The Intersection of Watersheds and Homelessness [audio]

“Perhaps the most important [intersection between homelessness and watersheds] that we don’t think about enough is the flood risk that is faced by the people experiencing homelessness. If they have placed themselves in stream ways or along the riparian corridors of our region, we have a Mediterranean climate here so many of our streams are dry most of the time, but when it does rain or when one of our flood control structures does do a release to move water around the watershed, a lot of water can come really quickly through our system. The people who are experiencing homelessness themselves are at risk of floods – their bodies, their lives are at risk, but also all their property is at risk of washing away. We’ve heard many stories of encampments quickly scurrying to get clear of water and then watching all of their property wash downstream. That property is a loss for them; it’s also a trash problem downstream. It also can be a flood problem downstream as it clogs pipes or other parts of the flood control system.” – Dr. Mike Antos

In this 2-part podcast series, Danielle Dolan moderates a conversation with Dr. Mike Antos to explore the intersection of homelessness and water management. Infinite Earth Radio is a weekly podcast that interviews visionary leaders, dedicated government officials, savvy businesses and forward-thinking individuals who are working to build smarter, more equitable, sustainable, and prosperous communities through social and economic inclusion that values the contribution of all citizens and seeks meaningful lives for everyone.


Dr. Mike Antos is a Senior Watershed Manager for the Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority, facilitating the One Water One Watershed program and leading engagement with members of disadvantaged communities for collaborative watershed management. Mike holds a PhD in Geography from UCLA where he remains a member of the Water Resources Group of the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. He is on the advisory board of the Loyola-Marymount University Center for Urban Resilience, a founding board member of the Mediterranean Cities Climate Change Consortium, and is a Fellow of the Robert & Patricia Switzer Foundation. Mike serves as co-chair of the American Water Resources Association Integrated Water Resources Management technical committee, and sits on the Technical Advisory Council of California’s Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resilience Program.
Danielle V. Dolan has been working in environmental education, engagement, and advocacy for the last 14 years, with the latter half in California water issues. Ms. Dolan’s current projects at the Local Government Commission include: leading a Water Strong Communities job-training program, assisting with code update assistance on both stormwater and water/energy efficiency; facilitating community engagement associated with legacy mining contamination in waterways; and a $2.5 million water-efficient landscaping program providing turf replacement incentives, landscaper job training, and community outreach in the San Joaquin Valley. Ms. Dolan is a 2015 Water Leader, a member of the California Roundtable on Water and Food Supply, and serves on the California Water Policy Conference Planning Committee.