ACWA Statewide Conference Drawing California Water Leaders to Sacramento

  • by Will Holbert
  • May 9, 2018
  • Water News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – ACWA launched its 2018 Spring Conference & Exhibition in Sacramento this morning with forums, presentations and speakers giving attendees an in-depth look at the myriad issues affecting California water managers.

The conference, themed “CA Water: Building for the Future,” runs through May 11. Online registration is closed, but onsite registration is available.

Kicking off the event, ACWA Board President Brent Hastey welcomed attendees to the conference’s Opening Breakfast, which featured Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) Board Chairman Randy Record as keynote speaker. Record offered audience members an inside look at how his board reached its April 10 decision to assure the majority of funding for California WaterFix, the plan to address Bay-Delta conveyance with underground tunnels.

“We had a fundamental choice to make. I’m very proud of my board,” Record said. “I think we sensed the gravity of the moment. … if we don’t fix this system, we’re going to eventually lose this system.”

Also during the Opening Breakfast, Carmichael Water District General Manager Steve Nugent received this year’s Excellence in Water Leadership Award, highlighting his leadership and commitment to collaborative regional integrated water management through the American River Pipeline Conveyance Project.

Following the Opening Breakfast, more than 1,300 attendees had access to approximately 80 vendor exhibits, including exhibitor demonstrations, along with forums on statewide issues such as the fiscal impacts of cannabis cultivation on the water community and the latest advances in forecasting through NASA’s Airborne Snow Observatory.

Conference attendees also received a national perspective on water issues during Wednesday’s luncheon with keynote speaker U.S. Deputy Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, who discussed his department’s priorities for California Water during 2018.

Bernhardt outlined Interior’s success with deregulation and told attendees that he would work hard with California’s congressional delegation on water storage.

“We’re going to lean very far forward in pressing to ensure that water deliveries are legally maximized as much as possible,” Bernhardt said.

The luncheon also featured the announcement of two Ted and Nancy Way Scholarships for the Next Generation of Water Leaders. The 2018 recipients were Cal Poly undergraduate Chloe Fowler and UC Davis undergraduate Elizabeth Riggall. ACWA Scholarships for $3,500 went to Ashley Green and Benjamin Clemons, pursuing undergraduate degrees at Cal Poly and UC Berkeley.

The ACWA Spring Conference & Exhibition continues through Wednesday afternoon, all day Thursday and Friday morning, and will include a keynote address by Department of Water Resources Director Karla Nemeth at the Thursday luncheon. Also, the conference will feature additional updates on events at the ACWA Region level, as well as the latest on the evolving situation surrounding the Water Storage Investment Program and a Town Hall on the Oroville Dam.

The full conference program with event dates and times is available online.

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