Leadership Development

2023 Rural Communities Water Managers Leadership Institute

The 2023 Spring Registration is Now Open!  

Rural Community water board members and staff, water leaders, residents, local governance, and regional water management agency staff are invited to participate in the NEW 2023 Rural Communities Water Managers Leadership Institute hosted by Self-Help Enterprises. The three-month Institute consists of classroom presentations, interactive dialogue, activity-based learning, and a two-day tour of the Kings River watershed. This year’s Leadership Institute offers rural community leaders and regional water management agency staff a long-awaited, unique opportunity to talk with, listen to, and learn from one another.

  • Agencies, do you desire to know your regional DAC representatives so you can hear their thoughts and concerns related to water supply?
  • ·Rural community leaders and residents, do you want the people making decisions about your water supply to hear your concerns and suggestions?
  • Do you want to learn where our Central Valley water comes from, where it goes, and how it is used?
  • Do you want to learn how we can all work together–Ag, communities, counties, environment managers, and regional water supply staff–toward better Central Valley water management?

The Water Managers Leadership Institute Spring 2023 is where you need to be!

There is no charge for participation.

Stipends are available to rural community participants.

2023 Program Dates:

Session 1: Water Leaders 101

Date/Time: Saturday, April 1, 2023, 9:30am – 3:00pm

Session 2: Kings Subbasin Watershed Tour

Dates/Times: Friday, April 28 and Saturday, April 29, 2023,

8:00am – 6:00pm

Session 3: All About Water

Date/Time: Saturday, May 20, 2023, 9:30am – 3:00pm

Session 4: All for Water, Water for All

Date/Time: Saturday, June 24, 2023, 9:30am – 3:00pm

For More Information, please contact Jusneet Boparai at (559) 931- 2464 or at

Register Today:

2023 Rural Community Water Managers Leadership Institute Registration 

Registro del Instituto de Liderazgo de Administradores de Agua de la Comunidad Rural 2023



More on the Leadership Institute:

The issues facing rural disadvantaged communities in the San Joaquin Valley are complex and multifaceted. Residents and leaders often lack capacity to effectively lead their communities through issues they face – usually due to lack of training or opportunity, not lack of heart. Governance and managerial agencies are tasked with addressing rural community issues, but often don’t have resources and when they do are often challenged to effectively engage with the communities to address those issues.

Building on a decade of training nearly 150 rural community leaders, the Leadership Institute will once again teach participants tools, techniques, and strategies to impact positive change in their communities. New this year, Self-Help invites and encourages GSA staff, county staff, environmental group members, and agriculture representatives to join the Institute as participants to learn tools, techniques and strategies to effectively “outreach to”, hear, and genuinely engage rural community leaders in the water management efforts required by SGMA, multi-land repurposing (MLRP) efforts, and by most funders of water management projects.

Self-Help Enterprise is a known and respected Technical Assistance provider, having served rural communities in the San Joaquin Valley since 1965. At the core of this effort is the empowerment of residents to take control of the development of their own community infrastructure needs. Those efforts must be done in collaboration with local government and statewide agencies who develop and implement water management policies and regulations. Leadership Institute Spring 2023 is the place to develop relationships between residents and agency staff, gain perspective on the needs of all water users, and lay foundations for the hardwork required to address realistic and equitable water management for everyone. A challenge indeed.

Are you in?



2023 Leadership Institute Funders

This Leadership Institute was offered for free to interested participants. Funding for the Institute was provided by the Water Foundation, the California Environmental Protection Agency, The California Endowment,and the USDA , RuralDevelopment.


Leadership Development Impact

Highlights from past Leadership Institutes:

  • — 2019: 13 Participants
  • — 2020: 38 Participants
  • — 2021: 16 Participants
  • — To date, the Leadership Institute has trained over 65 new water leaders in rural communities. Participants from over 20 disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged communities have participated in the program since its inception.

The issues facing rural disadvantaged communities San Joaquin Valley counties are complex and multifaceted.  Such communities often lack human capacity to effectively lead their communities through issues they face – usually due to lack of training, not lack of heart.

Because it takes leaders from all aspects of the community to effect change that makes a positive impact in neighborhoods, Self-Help Enterprises hosts the Joaquin Valley Rural Community Leadership Institute to address a broad range of community issues. This training experience can sharpen community leaders’ abilities, and provide the tools and techniques to become effective leaders to improve their communities.

The Institute is intended to provide residents from communities throughout the San Joaquin Valley with training sessions that include conflict management and effective communication skills. Workshops also provide guidance on how to manage change and guide their communities through those changes, budgeting, public relations, community resource development and building other skills.

Similarly, Self-Help Enterprises community development staff provide critical technical assistance to local communities, linking the community’s water and sewer needs to funding and technical resources. At the core of this effort is the empowerment of residents to take control of the development of their own community infrastructure needs. Self-Help Enterprises staff support community groups and Boards in forming Districts in assessing the community’s needs to apply for and administer government loans/grants for project financing.

Self-Help Enterprises’ commitment to providing resources and training for individuals builds the capacity for highly effective leadership in communities and at the same time promotes collaborative solutions for improving communities.

“My overall experience was very enriching. I learned the importance of leadership and community outreach and about those who need this resource the most. I loved the group dynamics that taught us to put what we learned into practice.”
~ Keila Davila



Why should I consider becoming a leader in my community? 

Community leaders make a difference in our communities and play a pivotal role in helping improve the well-being of residents.

How does the community benefit from engaged residents?

Engaged residents identify community needs and enables communities to realize their vision for a vibrant, welcoming place for all to call home.

How does Self-Help Enterprises assist with the training of water and sewer boards?

Self-Help Enterprises works to educate residents about the roles and responsibilities of a board and set the ground work for boards to function effectively.

 Interest Form

If you are interested in information about future leadership development trainings, please complete the interest form. A Self-Help Enterprises staff member will contact you.

Interest Form

Please fill out the form.

Interest Form

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