On July 7th, 2017, the Los Angeles Funders’ Collaborative hosted its third annual funders’ lunch  in partnership with Southern California Grantmakers. This year’s event focused on the intersection of water, equity, and smart growth-related issues.

Twenty-one funders attended the lunch, including several who already work on water-related issues, including including S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, the Water Foundation, and the Resources Legacy Fund.

Both the presentations by water experts and subsequent discussions yielded key insights on water-related issues in Los Angeles County that affect people, especially low-income communities of color.

Wade Crowfoot, CEO, the Water Foundation

  • 85 percent of water in Los Angeles originates from four river systems, all of which are under stress.
  • In Los Angeles County, the Water Foundation is supportive of a process that could yield significant public investment in stormwater infrastructure, which could help capture rainwater and create more greenspaces in low-income communities.
  • Water quality and affordability need to be part of integrated water management solutions, such as the One Water movement, an ongoing strategy to break down siloes.

Liz Crosson, Water Policy Advisor, Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti, City of Los Angeles

Mark Gold, Associate Vice Chancellor for Environment and Sustainability, Sustainable LA Grand ChallengeThe Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, UCLA

  • Multi-benefit projects could also help Los Angeles achieve water self-sufficiency, which could both generate green jobs and improve the quality of life for all residents.
  • Strategic water-related projects could be supported with funds from the recently passed park and transportation bonds in Los Angeles County (Measures A and M).

Ways Funders Can Engage on Water Issues

As with all gatherings of the Los Angeles Funders’ Collaborative, the agenda included a considerable amount of time for funders to ask questions and engage in a dialogue with the speakers. When asked how funders can learn more and make a difference, the speakers suggested the following:

To learn more about the Los Angeles Funders’ Collaborative, please contact Ron Milam.