Environmental Justice Coalition for Water


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Our Strategies

 Bridge the gap between policy makers and disadvantaged communities.

Ensure accountability among legislature and agencies.

Advocate on behalf of those communities left out of the decision-making process

Build capacity among impacted communities to make changes in both policy and their daily living situations.

Empower communities to fight for environmental justice.

Organizations have their own issue priorities such as economic development, affordable housing, civil rights, pollution prevention, or human health. All have recognized that water policy has far-reaching implications for many of these issue areas, and EJCW seeks to connect locally-focused grassroots efforts with state-level policy work. We do this through three main avenues.


Community Voices, Community Visions

EJCW hopes to facilitate broader participation in local and statewide water policy and planning of communities not  historically involved and helping organizations that were not previously concerned about water policy to find the connections between CALFED and their own priority concerns.

Our education and capacity-building activities are aimed to inform and empower the public, affected communities, community leaders, appointed and elected water decision-makers and officials to make changes. In addition to functioning as a clearinghouse for information on water and EJ issues, EJCW also hosts regional workshops throughout the state.


More About EJCW's Outreach and Capacity Building Work




The goals of EJCW research activities are to:

Getting the Grassroots to the Capitol

EJCW's primary work over the last three years has been to democratize and “open-up” water policy processes that have traditionally excluded people of color and other California residents. EJCW tries to connect with, build the capacity of, and help empower impacted communities to engage state level decision-making on key water issues, while advocating for EJ water issues in the state capitol. EJCW works to institutionalize a community consultation and review process for all water projects undertaken in the state, by working with key federal and state water agencies.

Learn more about EJCW's Policy Work


Community residents from Tulare speak at a press conference in Sacramento on drinking water issues.

Richmond youth learn about watersheds.

  • Educate and inform policy makers, agency representatives, environmental groups, community-based organizations, and the general public about the water-related problems experienced in low-income communities and communities of color in California.

  • Advance policy recommendations for California water policy development, management and planning to (1) effectively address the water-related problems and concerns of low-income communities and communities of color and (2) ensure greater participation of these communities in water planning and policy.

  • build a common language for communities to articulate their concerns, values and voices for California water

  • provide critical information to communities and advocates working to advance environmental justice in California water

Thirsty for Justice

In 2005 EJCW released the ground-breaking Thirsty for Justice: A People's Blueprint for California Water. The report continues to provide a tool for education and outreach for Coalition members and their constituencies on state water policies and management, their relation to environmental justice, and opportunities to address environmental justice issues and water-related problems in their communities.

Learn more about this report