Water Leaders application due Dec. 7

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2019 Water Leader Cheyanne Harris with her mentor, Karla Nemeth, Director of the California Department of Water Resources. Photo by: Water Education Foundation

STATEWIDE – The Water Education Foundation’s Water Leaders program, aimed at emerging leaders involved with water, is accepting applications until Dec. 7, for the 2023 class. The program deepens knowledge on water, enhances individual leadership skills and prepares class members to take an active, cooperative approach to decision-making about water resource issues.

According to the website, the Water Education Foundation, is an impartial nonprofit that was founded in 1977. The organization offers educational materials, tours of key watersheds, water news, water leadership training and conferences that bring together diverse voices. 

The Water Leaders program began in 1997 and now has over 400 graduates.

Water Leaders alum Edgar G. Dymally, a Senior Environmental Specialist at the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, said his time in the class allowed him to understand the diverse array of interest groups and players in California water. 

“My mentor was then-state Sen. Jim Costa, who was chair of the Senate Ag and Water committee and easily one of the most knowledgeable officials on water in the state. He allowed me to shadow him for a whole day that included him chairing his Senate committee,” said Dymally.

The program is open to those who work for federal or state agencies, local water and irrigation districts or private businesses that are involved in water – whether they are attorneys, engineers, farmers, environmentalists, scientists, planners or communication specialists.

RELATED: Gov. Newsom re-appoints Mojave Water Agency Treasurer Dr. Kimberly Cox to state board

According to the website, acceptance to the ten-month program is extremely competitive. The time commitment for the program is about 15 days over the course of the year, plus time to work on the class project. The 15 days include: 

  • a mandatory class orientation, 
  • shadow day and interview with a mentor, 
  • four workgroup meetings, 
  • two water tours (either two or three days each), 
  • Water Education Foundation’s Water 101 workshop and Water Summit,
  • a final presentation to the Water Education Board of Directors.

There is a $35 application fee. Tuition cost for the 2023 class is $4,500 which includes registration for all four events and tours that are mandatory under the program. It does not include transportation to and from the events or the starting point of water tours. 

Each year, a limited amount of need-based scholarship funding is available.

For more information on the Water Leaders program visit https://www.watereducation.org/post/2023-california-water-leaders-application-package

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