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California Conference Focuses On Water Strong Mentality

Keeping “CA Water Strong” through solid water infrastructure, sustainable groundwater systems and forward-thinking water policy will be the focus of the Association of California Water Agencies’ (ACWA) 2017 Fall Conference and Exhibition in Anaheim, going on through Dec. 1.

An estimated 1,600 local and state water leaders will gather at the event – titled “CA Water Strong” – where they will attend more than 80 meetings, panel discussions, forums, presentations and keynote addresses. Topics to be explored range from navigating climate change in the Sierra to desalination, innovative water rate structures and advances in recycled water.

On Wednesday Nov. 29, Chronicles Group, Inc. Producer Jim Thebaut will discuss water challenges and food security issues examined in his film “Beyond the Brink.” The film explores society’s future in a world where water, food and natural resources teeter on the edge of sustainability. The film also provides a vision for a path forward, focusing on efforts already underway to shift our course.

Later that day, newly-appointed California Department of Water Resources Director Grant Davis will deliver a keynote address on his first 100 days with the department and some of DWR’s largest projects, such as the recent Oroville Spillway repairs. Davis also will look at future efforts including improvements in long-term forecasting.

Thursday’s keynote luncheon address will be presented by Austin Ewell, deputy assistant secretary for water and science at the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, who will provide an update on federal issues emanating from Washington, D.C.

Highlights of the conference include:

• A Wednesday, Nov. 29, Statewide Issue Forum titled: “Finding a Path Forward for Renewed Health of California Headwaters”

• A Wednesday, Nov. 29, Regional Issues Forum titled: “Navigating Climate Change in the Sierra”

• A Thursday, Nov. 30 Town Hall session titled: “State Water Board’s Development of a Plan for a Low-Income Water Rate Assistance Program – Can the State and Local Water Agencies Get on the Same Page?”

• A Thursday, Nov. 30 Water industry trends program titled: “What’s the Potential for Increased Groundwater Replenishment?”

• A Friday, Dec. 1 breakfast titled: “Devastation and Destruction: A Story of Response and Resiliency” 

The conference is being hosted at the Anaheim Marriott Hotel.