Back to top

Webinar - Drought, Water, and the Economy: What We All Need to Know

Wednesday, August 10, 2016
11:00am - 12:00pm PDT
This program is a webinar.
Add to Calendar

Join this statewide webinar to learn more about the California drought’s impact on communities across the state—particularly marginalized and poor populations—as well as opportunities for philanthropy and nonprofits to take action. 

Water scarcity continues to impact the entire state, from agricultural regions to urban centers.  As this unprecedented drought continues, the legacy of variable rainfall will impact the state for some time to come.

But it’s not affecting all communities in the same way, especially when it comes to water management, access to water, or the impact of water scarcity on employment and the local economy. The inequities quickly become apparent as you begin to scratch the surface of these issues.

In this webinar, we’ll hear from leaders tackling drought issues across the state:

  • Joya Banerjee (@joya_Banerjee), Program Officer, S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation
  • Debbie Davis-Franco, Community and Rural Affairs Advisor & Local Drought Liaison, Governor's Office of Planning and Research
  • Alvar Escriva-Bou (@PPICWater), Research Fellow, Public Policy Institute of California - Water Policy Center 
  • Laurel Firestone (@CWaterC), Co-Executive Director, Co-Founder, and Attorney at Law, Community Water Center

Together we’ll explore the current state of the California drought, priorities for improved water management and water resiliency, and opportunities for nonprofits and philanthropy to improve resiliency among vulnerable communities and to promote innovation.


Joya Banerjee
Program Officer , S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation

Joya Banerjee joined the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation in 2009, and she is a Program Officer in the Environment Program. She leads the Foundation’s Water portfolio, which advances the integrated management of California’s water resources. Prior to joining the Foundation, Banerjee was an attorney at Latham & Watkins and worked for the City of New York, first with the Mayor’s Office of Operations and later with the Economic Development Division of the Law Department. She graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. Banerjee received a Juris Doctor degree from Columbia Law School, where she was Senior Articles Editor for the Columbia Journal of Environmental Law.

Alvar Escriva-Bou
Research Fellow, PPIC Water Policy Center

Alvar’s research explores integrated water, energy, and environmental resources management, including systems approaches, simulation and optimization of economic-engineering models, and climate change analysis. Previously, he worked as a civil engineer, managing and developing large infrastructure projects for local and regional governments and consulting firms in Spain. Escriva-Bou holds a PhD and MS in water and environmental engineering and a BS in civil engineering from the Polytechnic University of Valencia in Spain, as well as an MS in agricultural and resource economics from the University of California, Davis.

Laurel Firestone
Co-Executive Director, Co-Founder, and Attorney at Law, Community Water Center

Laurel Firestone co-founded and co-directs the Community Water Center (CWC), a nonprofit environmental justice organization based in the Central Valley. The CWC helps disadvantaged communities gain access to safe, clean and affordable drinking water. In 2016, she was listed as one of nine most influential people in California water policy by Environment & Energy Publishing. Firestone previously served as Director of the Rural Poverty Water Project at the Center for Race, Poverty, & the Environment under a 2004‐06 Equal Justice Works Fellowship. She was awarded the Gary Bellow Public Service Award by the Harvard Law School in 2013, and in 2010 she and her Co-Executive Director, Susana De Anda, were co-awarded the Carla Bard Advocacy Award from the Public Officials for Water and Environmental Reform (POWER). Firestone served on the Tulare County Water Commission from 2007‐12, and Co‐Chaired the Governor’s Drinking Water Stakeholder Group from 2012‐14. Firestone graduated with honors from Harvard Law School and holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Brown University. In 2009, she authored the comprehensive Guide to Community Drinking Water Advocacy.

No cost to participate

Who May Attend:
Current members of SCG, NCG, SDG, and CalNonprofits.

Register online through ReadyTalk.