WELL 12th Annual Statewide Conference

The Water Education for Latino Leaders (WELL) 12th Annual Statewide Conference will be held from Friday, March 15 to Saturday, March 16, 2024, in San Jose, CA!

WELL will bring together top water policy experts and practitioners to share their knowledge on California’s top water challenges and the opportunities to mitigate the impacts. Join us at our annual conference to expand your water knowledge and provide water solutions for your community. 

Conference Overview:

Friday, March 15:

2:00 pm - 4:00 pm - Tour of the Silicon Valley Advanced Water Purification Center
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm - Evening Reception hosted at the San Jose City Hall Rotunda & Screening of Water for Life 7:15 pm - 8:45 pm

Saturday, March 16:

9:00 am - 3:00 pm - Conference hosted at the Hilton San Jose Address: 300 S Almaden Ave, San Jose, CA 95110

MC Friday Night: Doriss Panduro, Councilmember, City of Fairfield, and WELL UnTapped Fellowship Fellow, Class of 2024

MC Saturday: Celeste Rodriguez, Mayor, City of San Fernando, and WELL UnTapped Fellowship Fellow, Class of 2024

Panel #1: How can we incorporate principles of equity into the design and upkeep of existing and upcoming water infrastructure projects?

Description: Panelists will share how we can invest and design water infrastructure projects to benefit minority communities that have historically been overburdened with ecological inequities. Questions to ask include: How can we keep water affordable while prioritizing infrastructure maintenance and conservation efforts? What investments in infrastructure improvement projects can be used to provide community benefits, such as local workforce development, neighborhood revitalization, and contracting and procurement for small, minority-owned, and women-owned businesses? What new and existing projects can be designed to preserve the long-term accessibility of water resources without harming local communities or the environment? 

Destiny Rodriguez, Trustee, State Center Community College District, and WELL UnTapped Fellowship Fellow, Class of 2024

Karina Cervantez, Managing Director, California Association of Mutual Water Companies
Derry Moten, Director of the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Culture, East Bay Municipal Utility District
Erick Orellana, Senior Policy Advocate, Community Water Center

Panel #2: How are extreme weather events impacting our water resources, infrastructure, and water quality?

Description: Panelists will share the impacts of climate change on communities and how early investments will support long-term water resources. Questions to ask include: How will climate change impact the long-term reliability of our water resources? How can we prepare our communities to mitigate the impacts of severe weather, droughts, fires, and flooding? How can local elected officials access funding to address water quality challenges in their communities?

Danielle Parra, Trustee, State Center Community College District, and WELL UnTapped Fellowship Fellow, Class of 2024

Heather Cooley, Director of Research, Pacific Institute
Jeanine Jones, Interstate Resources Manager, California Department of Water Resources
Dr. Jose Pablo Ortiz Partida, Senior Water and Climate Scientist, Union of Concerned Scientists

Pinning Ceremony for the WELL UnTapped Fellowship Class of 2024 and WELL AAPI UnTapped Fellowship Class of 2023

Inspirational Water Conversation: How can smaller and larger water districts plan for and invest in equitable water infrastructure in the face of climate change and extreme weather events?

Karin Eugenio, Director, Imperial Irrigation District, and WELL UnTapped Fellowship Fellow, Class of 2024
Debra Lucero, Former Supervisor, County of Butte; WELL UnTapped Fellowship Graduate, Class of 2022; and Boardmember, WELL

Tony Estremera, Director, Santa Clara Valley Water District, and Boardmember, WELL
Adan Ortega, Chair, The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California

Community Group Share

Panel #3: What state and local policy changes are needed to meet California's future water needs?   

Description: Panelist will discuss the policy changes and water management strategies needed to ensure sustainable water usage. Questions to ask include: How will changes to state and local water policy impact the management of our water resources in the next year? How will the renegotiation of water allocations for the Colorado River impact local and state economies and sustainability goals? How are water shortages in Native American Tribal Lands being taken into consideration?

Alma Hernandez, Mayor, City of Suisun, and WELL UnTapped Fellowship Fellow, Class of 2024


Dr. Newsha Ajami, Chief Development Officer for Research, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Ngodoo Atume, Water Policy Analyst/Researcher
Bianca Sievers, Deputy Director for Special Initiatives, California Department of Water Resources

Click here to view sponsorship opportunities. 

Need a hotel room? 

WELL has a room block available at Hilton San Jose, 300 Almaden Boulevard, San Jose, CA 95110

Click here to view the rooms available.


March 15, 2024 at 12:00pm - March 16, 2024


San Jose Hilton
300 Almaden Blvd
San Jose, CA 95110
United States
Google map and directions


Stephanie Nava-Angeles · · 9096702928


Who's RSVPing

Will you come?

$400.00 General Admission
$200.00 Elected Officials
Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.