Water Affordability Advocacy Toolkit: Deep Dive on Data Collection and Transparency

Thursday, 01/19/2023
2:30 PM ET

Event Info

This webinar builds on an earlier “Introduction to NRDC and NCLC’s Water Affordability Advocacy Toolkit” (recording here). The session presents a deeper dive on one of the toolkit’s modules: Data Collection and Transparency. Panelists will explore how to improve access to critical utility data on water affordability, including data on shutoffs, liens, arrears, and more, and how these data can be put to use in advocacy. Speakers include advocates who helped secure new data reporting requirements in Illinois, California, and New Jersey and supported efforts to develop model state legislation.

A one-page introduction to the toolkit is available here and the full version of the toolkit is here.


Larry Levine is Director, Urban Water Infrastructure & Senior Attorney at Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). He advocates for strong enforcement of, improvement of, and funding for national, state, and local policies on urban water quality, water infrastructure, and affordable access to safe and sufficient water and sanitation. His work includes developing and advocating for strategies to ensure that water and sewer service remains affordable for all, even as water infrastructure investment increases to meet clean water needs. Previously, he was a litigation fellow at NRDC; he has also worked as a clinical fellow in environmental law at the Georgetown University Law Center. He is a graduate of Tulane University and Yale Law School. He is based in Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia.

Karen Lusson is a staff attorney at the National Consumer Law Center. Karen focuses on energy and utility issues that affect low-income customers. Previously, she was the assistant bureau chief in the Public Utilities Bureau of the Illinois Attorney General’s Office. There her duties included representing Illinois residential ratepayers in litigation involving utility rate increase requests, rate design, ratepayer-funded energy efficiency programs, mergers, rulemakings, and low-income customer affordability issues. Prior to that, Karen was a staff attorney with the Illinois Citizens Utility Board and an assistant public counsel at the Illinois Office of Public Counsel. She received her bachelor’s in journalism and political science from Indiana University and her law degree from DePaul University College of Law.

Michael Claiborne is a directing attorney with Leadership Counsel for Justice & Accountability, a nonprofit organization that works alongside the most impacted communities in the San Joaquin and Eastern Coachella Valleys to advocate for sound policy and eradicate injustice to secure equal access to opportunity regardless of wealth, race, income and place.  Leadership Counsel works with community leaders on issues including safe and affordable drinking water, adequate wastewater service, basic transit services, quality affordable housing, and the right to live free from industrial pollution with infrastructure that supports healthy lifestyles. Mr. Claiborne’s practice is focused on finding solutions to water and wastewater issues affecting California’s most vulnerable communities, along with administrative advocacy and litigation to strengthen water quality regulations.

Register: https://rivernetwork-org.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0pd-Cupj8uGNyS-BLcHE_yWbnq-xMh1BUS