On September 23, 2022, the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) Board of Directors approved filing the necessary legal documents to form a nonprofit ACWA Foundation to advance leadership development in the water industry by promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).


The ACWA Foundation envisions a California water industry that reflects, embraces, and represents the people it serves.


The ACWA Foundation exists to serve all Californians by advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion within the water industry through education, research and workforce development.

Why Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is Important

As the water industry continues to experience retirements and recruitment challenges, there is a need to invest in more scholarships, training, and mentorships that will allow ACWA to support its member agencies’ leadership development needs and succession planning efforts. Additionally, research indicates that increased DEI within organizations is tied to improved employee retention, productivity and better linkage between service-oriented entities and customers.

Governance Structure

The ACWA Foundation and its Board of Trustees operate separately and independently from ACWA and its Board of Directors. The inaugural, nine-member Foundation Board of Trustees was ratified on Nov. 18, 2022. The sitting ACWA President, Vice President and Executive Director serve as ex-officio, non-voting members.