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Communities Organizing for Better Water

Communities Organizing for Better Water is our campaign that aims to highlight of water inequities in Orange County. 


OCEJ conducted door-to-door surveys in the Orange County areas that faced the highest pollution burden, known as DACs (Disadvantaged Communities) in 2016-17. 

From the 4,163 survey participants, water quality was the leading environmental concern.


Therefore, UCI Newkirk Fellows, Orange County Coast Keeper, and OCEJ are collaborating together to bring you a community based scientific research model.

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2022 Fall Timeline TBD 

2021 Time Line

March '21

  • Recruit photovoice participants from Anaheim, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Orange, and Santa Ana

  • Identify resident leaders from Anaheim, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Orange, and Santa Ana to serve on the Community Advisory Committee (CAC)


  • Train residents in photovoice and develop their leadership capacity 

  • Residents’ co-facilitate analysis of photos and document water samples to synthesize water concerns 

  • Fellows document workshops

  • Support Photovoice participants to produce analysis of images taken by 3/31/2021

  • Produce policy brief by 4/30/2021


  • Outreach to water managers, political representatives

  • Co-lead forums with CAC to educate/engage stakeholders on research findings 

  • Evaluate forums with pre-post test survey data

  • UCI Fellows lead documentation of forums

  • Conduct two forums to engage watershed stakeholders and ensure the participation of at least 50 stakeholders at each forum by 5/31/2021

  • CAC members facilitate forum programs by 5/31/2021


  • Evaluation data collection, synthesis, and reporting

  • UCI Fellows develop training of trainers

  • Evaluation identifies strengths and areas of project improvement by 9/30/2021

  • Training of trainers is developed by 11/30/2021 for future implementation and scalability. 

Getting Involved 

OCEJ is using PhotoVoice as a means to showcase the experiences of those in disadvantaged communities concerning water quality. It is a way for members of our community to get involved and make their voice heard through the use of images.

Join our project and become an advocate for your community by contacting our Community Organizer, Keila Villegas at Know someone who may interested ? Send them our way or register to our next PhotoVoice Meeting by clickling button below.  

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