Within our national network, WECR Caucus members have the opportunity to connect, build relationships, and work collectively on specific regional water and climate challenges. WECR Regional Groups offer recurring space throughout the year for core members, allies, and some external partners/experts to come together to share challenges, lessons learned, and resources. Each group is led by two Regional Co-Chairs who represent WECR Caucus Core Member organizations, and supported by PolicyLink staff.

Western Regional Workgroup

The WECR Western Regional Group holds monthly calls for communities of color, low-income communities, and frontline communities to foster a space for water and climate leaders in the West to connect and lift up local approaches and solutions. The Workgroup is collectively developing a regional federal policy agenda related to impacts of climate change on water supply, water affordability, oppose false solutions (e.g., desalination, dams, etc.), and pursue equitable implementation of federal policies that affect environmental justice communities in the West. 

This group has a particular focus on rural communities, communities in urban areas that have been historically divested in, farmworker communities, and communities with decentralized water systems (e.g., well owners). The group is working on key water and climate challenges such as:

  • Drinking water quality, including groundwater contamination, pollution, and agricultural runoff.
  • Water availability, including changes in climate, agricultural water use and overuse, sustainable groundwater withdrawals.
  • Water affordability, including implementing the human right to water in California and advancing this right as a model for other states, advancing low-income water assistance programs, and pushing for more equitable rate structures.
  • Community water governance, including increasing knowledge of and access to federal funding and ensuring implementation of federal policies such as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill (BIL) and Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). 
  • Addressing climate impacts, including drought and flooding, increased temperatures, and heat island effects in environmental justice communities.

Western Regional Co-Chair:

  • Community Water Center
  • PolicyLink

Southern Regional Workgroup

The Southern Regional Workgroup holds quarterly calls to collectively establish principles, goals, policy initiatives, and organizational support for Southern-based local and regional water justice focused organizations that advocate for and work with communities of color, low-income communities, and frontline communities in the South. The workgroup enables peer learning, strengthens and expands existing water and climate justice movements, and collectively develops a regional federal policy agenda.

The group is working on key water and climate challenges, including, but not limited to:

  • Impacts of climate change on water supply and water quality.
  • Water affordability.
  • Equitable and sustainable water solutions, such as green stormwater infrastructure, ecosystem restoration, more.
  • Strengthening workforce development in the water and climate sectors in local communities.
  • Equitable implementation of federal policies that affect environmental justice communities in the South, such as State Revolving Fund implementation from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and more.

Southern Regional Co-Chairs:

  • Bayou City Waterkeeper
  • The Water Collaborative of Greater New Orleans