Today begins a three-day learning exchange for members of the Water Equity Taskforce. Over 50 people representing the cities of Atlanta, Camden, Cleveland, Louisville, Milwaukee, and Pittsburgh have come to Buffalo to share accomplishments, identify challenges, and give updates on the progress each team has made in the last year. While here, taskforce members will be shown a number of initiatives underway in Buffalo. To kick off their time in the city, Buffalo’s own water equity taskforce team took their peers on a site visit to places that are integral to our city’s equitable water future.
“I am proud to welcome the US Water Alliance and all of the network cities to Buffalo and have the opportunity to share with them all of the amazing things that are happening in the city, under the leadership of Mayor Byron W. Brown,” said Oluwole “OJ” McFoy, General Manager of Buffalo Sewer and Chairman of the Buffalo Water Board. “Over the past year, our Taskforce members have had the opportunity to travel to the other cities and experience the work they have been doing, and we have learned a lot, so I am thrilled that we now get the chance to show off what we are doing here in the City of Buffalo.”
After a visit to the Northland Workforce Training Center to learn about Buffalo Sewer’s green infrastructure initiatives, workforce development to fill the water sector work pipeline, and Imagine LaSalle, taskforce members will head to the Col. Ward Pumping Station for a tour, and then to School 77. Over the next two days in Buffalo, the teams will discuss “hot topics” that have emerged in their own cities, and come up with possible solutions.
Buffalo’s Water Equity Taskforce brings utility managers, community representatives, and local philanthropy to a shared table. In April, the Buffalo team became the first city to develop and release its opportunity roadmap entitled An Equitable Water Future: Buffalo. The roadmap discusses the critical topics in water equity and sums up the challenges, describes promising practices that are currently underway, and highlights a priority action that stakeholders in Buffalo can take to advance equitable water management.
The Water Equity Taskforce is a network of cities that work together to develop more equitable water policies and practices. This initiative is advancing understanding of the challenges, opportunities, and promising interventions to promote equitable water management.