Network Innovation Grant

Environmental Justice and Water Management in California

$11,500 awarded to Council for Watershed Health in

Dr. Carolina Balazs, Post-doctoral researcher at UC Davis, and Mike Antos, Program Director for the Council for Watershed Health in Los Angeles, are involved in California's Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) program.  This program supports water infrastructure projects that demonstrate multiple community benefits.  Historically, disadvantaged communities have not received equitable benefits from such projects.  The California Department of Water Resources recently funded several pilot projects to ensure greater engagement of such communities in IRWM projects and more equitable distribution of benefits.  Balazs, whose work centers in California's Central Valley, and Antos, whose work centers in the urban environs and watersheds of Los Angeles, will use this award to convene key members of the seven IRWM pilot sites.  They will develop policy and practice recommendations for the Department of Water Resources to ensure their funding program successfully integrates environmental justice and equity into funding and planning decisions.  The recommendations will be published in a white paper distributed to policy leaders and community members.  (For more information on this project, please see UC Davis website which describes the background and pilot project research to date.)