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Partners in Water

Learn about Partners in Water, an initiative by the Wastewater Treatment Division to collaborate with community-based organizations that will serve as a model program for how the division will engage with priority communities.

Partners in Water

By partnering with passionate and knowledgeable community members and learning alongside the people that use our wastewater services, WTD will improve how we work.

Partners in Water is a program within the Wastewater Treatment Division (WTD) that builds on past community engagements to develop an enduring, responsive, and sustainable community partnership approach. The Partners in Water program was co-created by community representatives in partnership with WTD staff with the goal to:

  • Advance mutual priorities and needs of community organizations and WTD
  • Provide community organizations access to influence WTD programs, processes and decision-making
  • Engage community organizations efficiently, effectively, and consistently across WTD

Establishing a community partnership program aligns with King County’s equity and social justice goals by investing in long-term relationships with community partners that improve WTD’s service delivery for priority populations.

Addressing community needs

In 2023 as part of the program co-creation process, WTD asked Community Based Organization (CBO) representatives to share their organizations’ needs and the needs of their communities that WTD could help address. 

The most significant themes heard centered around funding, career development, educational programs, hiring practices, engagement in capital projects, and the desire for more communication about WTD services and rates.

CBO representatives emphasized the need for WTD to focus on the quality of the relationship between WTD and community organizations. They offered specific recommendations about the ways WTD could interact with community to improve process equity and inclusion.

Establishing grants for CBOs 

After identifying funding as a priority need, CBO representatives were asked to share their advice on funding options to carry out a successful relationship. The responses we heard consistently stressed the importance of WTD offering funding that is flexible, distributed quickly, and for longer periods of time. There was a consensus that a grant-type program would be the most beneficial for CBOs.

The Partners in Water program will launch 2-3 pilot projects in 2024 that meet the needs of community while also advancing the work of WTD. A request for applications for grant funding to support the projects will be advertised with a call for community organizations to partner with WTD to carry out projects.

How to apply for a grant

Stay tuned to this site for more information on Partners in Water grants, including when and how to apply.