OREGON WATER FUTURES
The Oregon Water Futures Project is a collaboration between University of Oregon, water and environmental justice interests, Indigenous peoples, communities of color, and low-income communities. In 2020 partners include a coordination team constituted by UO, Oregon Environmental Council, Willamette Partnership, and Coalition of Communities of Color, and community hosts: Chinook Indian Nation, PCUN, Verde, Euvalcree, NAACP Eugene-Springfield, and Unite Oregon. Through a water justice lens, we aim to impact how the future of water in Oregon is imagined through storytelling, capacity building, relationship building, policy making, and community-centered advocacy at the state and local level.
In 2020, project partners co-conceptualized and facilitated a series of conversations with Native, Indigenous Latin American, Latinx, Black, Southeast Asian, Pacific Islander, Middle Eastern, Arab, and Somali communities, including webinars on Oregon water systems, phone interviews, and virtual online gatherings. These conversations lifted up culturally-specific ways of interacting with drinking water and bodies of water; concerns around water quality and cost; resiliency in the face of challenges to access water resources essential for physical, emotional, and spiritual health; and a desire for water resource education and to be better equipped to advocate for water resources.
Funding for the Oregon Water Futures Project is provided by Meyer Memorial Trust, Oregon Community Foundation, Wildhorse Foundation, University of Oregon Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies, University of Oregon Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics, Resilience Initiative Seed Funding by the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation at the University of Oregon, University of Oregon Center for Environmental Futures (Mellon Foundation), and the Lazar Foundation.
Our research findings will be available to the public in May. We will have a public launch and talk on May 25th, 2021. Contact Dr. Alaí Reyes-Santos if you wish to receive updates.