Water Equity Network
The Water Equity Network, launched by the U.S. Water Alliance in September 2020, encourages and facilitates collaboration between water utilities, community organizations, environmental groups, and individuals to address water equity issues at the local level. The Water Alliance defines water equity as “when all communities have access to safe, clean, affordable drinking water and wastewater services; are resilient in the face of floods, drought, and other climate risks; have a role in decision-making processes related to water management in their communities; and share in the economic, social, and environmental benefits of water systems.”
Through this new “nationwide community of practice,” the US Water Alliance brings together these organizations and stakeholders in “City Learning Teams” and provides them with coaching, networking, knowledge building and training, and connection and mentoring to support addressing water equity issues in their communities. The Network builds on a two-year effort by the Water Alliance – the Water Equity Task Force – that worked in Atlanta, Camden, Cleveland, Louisville, Milwaukee, and Pittsburgh -- to develop new programs to address water equity concerns and create economic opportunity.
In 2017, the Alliance released An Equitable Water Future, a report detailing the water challenges that disproportionately affect frontline communities, such as water affordability and aging infrastructure. The report identifies opportunities to leverage water investment to create social, economic, and environmental benefits and advance water equity.
The U.S. Water Alliance is a non-profit nationwide network of water utilities, water resources consulting companies, non-profit organizations, labor unions, and universities. Established in 2008, the Water Alliance states that “all water has value…. [and] must be managed in a sustainable and inclusive manner to build strong economies, vibrant communities, and healthy environments.”