells will trigger environmental review in Stanislaus County
  3. NBC Washington: How One MLB Team Is Paving the Way for Water Conservation in Sports
  4. Maven’s Notebook: Governor Newsom signs action bills, outlines historic 15 billion package to tackle the climate crisis and protect vulnerable communities
  5. Imperial Irrigation District: California urban and agricultural water districts reach settlement agreement in legal dispute, move toward collaboration on Colorado River 


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    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.

    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.