Conference Agenda

California Water Policy 26

April 6 & 7, 2017


Courtyard by Marriott at Liberty Station, San Diego


The conference begins on April 6 with registration at 8:00 am. Programs begin at 9:00 am and the conference adjourns at 12:30 pm on Friday, April 7 (unless you are taking the tour).



 Thursday, April 6


8:00 am Registration

9:00 am

Conference Welcome

  Conference Co-Chairs:
Jovita Pajarillo, US EPA Region 9 (Retired)
Meena Westford, Special Projects Manager, MWD of Southern California
9:15 am Jeff Kightlinger, General Manager, MWD of Southern California
10:00 am Break
10:30 am Breakout Sessions
  Homelessness: The Nexus of Water Quality, Public Health and the Human Right to Water

The panel will consider the nexus of water quality, public health, and the human right to water. Questions to be posed include: How do we foster real and aligned solutions to water access in an equitable and sustainable way? What is the state's role in implementing AB 685 to achieve universal access to safe water and sanitation and protect our waterways?

  • Moderator: Mike Antos, Watershed Manager, Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority
  • Gita Kapahi, Director of Public Participation, State Water Resources Control Board
    Rob Hutsel, President and CEO, San Diego River Park Foundation
    Erica Maharg, Managing Attorney, San Francisco Baykeeper
  • Councilmember Miguel Canales, City of Artesia
  The (Water) Fix is In -- Or is It?

The discussion by the panelists will focus on exploring the policies for and against the implementation of the WaterFix, the remaining uncertainties, and how should they be addressed. Is there a "Plan B" if this project does not go forward?

  Moderator: Paul Gilbert-Snyder, Associate Civil Engineer, East Bay MUD
Doug Obegi, Senior Attorney, Water Program, NRDC
Roger Patterson, Assistant General Manager/Strategic Water Initiatives, MWD of Southern California
Erik Vink, Executive Director, Delta Protection Commission
Curtis Creel, General Manager, Kern County Water Agency
  Salty Buildup: The Threat to California’s Water

This panel will use examples from urban areas and the Central Valley to explore the shortcomings of existing salt management policies and will explore whether better policies are needed or even possible.

  Moderator: Larry McKenney, Executive Counsel, Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority
Hal Candee, Attorney, Altshuler Berzon
Debi Ores, Staff Attorney and Legislative Advocate, Community Water Center
Hope Smythe, Assistant Executive Officer, Santa Ana RWQCB
Daniel Cozad, Executive Director, Central Valley Salinity Coalition
12:00 pm Lunch Presentation
  A Conversation with Lois Henry, Journalist, Bakersfield Californian
  Facilitated by Tom Philp, Executive Strategist, MWD of Southern California, Former Associate Editor, Sacramento Bee
2:00 pm Breakout Sessions
  Sustainable Groundwater Management: Are the Locals Really in Control?

This session offers a "thumb to the pulse" reading of the state of affairs toward complying with the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act and its looming deadlines. Concerns over governance structures will be examined.

  Moderator: Danielle Dolan, Water Program Manager, Local Government Commission
Sam Boland-Brien, Senior Engineer, State Water Control Board
Maria Herrera, Community Development Specialist, Self-Help Enterprises
Peter Kavounas, General Manager, Chino Basin Watermaster
Allen Carlisle, CEO/General Manager, Padre Dam MWD
  Deconstructing the Water Infrastructure: Source Watersheds

This interactive session will explore advancing as policy, the official recognition of source watersheds as integral components of the State's water infrastructure. The panel will explore the policy questions regarding financing, partnerships, and other actions such as a bi-cameral headwaters caucus.

  Moderator: Mark Drew, Sierra Headwaters Program Director, California Trout
Celeste Cantu, General Manager, Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority

Barnie Gyant, Deputy Regional Forester for Resources, Pacific Southwest Region, US Forest Service
Liz Mansfield, Director, Sierra WaterWork Group
Laurie Wayburn, President, The Pacific Forest Trust
  Green is the New Gray: Linking California’s Gray & Green Infrastructure

This panel will address how watershed management and green infrastructure plans are actually being implemented, focus on creative strategies for integrating gray and green infrastructure for multiple benefits and identify barriers to carrying out these policies.

