San Joaquin Valley Regions Convene in Visalia for Annual Water Forum by Matt Hurley Nov 17, 2017 Voices on Water ACWA Regions 6 &7 jointly hosted the annual San Joaquin Valley Water Forum on Oct. 13, providing important updates from local legislators and information regarding key issues effecting water agencies throughout the Valley. The program began with a panel discussion featuring Assembly Members Devon Mathis (R-Visalia) and Jim Patterson (R-Fresno) moderated the discussion, which touched on several issues including SB 623, SGMA, storage and legislative supermajorities. Following the political discussion, John Austin, a researcher who writes about the Tulare Lake Basin, presented “The Ever Changing Natural History of the San Joaquin Valley.” His talk covered the history of California’s changing climate and the impacts of long term drought conditions on tree mortality. In the afternoon, ACWA Deputy Executive Director, External Affairs Jennifer Persike shared an ACWA update. Persike updated the attendees on the ACWA Board’s Strategic and Business Plan, including the policy and organizational initiatives, and provided updates on ACWA’s key legislative and regulatory efforts including work on Bay Delta Flow requirements and long term conservation legislation. ACWA Region 6 Vice Chair Bill Diedrich provided an update on the ACWA Ag Initiative and potential implementation of an Agricultural Committee. Wrapping up the day was a panel discussion that covered SB 623, SGMA and California WaterFix, among other issues. Hurley moderated the panel which included presentations from Persike, California Department of Water Resources Climate Change Specialist Michelle Selmon, Rosedale Rio Bravo Water Storage District General Manager Eric Averett, and, Westlands Water District General Manager Tom Birmingham. This year’s program was a great success with more than 65 attendees receiving helpful information and insight important to water management in the San Joaquin Valley. Thank you to all of the speakers who volunteered their time to participate in this year’s program. Presentations from this year’s event are available on the ACWA website at www.acwa.com/resources/san-joaquin-valleywater-forum-region-6-7. For information about upcoming ACWA Region 6 & 7 activities, please visit www.acwa.com.