Effective water management is vital to the economy, ecology, and well-being of 21st century California. Decision-makers today face issues ranging from an aging infrastructure to persistent water quality problems, and the complexity of these issues is compounded by climate change.

Over the next ten years, California will make decisions that critically define our ability to manage water through extreme hydrological conditions. Now more than ever, the state needs leaders who can cross boundaries, connect resources, and choose bold action that serves California’s communities, farms, and nature.

The Water Solutions Network seeks to empower these leaders and their organizations. The Network will connect and support individuals who value engaging all stakeholders and bridging differences to generate new solutions. The first cohort of up to 24 people will start to meet in April 2018 to discuss how to use their individual and collective creativity, energy, and resources to tackle our most pressing water challenges. Program costs will be underwritten by the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation.

Who should apply?

Ideal candidates represent a diversity of organizations, sectors, backgrounds, and perspectives with a shared commitment to driving transformational change across our water systems, including:

  • Activating a systems-based approach to water management

  • Working collaboratively to generate and implement solutions

  • Pursuing an equitable water future for all Californians and the environment

  • Focusing on impact and achieving meaningful, lasting results

  • Learning and encouraging innovation in water management policy and practice

Candidates should intend to work in water management or closely related fields in California during the entire program and to stay connected with the Water Solutions Network for the foreseeable future. Please review our Participant Profile here for more details.

For more details on the curriculum and network outcomes you can download the Network Curriculum & Outcomes Overview.



Aside from a $1,000 fully refundable deposit, there is no fee for participation in the Water Solutions Network. Transportation and lodging will be provided/reimbursed.


Time commitment

The Water Solutions Network begins with an immersive, six session leadership and network development experience. Our inaugural cohort will meet at locations across California in 2018:

  • April 4-6 (Santa Cruz)

  • May 2-4 (Riverside)

  • June 6-7 (Porterville)

  • September 11-12 (San Jose)

  • October 4-5 (Sacramento)

  • November 14-16 (Los Angeles)


the Selection Process

Participant selection will be conducted by the Water Solutions Network partners with input from Advisory Council members. In addition to assessment of candidate qualifications through the application review, consideration will be given to ensuring regional representation and reflecting the diversity of California. We expect a high number of applications and will consider both the qualifications of candidates and their ability to fully participate in the Water Solutions Network.

  • Applications and nominations are accepted through January 17, 2018.

  • Selected applicants will be interviewed the week of January 22, 2018.

  • Applicants will be notified of their status by March 5, 2018.