Policy Agenda

The Association of California Water Agencies’ Board of Directors has adopted a strong policy commitment to comprehensive water solutions. With the active involvement of its member and coalition partners, ACWA is dedicated to advancing policies that improve water supply reliability, protect local agency decision making and promote an integrated, comprehensive approach to water policy and management.

ACWA’s policy agenda is driven by its Board of Directors through the adoption of policy principles and identification of goals in the association’s Strategic and Business Plan. In addition, ACWA’s various policy committees, including the State Legislative Committee, help identify issues of importance to member agencies.

Policy Principles

ACWA’s Board-approved policy principles and other policy documents can be accessed in our Resources section by searching “Policy Documents.”

Positions on Legislation

The 40-member State Legislative Committee, comprised of four members from each of ACWA’s 10 Regions, sets official state legislative policy positions on behalf of the association. ACWA State Legislative Relations Department advocates and analysts review relevant introduced and amended legislation and create policy analyses with accompanying recommendations. The committee reviews this information and approves positions on the legislation. The committee also provides recommendations to the Board of Directors on ballot measures and other major statewide policy issues.

A bill tracker and bill positions list can be found on the SLC page of the ACWA website. These tools detail the association’s positions on current legislation, the date that position was adopted by the State Legislative Committee and the ACWA staff working on the bill.

Strategic and Business Plan Goals

The ACWA Board of Directors, as noted below, has identified seven policy-related goals and three organizational-related goals as priorities for 2018.

Policy Related Goals

ACWA will take advantage of opportunities to advance comprehensive solutions, protect local agency decision-making and promote an integrated, comprehensive approach to water management that is key to California’s future.

  • Promote Safe Drinking Water Solutions for Disadvantaged Communities: ACWA member agencies are committed to providing their communities with safe drinking water and find it unacceptable that some disadvantaged communities in California do not have access to safe drinking water. ACWA will continue to develop and advance solutions in this area that are reasonable and effective without unjustly impacting ACWA’s members. ACWA will continue to oppose any proposed tax on drinking water and advance more appropriate funding solutions.
  • Promote Policy Advances on Headwaters & Forest Management: The catastrophic wildfires of 2017 underscored the fact that California’s forests are in a state of crisis. ACWA will continue to work with coalitions to educate audiences and promote policies at the federal and state levels to increase the pace and scale of forestry management, benefiting our headwaters and California water users.
  • Provide Leadership on Bay-Delta Flows & Conveyance Solutions: ACWA has made a strong policy statement supporting long-term Bay-Delta solutions as part of a comprehensive plan that works for the entire state and meets the coequal goals. ACWA will continue participating in the State Water Resources Control Board’s update of the Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan, encouraging support for collaborative processes and advocating against proposals that would unnecessarily restrict water availability for the public, agriculture and business.
  • Identify Strategies to Increase Groundwater Sustainability & Replenishment: ACWA will continue to advocate for ACWA members’ interests in state processes for Sustainable Groundwater Management Act implementation. ACWA will also lead by identifying strategies to increase groundwater replenishment.
  • Promote Water Storage Investments: ACWA will continue its leadership in advocating for effective processes at the California Water Commission in order to help the state succeed in allocating $2.7 billion in Proposition 1 funding for the public benefits of storage.
  • Advance Sound Energy Policies: ACWA will advocate for actions in the area of greenhouse gas emissions reductions and renewable energy that are reasonable and effective, taking into account that some ACWA members generate energy from large and small hydroelectric facilities, solar power and other sources of energy.
  • Promote Long-Term Water-Use Efficiency Measures: As the Legislature and the Brown Administration work to implement the 2017 report Making Water Conservation a California Way of Life, ACWA will advocate for policies that protect local decision-making, recognize the role of water supply investments, and promote sound policy on conservation and water-use efficiency.

Organizational Related Goals

ACWA will pursue opportunities to meet the needs of member agencies and ensure the organizational success and financial sustainability of the association.

  • Improve Organizational Stability: ACWA will strive to create a work culture and environment designed to attract and retain the best and brightest, becoming an employer of choice. ACWA will explore opportunities to increase competitive benefits offered to staff and continue developing and implementing programs that provide professional growth for employees.
  • Promote Financial Stability: ACWA will develop and implement a plan to address both short- and long-term liability issues, including funding post-employment health benefits (OPEB) and reducing interest costs. Additionally, ACWA will continue to develop new non-dues revenue sources and pursue solutions for ACWA headquarters.
  • Enhance Value to Members: ACWA will continue serving as California’s premier member organization on water issues. ACWA will focus on growing and retaining membership by building the value of participation through leadership, advocacy, education and service. ACWA will also ensure membership continues to provide relevance, value and affordability.

Download ACWA’s 2018 Stragetic and Business Plan Goals (PDF)