The Western Urban Water Coalition (WUWC) was founded in 1992 at a time when the West was facing rapidly growing populations in most of its major cities and increasing demand on finite water supplies, as well as a number of environmental challenges. The leaders of several western water agencies formed WUWC to create an organization of the West's major water agencies that would speak from the perspective of the large and fast growing urban areas. Concluding that no existing association of water agencies had this focus, the WUWC founders sought to create an organization that would be a progressive voice for the urban West on issues of water policy and management. They set out to build an organization that would facilitate cooperative state-to-state and utility-to-utility discussions and information-sharing, and become a spokesman for the urban West in a debate which had traditionally been held by government and agricultural interests. Urban leaders, and environmental interests, were rapidly joining the discussion.
The result was the first unified voice addressing urban water issues in the West, as WUWC brought together an impressive coalition of municipal agencies dedicated to finding solutions to the unique issues impacting western water utilities. WUWC's focus has been on comprehensive conservation and water management policies, changing the role of urban agencies in the national water debate, and protecting the environment and our water resources. The WUWC is proud to characterize itself as "A Progressive Voice for Western Water Users."
Officially announced on June 30, 1992, WUWC included the following founding members with their positions at the time:
Carl Baronkay, General Manager, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
Chips Barry, General Manager, Denver Water Department
Don Christiansen, General Manager, Central Utah Project
Patricia Mulroy, General Manager, Las Vegas Valley Water District
This group and the initial members of the Coalition adopted the motto – "For the Future of the West" – and went to work. The WUWC grew rapidly to reach its current size of 16 members representing almost every large city in the West.