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Intelligent Use of Water Summit set for March 15

Environmental and water management experts will gather in California’s Central Valley to examine water Issues affecting California agriculture at the 12th Intelligent Use of Water Summit, March 15th, 2011.

The Intelligent Use of Water Summit is slated for March 15, 2011 in Clovis, Calif. Presented in partnership with the Center for Irrigation Technology (CIT) at California State University, Fresno, The Intelligent Use of Water Summit: California Agriculture at a Crossroads will focus on providing greater insight into the water issues, policies, legislation, programs, initiatives and trends that ultimately impact California’s agricultural industry.

Scheduled for Tuesday, March 15, 2011, at the Veterans Memorial Building in Clovis, California, the Summit is open to the public at no charge and will feature two morning panel discussions followed by a lunchtime presentation.

The first panel of experts will address land and water rights issues surrounding the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, which provides water to 25 million Californians and hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland. This session will begin at 9:00 am and features:

Tim Quinn, Executive Director, Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA)

Byron Buck, Executive Director, State and Federal Contractors Water Agency (SFCWA)

Jason Peltier, Chief Deputy General Manager, Westlands Water District

Joe Del Bosque, President and CEO, Empresas Del Bosque

Richard Matoian, Executive Director, Western Pistachio Association

Mario Santoyo, Assistant General Manager, Friant Water Authority (FWA) and Executive Director of the California Latino Water Coalition

The second session will address recent policy initiatives, with an emphasis on the Water Conservation Act of 2009 (SBX7-7, SBX7-6) and its impact on California’s farming industry. This session will begin at 10:45 am and includes the following experts:

Mike Wade, Executive Director, California Farm Water Coalition

Dave Orth, General Manager, Kings River Conservation District (KRCD)

Manucher Alemi, Chief, Office of Water Use & Efficiency, CA Dept. Water Resources

Juliet Christian-Smith, Senior Research Associate, Pacific Institute

Panelist will have the opportunity to discuss their experiences and observations and propose recommendations that address the critical relationship between California’s agriculture industry and the state’s limited water supply to an audience of agricultural and water professionals as well as government representatives, NGOs, key water industry representatives and the media.

The morning panels will be moderated by Dr. David Zoldoske, director of the Center for Irrigation Technology (CIT), California State University, Fresno. Serving as director since 1994, Dr. Zoldoske oversees CIT’s independent testing laboratories, applied research facility, and educational resource center. He also serves as the executive director of the California State University’s Water Resources and Policy Initiative and is a past president of the Irrigation Association and the American Society of Agronomy (CA-chapter). Dr. Zoldoske has authored or co-authored over 100 articles on water and irrigation and has over 30 years of experience addressing irrigation and water policy issues.

The summit will conclude with a lunchtime presentation in which Andrew Gregson, CEO of Australia’s New South Wales Irrigators’ Council and Rebecca Nelson, lead researcher of the Comparative Groundwater Law and Policy Program at Stanford University, will present case studies on Australian water policy and compare and contrast those with California's current water situation.

Established in 2004 as a forum to further define the relationship between water conservation and outdoor water use, The Intelligent Use of Water Summit series presents a view of the current and future state of water resources through the eyes of water conservation and environmental experts. Previous summit locations have included: Pasadena, Calif.; Tucson, Ariz.; Tempe, Ariz.; Madrid, Spain; Aix-en-Provence, France; Melbourne, Australia; and most recently, Washington, D.C. in April of 2010.

The Intelligent Use of Water Summit: California Agriculture at a Crossroads will be held at the Clovis Veterans Memorial District in Clovis, Calif., on March 15, 2011 and is open to the public at no charge. Session and lunch presentation seating is limited. Please register online at

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