Critical to our work is a focus on supporting mayors and utility leaders to ensure access to safe and affordable water. Even after a COVID-19 vaccine is administered, cities are likely to face austere budgets for years to come. Utilities have long faced the realities of aging infrastructure, climate change, and regional economic decline. Investing in water infrastructure is a necessity, yet the status quo means that water may become unaffordable to some of the most vulnerable customers: low-to-moderate income households, which are disproportionately made up of women and/or people of color. We know that there are real solutions to alleviate the burden on these households while making the necessary investments to make our water safe for generations to come.
We are excited to announce the following efforts designed to support cities in implementing these solutions and to provide critical perspectives for local leaders.
Community of Practice for Utility Leaders
We are launching a new Community of Practice (COP) specifically for water utility leaders. Part of a follow up from our first Water Affordability Academy, the COP will bring together water utilities across the country for an ongoing conversation about the challenges and solutions related to water affordability. Our first session features the story of South Bend, IN, a city that was able to save money through high-tech solutions and is in the process of launching its first customer assistance program. Look forward to future sessions here, and contact us if you are interested in joining the COP.
Blog Series: Water Affordability
Our goal is to ensure that every mayor has access to the resources they need to keep water safe and affordable. This writing series will pull from not only our own expertise; we will also bring in the best and brightest minds in water affordability to share topical, insightful analysis on a different theme each month.
Want to receive updates via email? Make sure you are signed up for our newsletter!
Spring Water Affordability Academy
This spring, we’re excited to once again host our Water Affordability Academy in partnership with the Water Center at Penn. Launching March 11, this five-week program will provide utility leaders with the tools they need to make and keep water affordable. If your city is interested, let us know here.
Learn more about the fall 2020 Academy here. We continue to work with the utilities from this cohort, and we look forward to sharing their successes.
Questions? Ideas? Contact us!