NOTICE: State Water Board Racial Equity Action Plan- Upcoming Board Workshop and Public Comment Period

From the State Water Resources Control Board:

We heard you and we are taking action to advance racial equity. 

The State Water Board requests your feedback on our draft Racial Equity Action Plan. The draft Racial Equity Action Plan is intended to advance the State Water Board’s efforts to create a future where we equitably preserve, enhance, and restore California’s water resources and drinking water for all Californians, regardless of race, and where race is not a predictor of professional outcomes for Water Board employees.

Your feedback is vital to help the Water Boards advance racial equity. Public comments will be received through October 24, 2022, at 5:00 p.m. 

 5 ways to engage and share your feedback:

1) Review the draft Racial Equity Action Plan. 

The draft Racial Equity Action Plan will be available on the State Water Board web site from September 23, 2022, through October 24, 2022, at 5:00 p.m.  (or see document embedded below):  https://www.waterboards.ca.gov/racial_equity/resolution-and-actions.html 

 2) Send written comments by October 24, 2022, at 5:00 p.m. 

    • Email: send to commentletters@waterboards.ca.gov with subject line ”Comment Letter: Racial Equity.” 
    • Mail: Jeanine Townsend, Clerk to the Board; State Water Resources Control Board, P.O. Box 100, Sacramento, CA 95812-2000   

3) Provide verbal public comments during a State Water Board workshop on October 19, 2022 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.  

This meeting will occur at a physical meeting location (Coastal Hearing Room – Second Floor , Joe Serna Jr. – CalEPA Building, 1001 I Street, Sacramento), but there will also be an option for the public to participate from a remote location. 

 For members of the public who wish to provide comments remotely, additional information about participating telephonically or via the remote meeting option will be available at least 10 days before the meeting at https://www.waterboards.ca.gov/board_info/remote_meeting. 

Members of the public who wish to watch the workshop but not provide comments can do so at https://video.calepa.ca.gov. Click on the video icon under the corresponding date and event. Please note that the link to the webcast will be available a few minutes before the workshop begins. 

4) Spread the word about the opportunity to inform the Water Boards’ racial equity work. 

    • Forward this message to others you know. 
    • Share on social media. Here is a sample Twitter message:  

@CaWaterBoards seeks feedback on its draft Racial Equity Action Plan thru 10/24 @ 5pm. The Action Plan incorporates input from listening sessions w/ public & employees. bit.ly/3x2dks8 

5) Sign up for the Water Boards Racial Equity email list.  

    • Visit our email subscription page. 
    • Navigate to the “General Interest” section, select “Racial Equity Initiative,” and enter your information. 

Action Plan Background 

Racial equity occurs when race can no longer be used to predict life outcomes and when outcomes for all groups are improved. Last year, on November 16, 2021, the State Water Board adopted Resolution No. 2021-0050, “Condemning Racism, Xenophobia, Bigotry, and Racial Injustice and Strengthening Commitment to Racial Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, Access, and Anti-Racism” (Racial Equity Resolution) which affirmed our commitment to racial equity and directed staff to develop a Racial Equity Action Plan to achieve racial equity throughout all Water Board programs and activities. 

Community input has been so important during the Action Plan development process. Throughout spring 2022, Water Board staff, community partners, tribes, and communities impacted by racial inequities began to identify potential actions to incorporate into a draft Racial Equity Action Plan. Also, in April 2022, the Water Boards began soliciting requests for government-to-government tribal consultations.

The Water Boards’ Racial Equity Team compiled draft actions that reflect feedback from these discussions and partnered with community leaders to host four public workshops and two employee listening sessions to present the draft action ideas and help ensure that the draft actions and goals match assets and opportunities of the communities we serve. The resulting draft Racial Equity Action Plan sets priorities for the State Water Board to address racial inequities and identifies metrics to measure progress.  

For more information, please visit our website: https://www.waterboards.ca.gov/racial_equity/resolution-and-actions.html 

For any questions, please email racialequity@waterboards.ca.gov. 

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