The Southern California Water Coalition announced that its Board of Trustees selected Fontana Mayor Acquanetta Warren as its new Board Chair for a two-year term. This makes Mayor Warren the first Black Chair of the organization.
In her new role, Mayor Warren will lead SCWC’s educational and coalition-building efforts on behalf of Southern Californians. “I am honored to have been selected by my colleagues on the SCWC board to lead this important coalition during such a critical time,” said Mayor Warren. “Southern California needs reliable, affordable and clean water now more than ever.”
Mayor Warren, currently serving her fourth term as the Mayor of the City of Fontana, is chairwoman and member of many boards and commissions that benefit the public good, including SCWC’s Task Force for Water Equity, Access, and Affordability. She became Fontana’s first female and first Black mayor in 2010.
“SCWC is honored to have Mayor Warren as Board Chair,” said SCWC Executive Director Charley Wilson. “Mayor Warren’s leadership on diversity, equity, and water affordability regionally and statewide makes her uniquely qualified for this important position.”
A former public works manager, Mayor Warren has drawn strength from other Black women in California water leadership roles. “Gloria Gray, former Chairwoman of Metropolitan Water District Board of Directors, and Jasmin A. Hall, a Director at Inland Empire Utilities Agency, are inspiring me and others in our region and state,” said Mayor Warren.
As the water industry confronts a large wave of retirements, she hopes to inspire the next generation to explore careers in water. She was featured on an episode of CBS’s Undercover Boss television series in 2022 to highlight the vital work of public service in Fontana, specifically water and sanitation engineers.
“Just about every discipline can lead to water management,” said Mayor Warren. “Be prepared to become a sponge and find a mentor to assist you in navigating the best pathway. This will help you achieve a goal that can be overwhelming. Water is fluid, meaning you can choose from office jobs to operations to policy. It is the last frontier to explore so many possibilities.”
Mayor Warren also weighed in on a more diverse future for water. “It’s not easy breaking the barriers to having a career in water, particularly for women of color and especially African American women. We must foster the concept of bringing our young people to see the possibilities and help them in the industry. I’m encouraged by my role with the Southern California Water Coalition because I plan to make a difference by showing the benefits of all water agencies being inclusive to all. With every drop of water, we should be fluid and include all.”
Established in 1984, the Southern California Water Coalition is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, public education partnership dedicated to informing Southern Californians about our water needs and our state’s water resources. Spanning Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, San Bernardino, Imperial, Riverside, Ventura and Kern counties, the SCWC’s members include representatives from business, government, agriculture, water agencies, labor and the general public.