Rural Community Assistance Corporation and EDF Open Applications for 2022 Water Leadership Institute in Tulare and Kern Counties

Ten-week program develops leadership skills to support equitable, long-lasting water solutions amid record drought

June 23, 2022
Ronna Kelly, (415) 293-6161,

(WEST SACRAMENTO, CA – June 23, 2022) Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC) and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) have launched the 2022 Water Leadership Institute for communities in the Tule Subbasin in Tulare and Kern counties to gain skills and knowledge to make informed, innovative, and equitable water decisions.

The Institute seeks to empower underrepresented and disadvantaged communities to participate more effectively in local groundwater management and water decision-making. Such community participation is critical as groundwater-dependent regions of California are finalizing plans to manage their groundwater supplies more sustainably to comply with the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.

Through a series of 10 free training sessions starting in August, the Institute will help participants build leadership skills and capacity to more effectively engage in water decision-making and develop equitable solutions. Participants will study topics such as local history and vision, water laws and water board management, leadership styles, strategic planning, and communication and storytelling.

“Water scarcity is a community problem that requires new teams of leaders and activists to solve. The Leadership Institute is a great place to develop leadership skills and gain deep water knowledge to play a more active role in solving water scarcity problems and building a better future for your community,” said Joseph Gallegos, a 2021 graduate of the Water Leadership Institute and entrepreneur.

The 2022 Water Leadership Institute will run from August 6 to October 22, 2022, with eight sessions online and two in person on Saturdays. Water management or leadership experience is not a prerequisite; all that is required is a commitment to participate fully in all the sessions and a strong motivation to serve the community. Residents of the Tule River Reservation and Tule Subbasin communities are encouraged to attend, including but not limited to Angiola, Allensworth, Alpaugh, Ducor, Earlimart, East Porterville, Pixley, Poplar, Porterville, Quality, Richgrove, Rodriguez Camp, Teviston, Terra Bella, Tipton, and Woodville.

Participants will receive a stipend for meals for each session.

Residents, community leaders, water managers and other stakeholders interested in attending the Water Leadership Institute must apply by July 25, 2022, at or

Additional resources:

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Founded in 1978, RCAC provides training, technical and financial resources and advocacy so rural communities can achieve their goals and visions. RCAC serves rural communities in 13 western states and western Pacific islands. Services are available to communities with populations of fewer than 50,000, other nonprofit groups, Tribal organizations, farmworkers, colonias and other specific populations. RCAC staff provides direct services in program areas including affordable housing, environmental services, economic development and lending. To learn more about RCAC, visit

One of the world’s leading international nonprofit organizations, Environmental Defense Fund ( creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. To do so, EDF links science, economics, law, and innovative private-sector partnerships. With more than 3 million members and offices in the United States, China, Mexico, Indonesia and the European Union, EDF’s scientists, economists, attorneys and policy experts are working in 28 countries to turn our solutions into action. Read and sign up for our On the Water Front blog at