CWI Interim Director Laura Ramos Appointed to State Advisory Group on Wastewater

California Water Institute Interim Director Laura Ramos has been appointed to the California State Water Board’s Wastewater Needs Assessment (WWNA) Advisory Group. The WWNA is a four-year assessment project, that began in July 2023, to provide information on and strategies to address California’s water-related sanitation system needs. This first-of-its-kind study has two phases:  

• Phase I, understanding baseline conditions of California’s wastewater infrastructure and  

• Phase II, identifying wastewater systems of concern and potential solution 

As part of the Advisory Group, Ramos will advise the WWNA project team to develop a statewide assessment for Californians’ equal and human right to sanitation and safe wastewater management and critical wastewater infrastructure needs. The Advisory Group will provide key input to and feedback on the WWNA as it develops. Recommendations will be brought to the State Board through a public process. 

According to the Water Education Foundation, Californians generate roughly four billion gallons of wastewater each day. This study aims to understand how many of the state’s 100,000 miles of sewer lines and more than 900 utility providers and treatment plants provide adequate and equitable service. The California Water Boards awarded the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation (LCI) and its partners $4 million over a four-year period, to assess the needs of California’s wastewater systems.  

Partners include the Office of Water Programs at California State University, Sacramento, the UC Agriculture and Natural Resources system, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst.