Dedicated Water Leaders

Dedicated Water Leaders

Posted on December 28, 2017

In rural communities across California’s San Joaquin Valley, volunteers are coming together to meet the challenge of delivering water to their communities. In the video below, water leaders from Planada (Merced County), Lanare (Fresno County), and Biola (Fresno County), share their challenges, hopes and achievements in addressing local water challenges, including contamination and water depletion.

California Water Warriors from Self-Help Enterprises on Vimeo.

To become better advocates for their communities, the volunteers governing public water systems participated in the San Joaquin Valley Rural Community Leadership Institute, featured in the video. Hosted by the Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC), Self-Help Enterprises, and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), water leaders from 13 communities committed an entire Saturday once a month for six months to enhance their individual leadership skills, prepare themselves to take an active, cooperative approach to decision-making about water resource issues and develop skills to bridge the communication gap with policymakers. Participants also learned about the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) that charges local public agencies to form Groundwater Sustainability Agencies, which will develop groundwater management plans that are tailored to the needs of the local groundwater basins. The Leadership Institute was offered free of charge thanks to the generous support of USDA/RCDI (Rural Community Development Initiative).

Today, these water leaders possess increased tools and support to address underlying water access issues and to bring real solutions to their communities. As Daniel Chavez, Planada District Manager, states in the video, “I’m a water board member because I believe every community should have quality drinking water.”

These water leaders are making a difference – every day – in our rural communities.

If you are interested in participating in a future Leadership Institute, please contact Self-Help Enterprises at (559) 802-1693 to be added to an interest list.

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