  Moderator: Fan Lau, Water Resources Specialist, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
Keith Lichten, Watershed Management Division, San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board

Liz Crosson, Water Policy Advisor, Office of Mayor Garcetti, City of Los Angeles
Rosey Jencks, Urban Watershed Management Program, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
Andy Lipkis, Founder and President, TreePeople
3:30 pm Break
4:00 pm Afternoon Plenary:
  Water Scarcity & (Un)reliability: The Impact on California’s Agricultural Future
  Moderator: Joseph McIntyre, President, Ag Innovations
Ashley Boren, Executive Director, Sustainable Conservation, Member of the State Board of Food and Agriculture
Dave Puglia, Executive Vice President, Western Growers Association
Eric Larson, Executive Director, San Diego Farm Bureau
5:15 pm Adjourn for the Day
  Environmental Adjustment Hour


 Friday, April 7


7:30 am

Breakfast Presentation

  It Ain't Easy Being Green: Tapping Sustainable Water Markets

The Sustainable Water Market Fellows from the Bren School at UC Santa Barbara will discuss how market mechanisms can be leveraged to provide green infrastructure solutions to a diverse array of water management issues.

8:30 am Morning Plenary:
  The Colorado River: Looking for a Watershed Moment
  Moderator: Celeste Cantu, General Manager, Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority
Dan Denham, Colorado River Program Director, San Diego County Water Authority
Bill Hasencamp, Colorado River Program Manager, MWD of Southern California
Jennifer Pitt, Colorado River Project Director, National Audubon Society
Bruce Wilcox, Assistant Secretary Salton Sea, Natural Resources Agency, State of California
9:30 am Break
9:45 am Breakout Sessions
  Water Rights in an Era of “Permanent” Conservation Mandates: Are Reports of Their Death Greatly Exaggerated?

The focus of this panel is the legal and policy issues entangled in the Governor's Executive Order, "Making Water Conservation a California Way of Life." Concerns include its broad generalizations and the inattention to water rights priorities and hydrologic realities.

  Moderator: Greg Zlotnick, Water Resources & Strategic Affairs, San Juan Water District
Eric Garner, Partner, Best, Best & Krieger
Brian Poulsen Jr., General Counsel, El Dorado Irrigation District
Bruce Reznik, Executive Director, Los Angeles Waterkeeper
David Rose, Attorney, Office of the Chief Counsel, State Water Resources Control Board
  Engaging Communities: IRWM’s Disadvantaged Community Fund

This workshop probes the challenge of effectively and meaningfully engaging the disadvantaged community in the Integrated Regional Water Management process and decision making. Outreach efforts have evolved over the years but have they resulted in better outcomes and involvement?

  Moderator: Jennifer Clary, Water Programs Manager, Clean Water Action
Mike Antos, Watershed Manager, Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority
Colin Bailey, Executive Director, Environmental Justice Coalition for Water
Patti Reyes, Planning and Special Programs Manager, Coachella Valley Water District
Maria Herrera, Community Development Specialist, Self-Help Enterprises
  Are Purple Pipes Dead? What Does the Next Generation of Water Reuse Look Like?

This workshop poses the question of the value and relevance of purple pipes as potable reuse regulations are underway. Advancements in treatment technology and the Department of Water Resources' 2015 recycled water survey are spurring interest from the water industry.

Moderator: Meena Westford, Special Projects Manager, MWD of Southern California
Linda Hu, Office of Water Recycling, East Bay MUD
Toni Pezzetti, Water Recycling and Desalination Section, California Department of Water Resources
Matt O’Malley, Executive Director, San Diego Coastkeeper
Cathy Pieroni, External Water Policy Program Manager, City of San Diego
11:15 am Break
11:30 am Closing Plenary:
  ESA & Climate Change: Collision Course?
  Moderator: Doug Wallace, Environmental Affairs Officer, East Bay MUD
Gary Bobker, Rivers and Delta Program Director, The Bay Institute
Holly Doremus, Professor of Environmental Regulation and Co-Faculty Director, Center for Law, Energy and the
    Environment, UC Berkeley Law

Jerry Meral, Former Deputy Director of the California Department of Water Resources, Former Executive Director of the
     Planning and Conservation League

Buzz Thompson, Professor of Natural Resources Law, Stanford Law School, Senior Fellow & Former Director,
     Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment
12:30 pm Conference Adjourns
  Special Tour: Pure Water San Diego Facility
  See tour details here.



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