ACWA Regions Discuss What’s Ahead in California Water

ACWA Regions 9 and 10 came together, once again this year, to jointly host our annual fall program. With all of the “Delta Fix” issues and updates, a changing economy, and the hunt for a secure water supply, the landscape of California water is always changing. A workgroup appointed by the Region 9 and 10 boards came together to plan a program that addresses these timely concerns titled, “The Future of California Water: What’s in Store and How to Prepare.” 

More than 60 members gathered at Western MWD’s Operations Facility in Riverside Oct. 19 to hear from those in the trenches on Delta issues, learn how agencies are managing more with less, and to find out how agencies are creating water supplies for the future.

Western MWD General Manager and ACWA Region 9 Vice Chair John Rossi began the day by welcoming everyone to Western’s facility and honoring a fellow Region 9 board member who recently passed, Steve Robbins.

Dr. Vivienne Bennett, a professor at CSU San Marcos, kicked off the program with her keynote presentation about the water crisis of Monterrey, Mexico.  Dr. Bennett’s presentation painted the picture of an underlying water crisis during the economic growth period called the “Mexican Miracle,” when the population of Monterrey grew faster than any other city, and the resolution that followed. Her presentation outlined her fascinating study of the politics of water system management and public policymaking in Mexico.

Following the keynote presentation, the first panel discussion gave a briefing on the Delta Fix. Representatives from the Department of Water Resources, the Delta Stewardship Council, and Metropolitan Water District of Southern California filled out the panel to talk about where the BDCP process is and the future of the Delta.

ACWA Executive Director Timothy Quinn gave an ACWA update at lunch before the afternoon panels began. The first panel, “Managing a New Reality,” covered how agencies are adjusting their business practices while maintaining a high-level of customer service in tough economic times. Attendees heard from Cucamonga Valley WD, Irvine Ranch WD, Jurupa CSD, and Indio Water Authority.

The last panel discussion of the day was, “Water Supplies for the Future.”  Presentations covered the need for a long-term focus on protecting the local water supply by reducing salt content, San Diego’s recycled water study, and Indo Water Authority’s re-formation following a redevelopment agency’s dissolution. The day concluded with a walking tour of Western MWD’s onsite Solar Project.

This year’s joint program was a great success – due in large part to our Planning Work Group and Western Municipal Water District’s generous hosting. Make sure to take a look at all the great presentations from the day that are posted at www.acwa.com, or click here.