Water Quality Data and Climate Policy

Host: California Association of Sanitation Agencies (CASA)
Openings: 1
Project Focus: Climate Adaptation (e.g., sea level rise planning, environmental justice, climate migration planning), Climate Mitigation, Disaster Response and Preparedness / Emergency Management (e.g.,flood prevention, wildfire prevention, coastal protection), Ecosystem / Habitat Conservation / Biodiversity Protection, Energy Efficiency, Infrastructure Development – including Broadband, Public Health, Renewable Energy, Urban Planning, Waste Management, Water Management, Water Policy
Skills Needed: Project Management, Research, Data Analysis, Technical Writing,

Remote or On-Site Placement

Hybrid – Flexible hybrid schedule otherwise; 4 days a month in office, max.

Service Needs & Plans

The Fellow’s project will support California Association of Sanitation Agencies’ (CASA) efforts collaborating with the California Environmental Protection Agency (e.g. State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB), California Air Resources Board (CARB), CalRecycle), the California Natural Resources Agency (e.g. Ocean Protection Council, Department of Water Resources), and the United States Environmental Protection Agency. The Fellow will do this by providing empirical and quantitative data analysis of large datasets to inform recommendations that influence climate and environmental-related governmental rule makings and regulations affecting wastewater agencies, such as water conservation and supply resilience, water quality (ocean, surface, and groundwater), air toxics reporting, zero-emission fleets, vulnerability to sea level rise and extreme events, and energy resilience. The role is primarily data and advocacy focused, supporting local public water and wastewater municipality interests; it does not include fundraising, grant writing, or other alternative funding elements).

Project Description

1.The overarching goal of the project is for the Fellow to review and analyze complex datasets to support the development of empirically based recommendations to influence climate, resilience, and environmental-related governmental rulemakings and regulations.

2.The Fellow’s role in this project entails organizing, performing, and reporting on data analyses to support our regulatory program’s collaborations with federal, state and local policymakers. In addition, the Fellow may also monitor and/or attend public hearings, workshops, and other meetings to track developments in the proceedings the analysis is supporting.

3.The desired project outcomes include written summaries, illustrations, and recommendations on complex climate, resilience, and environmental matters for which regulatory agencies are adopting frameworks, standards, and other requirements. The Fellow may also report and present work to various audiences for feedback and direction on further data analysis and/or formatting.

4.The project deliverables will support CASA in its efforts to advocate for the development of sound public policy in response to climate change with practicable, cost-effective requirements for local public agencies providing essential public services to ensure they continue to protect public health and the environment.

Desired Skills
  • Strong communication skills (written and verbal)
  • Detail-oriented and organized
  • Critical thinker
  • Data collection, formatting/analysis, and visualization
  • Flexible/adaptable
  • Works well in a team
  • Motivated/autonomous
  • Research in or relating to environmental justice communities and related socio-economic demographics
Organization & Workplace Highlights

CASA represents more than 135 local public agencies and municipalities that engage in wastewater collection, treatment, recycling, and resource recovery. Our mission is to provide trusted information and advocacy on behalf of California clean water agencies and to be a leader in sustainability and utilization of renewable resources. We are a non-profit (501(c)(6)) representing public agencies, and our members’ primary goal is to protect public health and the environment. Our workplace is comparatively small (9 full-time employees), with most subject matter experts having advanced degrees or certifications (PhDs, engineers, attorneys). We are primarily remote, but frequently have opportunities for engagement and travel through meetings, conferences, workshops, and other venues.

Through our collaborations with Water Education for Latino Leaders (WELL), the California African American Water Education Foundation (CAAWEF), and other organizations we encourage our members to explore opportunities pertaining to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI). As a professional development opportunity, it is an excellent chance for a potential fellow to be exposed to state regulatory agencies, the state legislative process, water and wastewater essential public service issues, climate and resilience related issues, and have a meaningful impact on future public policy.

Community Highlights

CASA’s offices are located next to the capitol in downtown Sacramento. Our nine-member team is a tight-knit group of experienced professionals who work remotely except a handful of days each month. We represent local public agencies across California before the state legislature and regulatory agencies, so because our membership is statewide, our “community” extends across the state.

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