fbpx Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion - California Water Association

Formed in 2020, the Diversity Equity and Inclusion Advisory Committee is charged with developing diversity and inclusion organizational and leadership best practices. Water is a vital service to every member of our society, and it is CWA members’ role to provide affordable access to clean, safe, and reliable drinking water to diverse communities with customers of all races, religions, incomes, and places of origin. These same companies employ water professionals who come from a diverse set of backgrounds and experiences. 

The work of the DEI committee is focused on the following objectives:

  • CWA and our member agencies are committed to cultivating a culture in the regulated water utility industry that embraces diversity and provides equal opportunity for employment and advancement within utility staff. 
  • The commitment of CWA members to contract with and nurture a diverse group of contractors and subcontractors is one way we strive to support the communities in which our members conduct business.

Since 2015, CWA member companies have engaged with hundreds of minority-owned businesses, including African American owned businesses, as part of our commitment to promote inclusion. In addition, we implemented a mentor protégé program aimed at helping small businesses build capacity so they can better compete in the marketplace. 

Over the years, CWA has provided financial support to diverse organizations as part of our diverse supplier outreach and active community engagement.

Our members are dedicated to racial equity, a priority shared by the State Water Resources Control Board and the California Public Utilities Commission, which regulate private water utilities in California.

The CPUC has developed an Environmental and Social Justice (ESJ) Action Plan. This plan embodies the CPUC’s commitment to furthering ESJ principles and integrates them into its operations. ESJ encompasses fair treatment for all races, cultures, and incomes in environmental policy formulation and beyond, acknowledging that certain Californian populations face greater barriers to accessing clean, safe, and affordable utility services. By focusing on underserved communities, the CPUC aims to enhance transparency, accessibility, and effectiveness for all. You can find more information about the CPUC’s ESJ on their website. Racial equity is a key focus for Water Boards, aiming for a future where access to water and its quality are independent of race, and professional outcomes for employees are unaffected by race. The State Water Board’s Racial Equity Action Plan outlines goals to ensure equitable preservation, enhancement, and restoration of California’s water resources and drinking water for all, regardless of race. Priorities include fostering engagement, drafting resolutions on racial equity for adoption, and developing strategies and action plans to guide future efforts. You can find our more abut the State Board’s Equity Action Plan on their website.