Santa Clara County has a new batch of water champions! In the most competitive admissions process to date, 21 community leaders were selected by the Valley Water Board of Directors this past January to participate in the 2021 Water 101 Academy. After completing the three-month program, they will be joining the growing network of Valley Water ambassadors this June.
The Water 101 Academy is a free Valley Water leadership program offered to Santa Clara County residents. It provides community leaders the opportunity to understand water issues and challenges affecting Santa Clara County and the state of California. Participants get an inside look at Valley Water and the infrastructure needed to continuously provide safe, clean water, flood protection, and environmental stewardship to our community. After the program, graduates become part of our network of year-round ambassadors.
Due the COVID-19 pandemic and current health guidelines, participants completed the Water 101 Academy between the months of March and May, via Zoom. The group remained engaged and took full advantage of learning directly from various subject matter experts, including project and program managers, engineers, and executive management. Participants learned about Valley Water’s budget, business units, critical projects and community outreach work.
The 2021 participants represented a diverse range of backgrounds, from students and community leaders to engineers and epidemiologists. What did they all have in common? A desire to learn more about the Santa Clara County water ecosystem and the energy to make a difference in advancing water and environmental stewardship initiatives in their communities. Equipped with an enhanced understanding of Valley Water and access to a new network of peers, these new Water Ambassadors are now ready to start making an impact.
“I am impressed with the breadth of information we received and excited to continue,” said a 2021 participant about his experience.
Water Ambassadors serve a critical role in helping to ensure the participation of our diverse communities in discussing the future of water in Santa Clara County. They actively seek to connect community members to accurate information and resources, serve as conduits for community feedback, advocate for safe, clean water, and promote healthy environments. These Water 101 Academy graduates are now part of a Valley Water growing network of community water champions!
Learn what recently graduated Water Ambassadors have been up to in the featured stories below:
- “Valley Water celebrates creek cleanup Volunteers and water ambassadors”
- “Water Matters: A family affair”
- “Empowered to take water conversation to the next level”
If you are interested in being part of our next Water 101 Academy cohort, the application for the 2022 session will open in fall 2021. Learn more at: www.valleywater.org/water101academy