GreenLatinos believes that Latino communities have a right to access clean, reliable, and affordable water for drinking, recreation, economic stability and for community health. We also believe that clean and healthy water is vital to a healthy environment. Water is a human right and unfortunately our communities have access in disproportionate ways.
To this day millions of people are without safe, clean, and affordable drinking water throughout the U.S. and many are in Latino and BIPOC communities. Our infrastructure is aging, and it will take billions to replace in the next twenty years. As federal funding for infrastructure is decreasing, utilities are raising their prices and water is becoming unaffordable in low-income communities and communities of color. Moreover, to this day, more than two million people in the U.S. lack the basic access to clean water and our Latinx communities are twice as likely to lack complete plumbing in their households. There is a clear need and a lack of federal funding to protect clean water for the most vulnerable in our community. While our nation's water is under threat, now more than ever, our Latinx community needs to be at the forefront to advocate for equitable policies that protect our water and our community’s right to access it.
GreenLatinos and our water equity core priority is addressing these issues through awareness, advocacy for strong policy, investment, and outreach in our communities that advances clean water access and affordability. GreenLatinos work on water equity seeks to advance our Latino communities through infrastructure investment, access to clean water for rural and urban communities, addressing water affordability and advancement of racial equity.
The Water Equity Working Group at GreenLatinos focuses on the current issues and opportunities in and around water-related issues. The working group seeks to address and advocate for water equity, affordability, and accessibility.
The working group focuses on these efforts through sharing information and resources, uplifting and learning from our Latinx experts and leaders in the water sector, and taking direct, intentional, and meaningful action. The group has efforts in place to defend water protection at the national level especially rollbacks to clean accessible water.
Additionally, we seek to make water protections more just to our Latino and communities of color. The recent repeals of legislation that protects our clean water, and the rollbacks that make it easier to pollute our surface water are only helping to create disparities in an already unjust water system. We are supporting legislation to provide clean and affordable water, this includes water moratoriums, infrastructure funding with an environmental justice lens, and subsidizing water costs for low-income and communities of color through grants.
We work on recognizing that water is intersectional with climate change, public health, wildlife, and habitat. Our working group is learning how to better advocate for clean water access in rural agricultural communities, as well as urban communities. By advocating for water equity, affordability, and accessibility for our Latinx, and other communities of color, we understand the huge positive impact it can have on our communities and on our environment.
GreenLatinos has included racial equity and environmental justice within its working group discussion. Recent discussions in our working group calls have included speakers from different organizations focusing on water management to vulnerable communities.
GreenLatinos has been involved in fighting trump rollbacks actions to dismantle our clean water, including but not limited to, the Navigable Waters Protection Rule aka Dirty Water Rule, Section 401, Water Quality Certification Rule, Coal Ash Rule and much more. We joined forces with other Latino organizations to denounce their attempt to dismantle the Clean Water Rule part of the Clean Water Act. We have joined sign-on letters to Congressional leadership in solidarity with other environmental groups on clean water issues.
GreenLatinos has also provided training for GreenLatinos members on water issues and then letting them advocate members of Congress every year during GreenLatinos’ National Fly-Ins, and we have also helped advocate for water issues by having GreenLatinos staff and leadership speak on water issues at a wide variety of in-person and digital events and conferences.