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Water Governance & Power Dynamics Demystifying Special Districts in the San Joaquin Valley

Recent studies indicate many people in California are exposed to unsafe drinking water. This project responds to CA’s drinking water crisis through community-engaged research. This project considers the following categories: levels of contestation in water-related board membership elections; water-related board membership vacancies; demographics of water-related board membership, including, but not limited to race, ethnicity, and gender; length of service to a northern San Joaquin Valley water-related board. The first objective developed a collaborative study to contextualize debates around clean water in the San Joaquin Valley’s Latinx and low-income rural communities. The second objective endeavored to open a discussion on how power operates in relation to California’s water crisis and water-related special districts. This is the final phase of a two-year project. Data gathered in year-one aided in the development of a comic book to inform San Joaquin Valley residents about CA’s drinking water crisis, the role of water-related special districts in addressing the drinking water crisis, and how community members can address the crisis through water-related special districts. This project was initially funded in the first year of the grant and was chosen to be renewed. 


Luce Fellow:

Ivan Gonzalez Soto