Popular Water Affordability Symposium Returns

By Divya Bharadwaj |


The UCR School of Public Policy hosted the second Southern California Water Affordability Symposium on May 18, 2023, featuring keynote speaker Director Dorene D’Adamo (Vice Chair of the California State Water Resources Control Board), as well as Distinguished Luncheon Speakers The Honorable Eloise Gómez Reyes (California Assembly Majority Leader) and Director Adán Ortega (Chairman of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California). 

The event was held at the UCR Highlander Union Building (HUB) Room 302 from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and featured a series of panel presentations and discussions surrounding water affordability challenges and possible solutions in the region.

“What is really unique about this symposium [is that] different perspectives associated with water affordability challenges and strategies will be explored through a panel and Q&A with local water providers, community partners who provide rate assistance to California households, and community groups,” said Associate Dean and faculty organizer Kurt Schwabe. 

The first water affordability symposium, hosted in 2019, focused on water and housing affordability as well as how county agencies were dealing with these issues. The 2023 symposium addressed these issues, including affordability, policies, perspectives, and challenges, as they pertain to the current year. It also raised awareness for problems with possible solutions.

“The purpose of this symposium is to better understand what water affordability looks like locally and statewide, understand how the issue compares to the main essential expenditure for California households, housing affordability, and then explore the challenges, strategies, and perspectives of water agencies, community groups, and the state,” said Schwabe. 


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The UCR School of Public Policy Seminar Series brings policymakers, practitioners, and researchers to UCR to talk about today’s pressing societal challenges. Learn more by visiting