WRPI Community Water Internship Program (SAWPA)

To build and strengthen relationships with disadvantaged and underrepresented communities in the Santa Ana River Watershed, the Community Water Internship joins college students with local agencies to assist with engagement, public affairs, and education projects or programs.

The California State University and the Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority run the program, and the Water Resources and Policy Initiatives Disadvantaged Community Center (WRPI DACC) administers it.

The Community Water Internship is supported through SAWPA’s Disadvantaged Communities Involvement (DCI) Program and Proposition 1 funding from the California Department of Water Resources. The internship, a core component of the three-year DCI Program, provides students opportunities to learn about water management and community engagement through professional experience. It also connects students with career opportunities related to water management planning, environmental sustainability, and community organizing. Finally, as students are drawn from local CSUs and community colleges, the internship brings in and benefits members of the watershed who may otherwise be disconnected from the overarching DCI Program.

The DCI Program is intended to ensure the involvement of disadvantaged communities, economically distressed areas, or underrepresented communities in Integrated Regional Water Management planning. Over three years, the program team will gather a broad understanding of strengths and needs of these communities; they will build a bridge of familiarity between water stakeholders and community members; and they will ensure that solutions to previously documented and newly discovered needs are identified, advanced, and given every opportunity to achieve future implementation funding.

Public agencies and 501(c)3 non-profits will be eligible for the Community Water Internship, and students will work in pairs on a project at each organization starting in summer 2017.  Using the form below, your agency or non-profit can apply for two funded interns to assist with a project or program.  Eligible projects must include activities related to community involvement with water.  This is a broad definition, the key to it is the involvement, as that is the chief goal of the funding that supports the DCI Program.  If you are uncertain if a particular project would qualify, you may contact Mike Antos, Watershed Manager at SAWPA (mantos@sawpa.org), or Christina Rodriguez, Internship Manager at WRPI (chrodrig@csusb.edu).

Students from all academic departments can apply. Interest in natural resources management, public policy, environmental science, sociology, and similar fields is necessary for success in the program for both the student and the organization.

The DACI Program grant provides $4,500 for undergraduate students to work 20 hours per week for a total internship of 360 hours at $12.50/hour. Graduate student stipends are funded at $4,500 for 300 hours at $15.00/hour. Students are allocated up to $560 per internship for supplies and materials, including local transportation, which students need to complete their projects (to be approved by advisors). No single item may exceed $500, including tax.

Each intern will be required to submit a Final Report in digital format to the WRPI DACC detailing the water-related community engagement, public affairs, or community education activity undertaken. It is expected that in the Final Report, as well as in any future publications, students will explicitly state their affiliation with the WRPI Disadvantaged Communities Center Community Water Internship Program.

All students must complete an Online Application, a confidential 500-word personal Biography (including career goals and how participating in this internship will help to achieve them) and submit unofficial transcripts, the Supplies Order Form (if applicable), Release of Liability Form, and the Informed Consent for Data Collection Document (if agree).





Release of Liability Forms:


Travel Forms:

Supplies Order Form



Mentor Application


Sensitive Position Determination Form (SPDF)