Water Leadership Program

The EFCN Water Leadership Program helps enhance early and mid-career water professionals’ leadership skills and occupational knowledge.

This free,12-week learning experience aims to give rising water leaders the training and resources needed to face challenges of utility management with confidence. Enrolled participants will attend a mix of live, interactive trainings and asynchronous learning modules created by our team of experts.

*The application period for the 2024 WLP Cohort Experience is now closed.

Though the full program is limited to accepted cohorts only, we also offer a free Water Leadership Seminar Series for those who cannot commit to the 12-week program. Read more below.

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2024 Water Leadership Seminar Series

Unable to participate in the full program? Join us for the abbreviated Water Leadership Seminar Series! All live sessions for this series will take place from 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM EST. Sessions include 1-hour of presentation time followed by a 30-minute discussion. Register today and learn how you can take your leadership skills to the next level!

Please Note: Participants who attend 3 out of 4 seminars will receive an EFCN Water Leadership Seminar Series Certificate of Completion.

▶ Navigating Workplace Dynamics: Working with Staff, Diversity, and Conflict Resolution | March 19, 2024

Water professionals are often so busy with day-to-day operations that “people skills” come second. From delegation and performance measurement to correcting unwanted behaviors, participants will learn how to address workplace issues with emotional intelligence and effectiveness. Topics include motivation, interpersonal communications, delegation and negotiating conflict. 


▶ Strategic Communication for Water Sector Leaders | April 2, 2024

Strategic communications is about knowing your audiences and how to reach them. There is not a “one-size-fits-all” approach. Knowing your community’s demographics and communication patterns can provide water sector leaders with insight into developing consistent and informative communication plans.


▶ Leading with Social and Emotional Intelligence | April 16, 2024

Understanding and recognizing our emotional responses and acknowledging the feelings of our peers can fundamentally change our approach as leaders. Leading with social and emotional intelligence can support enhanced team performance, communication, stress management, and resilience across industries and sectors. As water professionals, learning about social and emotional intelligence and challenging ourselves to apply it is the first step.


▶ Environmental Justice Perspectives in the Water Sector | May 2, 2024

What is environmental justice? In this session, we will learn about environmental justice and equity in the water industry, and ways we can use these perspectives to manage our utilities and make decisions with the communities we serve in mind.


2024 Regional Focus

This year, the EFCN Water Leadership Program introduces a regional twist in order to transform the learning journey for participants. This fresh approach is based on principles of community building, creating a more personalized learning experience, and is informed by valuable insights provided by our 2023 inaugural cohort.

We are currently seeking participants for cohorts in the Southwest and Midwest regions and New York/New Jersey.

Program Goals

Develop Leadership Skills

› Elevate your leadership capabilities and your occupational knowledge

Build a Professional Peer Community

› Join a collaborative network of water professionals for shared learning and information exchange

Strengthen Workforce Capacity

› Develop skills to retain and nurture talent through workforce planning training and support

Who the program is for:

  • You’re an early or mid-career water professional who wants to increase your leadership skills and knowledge to take the next step in your career
  • You want quick access to experts and chances to network with your peers
  • You’re excited about joining the next wave of Water Workforce leaders in the U.S.
Congratulations to the 2023 Water Leadership Program cohort!

“I’m planning to use the leadership knowledge that I gained to improve my communication skills in the workplace, to improve my collaboration skills, and to move into leadership roles within the water sector.”

Valerie Lovato, 2023 Geyser Leader Awardee

Water Leadership Program cohorts gain access to the following benefits:
  • Exclusive access to EFCN’s peer network
  • One-on-one career advice from experts
  • Editorial support for blog publication in EFCN’s Multimedia Library
  • Digital badge and certificate for your resume/LinkedIn

Questions? Contact:

Patrick Lynch

Program Manager
Syracuse University EFC

EPA Region 2

joni palmer

Project Director
Southwest EFC
University of New Mexico

EPA Region 6

Michelle DeHaven

Program Manager
Wichita State University EFC

EPA Region 7