Apply for California’s Premier Water Leadership Program by Dec. 7
Deepen water knowledge, build leadership skills during program's 25th anniversary; ACWA fellowship available
The Water Leaders class, which started in 1997, is aimed at providing a deeper understanding of California water issues and building leadership skills by working with a mentor, studying a water-related topic in-depth and crafting policy recommendations on that topic with your cohort.
The deadline to apply for the 2022 class is Dec. 7 at 5 p.m. Find the online application form and other required items for your application package here.
Remember, this is a competitive program so make your written application your best effort. You can find tips on completing your application from Executive Director Jenn Bowles, who recorded a recent Q&A session. You can also access a Frequently Asked Questions section on the application package page noted above.
Who should apply:
The program is geared toward those who are between their early to mid-career and work for a state or federal agency such as the Bureau of Reclamation, California Department of Water Resources or State Water Resources Control Board; a nongovernmental organization; a water or irrigation district; or a private company.
Many cohorts have included lawyers, scientists, engineers, communicators and educational specialists, environmental advocates, farmers, planners and legislative aides. You can view profiles of some of our graduates here.
Among other things, members of the Water Leaders class:
- Attend our annual Water 101 Workshop to get a statewide understanding of the historical, legal and management aspects of water in California.
- Spend a day “shadowing” a mentor, who is a major water leader from government, urban, agriculture, environmental organization, private business or public interest group.
- Interview the mentor about an issue selected for the class project.
- Present policy recommendations to the Foundation’s Board of Directors.
In addition, class members attend two of our popular water tours, including the mandatory Bay-Delta Tour to learn about the hub of the state’s water system and the largest estuary of its kind in western North America.
Working with mentors:
A hallmark of our program is the chance to work with a mentor. Recent mentors have included Gloria Gray, board chair of Metropolitan Water District of Southern California; Laurel Firestone, board member of the State Water Resources Control Board; Paul Cook, general manager of Irvine Ranch Water District; and Clifford Chan, general manager of East Bay Municipal Utilities District.
Tuition & scholarships:
We have a limited amount of scholarship funding available, and those seeking a full or partial scholarship must include a statement of financial need with their application.
Of note, employees of a public member agency of the Association of California Water Agencies may apply for the John P. Fraser Water Leaders Fellowship. Special consideration will be given to ACWA member agencies with 100 or fewer employees; with annual adjusted operating budgets of less than $10 million; and without (or with limited) budgets for professional development.