Action for Water Equity

What’s exciting about this project is that it takes social infrastructure — social relationships and institutional arrangements — as seriously as it does physical infrastructure in solving water crises.

-Dr. Amber Wutich, Action for Water Equity Project Director

Our Mission

Action for Water Equity grows out of cutting-edge research and scholarship revealing severe water insecurity across the Global North. Water insecurity is a major problem in the United States, where more than 2 million people lack clean, consistent, and reliable access to water. Water insecurity is experienced across a wide variety of lifeways in the U.S., from renters and people living in mobile homes; disaster refugees and others living in substandard housing; American Indians and First Nations; Black and Hispanic communities; and colonias and disadvantaged unincorporated communities.

The Action for Water Equity Consortium was initially funded under the NSF Convergence program. Our work is a partnership between academic researchers, 72 colonias on the U.S.-Mexico border states, the Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP), Communities United, and the Rural Community Assistance Corporation. Our work is dedicated to understanding how integrated engineered and social infrastructures can meet the needs of water-insecure colonias. Working together, we created new methods for collaborative research, including community-based participant-observation to identify community needs (Roque et al. 2023). Our work revealed the need for new MAD (modular, adaptive, decentralized) systems to address water insecurity under climate change (Wutich et al. 2022, 2023).

The Action for Water Equity Consortium also receives funding from the State of Arizona under the Arizona Water Innovation Initiative. Our work is a partnership that is being launched as the Arizona Water for All Network, which will include academic researchers, Arizona communities, and community advocates and organizations. Founding members include RCAP, the NSF Household Water Insecurity (HWISE) Network, and ASU’s Center for Global Health and Kyl Center for Water Policy. Our work aims to: (1) measurably increase participation in water decision-making among Arizona’s most water-insecure communities, (2) measurably increase water security in Arizona’s most water-insecure households, and (3) advance measurement and monitoring of household water insecurity.

We welcome new members to our collaborations. Please email [email protected] if you wish to attend a public event our join our mailing list.


Seven multidisciplinary teams dedicated to improving water insecurity in colonias in AZ, CA, NM, and TX


See a gallery of our partners below and visit them at Arizona State University, National Science Foundation, Kyl Center for Water Policy, and ASU Future H2O


Five year grant provided by the National Science Foundation