By Charley Wilson, Executive Director, Southern California Water Committee
The impacts of the drought are being felt across the state, and Southern California is taking innovative action to help drought-proof the region.
Now more than ever, the public is informed on water issues – never before has water been a top concern along with the economy. After nine months under Governor Brown’s water conservation mandate, Californians have conserved nearly 1.19 million acre-feet of water, enough to supply nearly six million Californians for a year (15 percent of the population). Felicia Marcus, chair of the State Water Resources Control Board, called it an “enormous effort” in saving water.
Near-term and long-term water use efficiency is instrumental to ensure a safe, reliable water future for California. Recent conservation data shows that we’ve made strides in conserving water, but the drought is far from over. Increased attention to water-use efficiency will allow us to conserve more while also meeting the needs of residents, farmers, and businesses across the state.
Recognizing this importance, the Southern California Water Committee held the Urban Drought Workshop to convene water leaders to facilitate a productive dialogue and share tools and insights to effectively manage water supply.
“With the state’s 2016 water supplies recovering but still uncertain, this workshop was a timely and important opportunity for state, regional and local agencies to share groundbreaking approaches for innovative water resource management and drought response,” said Paul Jones, general manager of Eastern Municipal Water District.
The workshop featured two panels and numerous speakers that focused on the 2015 Urban Water Management Plan’s role in water use efficiency, next steps on urban water conservation, drought-friendly landscaping and smart controllers, and statewide urban water efficiency ethics.
Workshop speakers included:
- Brandon Goshi, Manager of Water Policy and Strategy at MWD
- Max Gomberg, Climate and Conservation Manager for the State Water Resources Control Board
- Peter Brostrom, Water Use Efficiency Manager for the Department of Water Resources
- Joone Lopez, General Manager at Moulton Niguel Water District
- Paul Jones, General Manager at Eastern MWD
- Dave Pedersen, General Manager at Las Virgenes MWD
- Dave Pettijohn, Director of Water Resources with the City of Los Angeles, Dept. of Water & Power
- Michael De Ghetto, Assistant General Manager at Glendale Water & Power
- Brian Smith, President & CEO Signature Control Systems, Inc.
- Gerry Kiffe, General Manager of Garden Soft
- Mike Shelton, Scotts Miracle-Gro
SCWC would like to extend our thanks to the speakers and to our generous event sponsors: the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, Water Smart and Scotts Miracle-Gro.