Statewide water solutions sent by top experts to California Governor's office

SACRAMENTO, CA, Sept. 9, 2009 -- Top-level water management solutions were sent to the California Governor's office on Friday, September 4th highlighting the current changing values, ideas and solutions in water management...

SACRAMENTO, CA, Sept. 9, 2009 -- Top-level water management solutions were sent to the California Governor's office on Friday, September 4th highlighting the current changing values, ideas and solutions in water management and addressing sustainability of California communities.

Recommendations from a symposium in Sacramento earlier this summer, where a discussion of water, one of the most precious, controversial and diminishing resources in California, were fashioned into a White Paper titled, "A Time for Changing Values, Ideas and Solutions in Water Management: Addressing Sustainability of California's Communities." It has been recognized that sustainable water resources, when linked to water use and environmental stewardship, foster the economy, public health and safety, the environment, and the quality of life for all Californians.

The Floodplain Management Association (FMA), the Sacramento Chapters of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Environmental & Water Resources Institute (EWRI), and the ASCE Sacramento Section Sustainability Committee joined forces over the summer to bring together community leaders, water experts, flood protection managers, elected officials, regulators, and environmental advocates to explore the changing values, priorities and challenges in search of answers to the question -- Are California's Communities Sustainable?

According to RBF Consulting Vice President Pal Hegedus, P.E., who is the Symposium Chair, FMA Vice Chair, and EWRI Chapter Chair, the key ideas and recommendations set forth by the diverse and distinguished panel members included the following primary findings:

Establishing a Water Sustainability Committee within the Strategic Growth Council appointed by the Governor with the mandate to:

  • Help develop, coordinate and circulate key water resource management strategies and their associated sustainability challenges to various departments, agencies and the general public;
  • Encourage laws and policies that better reflect the value of water resources to the state and its residents;
  • Create Statewide goals, policies and priorities and economic incentives to advance community sustainability through effective water management; and,
  • Examine and address efficiency of current mechanisms used to govern beneficial use of water.

Case studies at the symposium served as the focal point to specific topic areas within water resources management. Additional recommendations and findings were generated through these case studies. The three case studies included:

1) Dealing with aging levees -- what can we do to sustain communities located in deep floodplains?
2) Ensuring sustainable water resources in California
3) Completing the Sustainability Portfolio -- the importance of water quality management to ensure economic, social and environmental benefits.

Support and action by Governor Schwarzenegger and the California Legislature is critical to California's future as water becomes a scarcer resource statewide. The full white paper with recommendations from the symposium can be viewed at: http://www.floodplain.org/Final_White_Paper_sep03.pdf

About the White Paper Authors: Leadership in this recommendation to the governor included Pal Hegedus, P.E., representing EWRI, FMA and RBF Consulting, Robert Shibatani, M.Sc., representing EWRI and the Shibatani Group, Pamela Creedon, P.E., Executive Officer of the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board representing EWRI, Ken Kirby, PhD, P.E., Executive Advisor to the Department of Water Resources -- FloodSAFE Program and Kirby Consulting Group, Robert Roscoe, P.E., ASCE Chapter Sustainability Committee Chair and Sacramento Suburban Water District General Manager, and Iovanka Todt, Executive Director, FMA.

###

More in Drinking Water