What is WaterTalks?

WaterTalks is a public program designed to generate and increase community involvement in planning a sustainable water future for California. Throughout its operation from 2018-2023, the program’s goal was to explore the strengths and opportunities of 128 communities in Los Angeles and Ventura counties facing ongoing economic and environmental distress, and to gather input to prioritize and recommend water-related projects based on issues of greatest concern.

WaterTalks was implemented in three phases:

  1. Outreach: Events were designed to educate and engage communities in the Los Angeles and Ventura counties facing ongoing economic and environmental distress, empowering them to engage in water planning including subsequent phases of WaterTalks. Workshops were held and a survey was distributed throughout the communities during 2019–2020 to identify community needs and priorities.
  2. Needs Assessment: Compiling and analyzing the data received during the outreach and surveys conducted in Phase 1. 
  3. Technical Assistance: WaterTalks staff held a series of webinars to teach community members how to develop and submit projects for funding consideration. WaterTalks also built an application to assist in evaluating projects for funding. Finally, several projects and programs were developed to help address the needs identified in Phase 2.

What is IRWM?

Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) is a collaborative effort to identify and implement water management solutions on a regional scale that increase regional self-reliance, reduce conflict, and manage water to concurrently achieve social, environmental, and economic objectives. This approach delivers higher value for investments by considering all interests, providing multiple benefits, and working across jurisdictional boundaries. Examples of multiple benefits include improved water quality, better flood management, restored and enhanced ecosystems, and more reliable surface and groundwater supplies. To learn more, follow the links below:

Find Your Community’s WaterTalks Resources

Click on your region to find out more about community-specific projects, resources, contacts and more.

Tribal Allyship

Tribal Allyship Workshops were held in 2022-23 to help non-tribal communities understand best practices in engaging and working with tribal and indigenous communities. The Needs Assessment Report summarizes data and analysis of tribal input regarding water-related needs and issues.  Input was received through outreach to tribal communities in 2022-2023.

Click here to visit the Tribal Allyship page.

Path To Tap

Use the Path to Tap tool to find out more about your tap water and how it makes its way to your home.


Kevin Johnson, MA, MPA, Program Manager II
LA County Public Works
Email: kejohnson@dpw.lacounty.gov
Phone: (626) 458-4354

Lee Alexanderson, P.E., Senior Civil Engineer
LA County Public Works
Email: lalexanderson@dpw.lacounty.gov
Phone: (626) 458-7141