23 Mar 2009

Report: Water Education Foundation

On Thursday, March 12, I attended and spoke at the WEF's 2009 executive briefing in Sacramento. I made recordings of many speakers, and you may want to listen to them. (Sorry about the quality; I did what I could!)

You may hear me talking about (and asking questions on) groundwater -- a topic that I believe to be particularly relevant to the decision-makers in Sacramento [read this and this].

State of the State’s Water by Lester Snow, Director, California Department of Water Resources [48min 17MB MP3]

View from the Legislature by State Senator Fran Pavley, Chair, Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water [26min 9MB MP3]

Peripheral Canal Bill by State Senator Joseph Simitian [29min 10MB MP3]

The Delta Decision -- panel discussion [1hr27min 30MB MP3]
  • Steve Macaulay (Moderator), Vice President, West Yost Associates
  • Tim Quinn, Executive Director, Association of California Water Agencies
  • Jason Peltier, Chief Deputy General Manager, Westlands Water District
  • Laura King Moon, Assistant General Manager, State Water Contractors
  • Leo Winternitz, Director of Delta Projects, The Nature Conservancy
  • Jonas Minton, Water Policy Advisor, Planning and Conservation League
  • Mel Lytle, Water Resources Coordinator, San Joaquin County

The photo above shows the panel participants, who spoke from right to left.

My title: On That Letter (Reducing Water Deliveries to Riparian Users et al.) by James Kassel, State Water Resources Control Board [23min 8MB MP3]

Getting By With Less – The Response to Drought -- panel discussion [55min 19MB MP3 + 6min 2MB -- battery problems :(]
  • Richard Howitt (Moderator), Professor and Chair, Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of California, Davis
  • Eileen White, Water Operations Manager, East Bay Municipal Utility District
  • Chris Scheuring, Managing Counsel, Natural Resources and Environmental Division, California Farm Bureau Federation
  • David Zetland, Postdoctoral Fellow, Natural Resource Economics and Political Economy, University of California, Berkeley
  • Paul Lanspery, Deputy General Manager, San Diego County Water Authority
  • Elissa Lynn, Senior Meteorologist, California Department of Water Resources
The photo [from aquafornia] of our panel is not in order: Howitt on right, Lanspery on left and Schuring in front; Lynn is in back and White is in front. (Yes, that's me with a tie!)

Rita Schmidt Sudman, Executive Director of the Water Education Foundation, writes her thoughts on the briefing here. She summarizes the talks and there has some photos, but I think she did not capture the spirit of "our" panel's discussion of water prices and markets.

The most surprising things to me were the absence of discussion on pricing or markets, Lester Snow's assertion that the Drought Water Bank would handle 500TAF, and the need for a "Delta Conservancy." (Seems that the Nature Conservancy's endorsement of the Peripheral Canal is already paying off!)

Bottom Line: It was good to get everyone in the same room -- even if they did not agree on everything or failed to consider "unconventional" ways to manage our water.


Anonymous said...

One thing that is really frustrating is that no one believes that anywhere close to 500,000 AF will be transfered. If all goes well, MAYBE 100-200K AF.

Philip said...

Today I snail mailed David a copy of a paper Marc Reisner wrote in 1990, outlining all the legal and cultural obstacles to market based water transfers. It makes me crazy to see how little has changed in 18 years.

Jeff said...

How about that Delta decision panel? Six people and 3 from the biggest water exporter interests and the Nature Conservancy represents environmental interests. Was it organized by Fox News?

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