Video: CA Water Associations Host Second Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Panel


On February 16th we hosted our second Diversity in California Water panel discussion. Two California water leaders shared lessons learned to support DEI efforts within their agencies. The agencies are members of the California Urban Water Agencies (CUWA). They have developed a DEI Toolkit for water and wastewater agencies to help support their diversity programs. The toolkit shares ideas and progress stories to support the development of DEI programs in California’s water sector.

The toolkit summarize best practices from member agencies, including: sharing lessons learned through DEI program implementation; compile resources/examples; and complement broader frameworks.

Download the toolkit DEI at

The webinar began with one of CWEA’s new diversity moments, called a JEDI-Opener (which stands for justice, equity, diversity and inclusion). More details about CWEA’s diversity moments is coming soon.

The Diversity in California Water webinar series is supported by California’s water associations, including: ACWA, BAYWORK, CA-NV AWWA, CASA and CWEA.

About our panelists

Alejandra Haro is the Senior Administrative Analyst with the Human Resources Department at Alameda County Water District. In this role Alejandra oversees a number of new projects, policy and process implementation, employee relations, the districts employee engagement action plan, and leads the Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Council.

As the program manager for the district’s DEI program, she helps influence district wide best practices to support and create a climate of inclusion. She has been with ACWD and in this role for two years.

Ms Haro earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology from California State University East Bay. She has worked in local government for over fifteen years and has dedicated her career in providing services to those in her community. As a lifelong bay area resident, she continues to provide support to her hometown by volunteering for local organizations focused on assisting families and children in need.

Cathleen Chavez-Morris (she/her/ella) is a Utility Services Manager with LADWP’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). During her 10-year tenure with LADWP, she has managed outreach, education and partnership programs aimed at encouraging customers to reduce water waste and improve water efficiency.

As a DEI practitioner, she is tasked with implementing DEI policies and programs that help to create a more diverse workforce and inclusive organization.

Mrs. Chavez-Morris graduated with a B.S. in Geological Sciences from California Polytechnic University, Pomona, and an M.S. in Environmental Studies from California State University, Fullerton. She also has an Executive Education certificate from Cornell University in DEI and will complete a Public Policy certificate focused on workplace and public services equity from Harvard University in 2022. In her spare time, she serves as a DEI committee member and DEI trainer for Sigma Kappa National Sorority.

Dale Hunter is the founder of The Hunter Group, a full service government relations consulting firm. Based in Sacramento, THG provides strategic consultation and external communications support for clients in California.

Hunter is also the Executive Director, California African American Water Education Foundation (CAAWEF). Formed in 2019, CAAWEF is a statewide nonprofit water education organization focused on the African American community. The historic organization is governed by a nine member, regionally diverse board of directors.

Prior to starting his own company, he served as the State Government Director for PG&E. He is also the former Chief Lobbyist and State Government Relations Director for MWD. Before joining MWD, he was a consultant for the Western States Petroleum Association.

He attended the Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government, John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He is a former CORO Fellow (Los Angeles) and CORO Board Member. The former news reporter received his Journalism Degree from the University of Northern Colorado (Greeley).

About CUWA

Established in 1990, the California Urban Water Agencies (CUWA) is a non-profit corporation of 11 major urban water agencies that are responsible for serving drinking water to about two-thirds of California’s population. As the collective voice for the largest urban water purveyors in California, CUWA provides a technical perspective to promote common understanding and consensus solutions among the urban water community.