The Southern California Affordability Symposium: What is the role of water?

February 6, 2020 @ 9:00 am – 11:00 am
UCR Alumni & Visitors Center
3701 Canyon Crest Drive Riverside
CA 92521

Southern California is no stranger to issues of affordable living. Of the myriad of expenses low-income families face, what is the role of water? Join us for presentations on issues of affordability in our region, followed by an audience-driven conversation with researcher and practitioner panelists. Light refreshments provided.

The Chair of the SWRCB, Joaquin Esquivel, will kick off the event and discuss some of the basic issues surrounding the reasons for and characteristics of AB 401, the state’s effort to require all public water agencies to have LIRA water rates.

UCR’s research will then illustrate two outcomes.  First, they’ll highlight the degree to which water expenditures are burdensome throughout EMWD’s service area (as a pilot study and as measured as a fraction of income), and how that burden differs across different income categories and water uses. Second, they’ll  highlight that there is no universal definition of “water affordability” and illustrate that it’s important to be clear about our definitions.

They’ll end by illustrating that how expenditures on water compare to expenditures on other essential services (e.g., housing, health care, transportation). The other featured speaker / PhD will go into a more in-depth discussion and illustration of the role housing plays in the discussion of affordable living in California.

Combined, both researchers will be putting together a case that effective approaches to address affordability and the cost of living in California, particularly Southern California, requires (i) a (science-based) understanding of the challenges households confront in terms of paying for essential services, (ii) that a portfolio approach is likely the most effective way to address these issues, and (iii) that there’s likely some efforts to address affordability that may provide more return in terms of reducing the cost of living to low-income households that other efforts.

In addition, Adan Ortega (of Ortega Strategies Group, MWD Board member, etc.)will share the practitioner’s perspective of this issue of affordability and LIRA.

And we have confirmed Sarah Mack who will be discussing housing affordability issues in Riverside County.

Click here to register.