December 1, 2022

For too long, our sector has been operating within systems in which race is a predictor of water access, affordability, quality, reliability, and resilience in the face of our increasingly disruptive and volatile climate. Though our current generation of water utility leaders is not responsible for setting these inequitable standards, we have the power to begin putting an end to them.
Today, the US Water Alliance is proud to release our Racial Equity Toolkit. Led by US Water Alliance staff and the consulting team at Water Savvy Solutions—and guided by the water sector and environmental justice experts in our Racial Equity Advisory Group—this Toolkit was developed to enable water utilities to work to improve their racial equity practices and outcomes both internally and externally.
The Toolkit contains instructions on use and implementation, a glossary of applicable terms and resources, and a rubric that clearly guides utilities on a four-phased approach to racial equity through focusing on five key themes: Organizational Development, Community Partnerships, Workforce Development, Capital Projects, and Customer Service.
Our nation has over 50,000 drinking water systems alone, and we know that each one operates within different structures, legal systems, histories, and other factors that will determine how they move towards achieving racial equity. This Toolkit encourages utilities to start wherever they are to find entry points and strategic levers to improve equity outcomes.
We look forward to your use, guidance, and feedback of our Toolkit, as it will evolve over time to best serve racial equity goals across the water sector.
With the growing urgency to achieve racial justice and a historic federal investment in water infrastructure, we are at a unique and opportune crossroads to make meaningful progress in addressing the water sector’s racial disparities and move towards an equitable water future.
Thank you for helping us advance this vital work!