Association of California Water Agencies

Water for All in California

Safe and Affordable Drinking Water

While most Californians enjoy access to safe, affordable drinking water, there are several communities throughout our state that don’t have such access. The legislature considered a number of alternatives to funding solutions to this public health issue including a tax on drinking water. RSE was tapped (no pun intended) by the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) to help build support for alternatives to a tax on drinking water that included existing bonds and other sources.

Water Tax Facts

The Water Tax Facts campaign was launched to help ACWA engage influential business organizations with constituents impacted by the outcome of the legislation. To provide information about safe drinking water funding alternatives and the water tax proposal, we created, a highly targeted digital and social marketing plan, and an email campaign designed to keep coalition members in the loop on throughout the effort.

In the final hours of the legislative session, the administration and legislative leaders coalesced behind the approach espoused by ACWA and others to allocate several funding sources including carbon tax credits to provide safe drinking water for all Californians.

The Water Tax facts coalition-building effort led by RSE included 221 members with 65 businesses and associations, 18 cities and 138 water agencies.

RSE was able to bring over 50 chambers of commerce, industry groups and trade associations into the coalition.

Voluntary Agreements

RSE supported the joint efforts of ACWA and the Northern California Water Association (NCWA) to advance Voluntary Agreements, a science-backed program habitat improvement projects, adaptive flows, and funding derived from collaboration of water agencies, local governments, and conservation groups. We created a logo and microsite to host the key information on the initiative, distilling the vast amount of language into an easy-to-understand format for stakeholders involved. RSE relied on primary research among frequent voters to identify broad support for the Voluntary Agreements and create the most salient messages.

Key data points were adapted into a paid digital campaign that targeted policy makers in Sacramento.