About Katie Porter at Brown & Caldwell, Darcy Bostic at Pacific Institute, and Laura Feinstein at SPUR

Katie Porter is an Executive Engineer for Brown and Caldwell, a full-service environmental engineering and construction firm. Ms. Porter also serves as a staff engineer for the California Urban Water Agencies (CUWA), a non-profit organization of eleven major urban water agencies that collectively serve about two thirds of California’s urban population.

Darcy Bostic joined the Pacific Institute in 2020 as a Research Associate. Her work focuses on the impacts of climate change on water resources and sustainable water management. Darcy holds a B.S. and M.S. in Hydrologic Sciences from the University of California, Davis. While in her M.S. program she researched the impacts of sustainability planning on domestic well operation and the governance challenges in sea-level rise adaptation in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her interests include groundwater governance, climate change adaptation, and community participation in water management.

Laura Feinstein is San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association's (SPUR) sustainability and resilience policy director, leading work on climate mitigation, adaptation and resilience. Previously she was a senior researcher at the Pacific Institute. Laura has led research projects on environmental justice, the water-energy nexus, safe and affordable drinking water, sea level rise and drought adaptation.

Building Resilience & Addressing Inequities in Small, Underperforming Drinking Water Systems

Unsafe drinking water is an urgent problem that disproportionately affects low‐income communities of color in California and across the U.S. In California, we’ve learned that the right environment and policies inspire stakeholders to come to agreement on prioritizing solutions that provide the best results based on each system’s unique problems. Improving water quality is more than choosing a technical solution. Community alignment and support, political willingness, and mutual agreement are all critical elements that, when combined with the right technical solutions, allow systems to thrive. In parallel with ensuring the right institutional and funding support systems are in place, we also need to choose and implement the most viable technical solutions for each system (which may in turn inform the support systems).