Water, Arts, and Culture Accelerator

Water is our most important natural resource, essential to all aspects of life. The water challenges we face today are pervasive and mounting.  

Many communities suffer from poor water quality, too much or too little water, and aging water infrastructure that is in urgent need of replacement. Our water systems and management approaches are further stressed by the unprecedented impacts of climate change—unpredictable weather, sea level rise, flooding, migration, and more. The utilities that are managing our nation’s water systems are struggling to adapt to, and manage these, challenges. They recognize that business as usual is insufficient to ensure a sustainable water future for all. They are looking for new ideas and partners that will help them reimagine their approaches to water planning and management, while authentically connecting with the communities they serve. Some have started to collaborate with artists and culture bearers to do so.

This initiative will invite arts-water partnerships in four communities who are committed to working together to address a local water issue. Participants in the accelerator will have opportunities to connect with their peers to learn from and inform each other’s work as it is in process. The work of individual members and the accelerator itself will be documented and disseminated, so that the lessons learned can inform thinking and practice in other communities.

The four pilots will each select a climate-related water challenge to make progress on through the integration of arts and culture. We believe that bringing water utilities and artists together around climate issues will accelerate action on climate change in the water sector, boost long-term strategies and investments in between extreme events, and help utilities and vulnerable communities address climate trauma to find common ground solutions.

Meet the Accelerator Teams

The Alliance is excited to launch the Water, Arts, and Culture Accelerator in the fall of 2020! Four US Water Alliance member utilities will establish partnerships with local artists and accelerate action together on a climate-related water challenge:
Central Arkansas Water 
Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District
Philadelphia Water Department
Tucson Water