In a year of milestones and changes, one thing remains the same: water is vital to every Californian. That means you can count on us to be there for you with updates about what’s happening around water in Southern California and beyond.
We’re already looking ahead, but for now, let’s take a quick look back at SCWC’s 10 most read website posts of 2021.
Originally created as a pandemic reading list post in 2020, this article continues to draw thousands of viewers for our eclectic list of water-related books. The list has something for everyone from the lyrical and poetic (Joan Didion’s “Where I Am From” and Anne Carson’s “Plainwater”) to the thrilling (Marc Reisner’s “A Dangerous Place” and Paolo Bacigalupi’s “The Water Knife”) to the serious and studied (“Water to the Angels” by Les Standiford).
More than 300 people live-attended our May 3 webinar featuring an expert panel discussing the drought, and another 600 have streamed the video and read the blog post since. Featuring Newsha Ajami, Director of Urban Water Policy, Stanford University Water in the West program; Paul Cook, General Manager, Irvine Ranch Water District; Heather Dyer, General Manager, San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District; Erik Ekdahl, Deputy Director, State Water Resources Control Board; Karla Nemeth, Director, California Dept. of Water Resources.
This sixth installment of our What Matters webinar series featured an expert panel discussing the presence of PFAS in U.S. drinking water, including Southern California. PFAS is a family of more than 4,000 chemical compounds found in most products we use in our daily lives. Nearly 500 people registered for the event to hear from scientists, city and water officials and others to learn how the region and the state are addressing contamination as well as exploring alternatives to these chemicals to protect future water supplies.
The drought has returned to California. Some say it never left. We write about the drought emergency declaration back in May, tying it to the impacts of climate change and the need for water resiliency solutions such as Delta Conveyance.
Our August 10, 2021 workshop on “A Strategic Approach to Integrate Stormwater and Sewer Systems” continues to pull in viewers interested in learning about stormwater projects and programs in Southern California meant to increase water supply, improve water quality, and bring community benefits. Our expert panel discusses issues of groundwater recharge or direct use as well as a guide for cities on how to implement the strategy and how to approach wastewater agencies about working together.
As a part of the SCWC’s commitment to regional water sustainability and education, we have added a new local publication to our many community outreach efforts. As a part of a partnership with the publishers of California Water Inland Empire, the SCWC has released an issue of the magazine filled with the latest news and topics in regional water. Featured water agencies included Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, Inland Empire Utilities Agency, Western Municipal Water District, Eastern Municipal Water District, Rancho California Water District, Rebuild Southern California Partnership, Chino Basin Water Conservation District, San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District, and East Valley Water District.
Our expert panel on “Equity, Access and Affordability” in California water in July was also the launch of SCWC’s new Equity, Access and Affordability Task Force chaired by Anatole Falagan and Mayor Acquanetta Warren. Wherever you are in California, dealing with equity, access and affordability of water is going to take collaboration and coalition building. We believe Southern California Water Coalition is well-equipped to do this work, given the diversity of membership and the region we are in. We look forward to rolling up our sleeves and facing this issue head-on, and so do many of you judging by this post’s popularity.
We highlight the work of SCWC Founder Harriett Wieder in this post with historical photos from her bold career as a resolute community organizer and politician. The former Huntington Beach mayor and the first female elected to the Orange County Board of Supervisors, Wieder made a big splash in her career when she formed the Southern California Water Coalition in 1984, bringing together a diverse group of water professionals, corporations, agencies, and local governments for a noble purpose: to educate.
Our Water-Energy Efficiency Task Force published its white paper on the connection between water and energy conservation in April 2020. It continues to drive traffic to the SCWC website almost two years later for the links it makes between water and energy utilities exploring the reduction of resource consumption and tips for effective collaboration.
After a great deal of research and collaboration, the SCWC released an informative fact sheet detailing the path to California’s water resiliency over the past three decades. The fact sheet was a product of the minds and contributions of our dedicated SCWC members, who helped put the document together. Comprised of graphs, graphics, and educative blurbs, the fact sheet aims to give readers a more thorough understanding of problems facing California water resiliency, proven and effective strategies, and the role a diversified water resources portfolio plays.