Environmental experts examine public attitudes, behaviors of global water conservation at Rain Bird forum

Leading environmental and water conservation experts convened Dec. 31 in Pasadena at the Rain Bird's Fifth Intelligent Use of Water Summit to examine current attitudes and behaviors shaping water usage habits and to discuss the role of lawmakers, corporations and citizens in shaping public behaviors in order to avert a looming global water crisis. The six-person panel was led by University of Arizona author of "Water Follies: Groundwater Pumping and the Fate of America's Fresh Waters"...

Fifth Intelligent Use of Water™ Summit convenes to urge international, local leaders to develop and implement water conservation initiatives and strategies to drive public action.

PASADENA, CA, Jan. 1, 2006 -- Leading environmental and water conservation experts convened on the final day of 2006 in Pasadena at the Fifth Intelligent Use of Water Summit to examine current attitudes and behaviors shaping water usage habits and to discuss the role of lawmakers, corporations and citizens in shaping public behaviors in order to avert a looming global water crisis.

Hosted by Rain Bird Corp., the leading manufacturer and provider of irrigation products and services, the six-person panel consisting of scholars, designers, municipal directors and business owners gathered to discuss the ongoing global water crisis and call upon local, national and international leaders to implement regulations and strategies to conserve our most precious natural resource.

"In the face of water scarcity, conventional wisdom tells us that the answer is to build a dam, drill a well or divert a river, but each of these options has a serious environmental and economic consequence," commented forum moderator Robert Glennon, Professor, University of Arizona's Rogers College of Law and author of Water Follies: Groundwater Pumping And The Fate Of America's Fresh Waters. "We learned today that changing people's behaviors towards water conservation demands that an educational campaign go hand in hand with sensible water pricing. The solution must encourage all water users to carefully examine how they use water, for what purpose and in what quantity."

In addition to calling for civic and business leaders to collaborate on the development and implementation of water conservation policies, the panel emphasized the severity of water scarcity and drought in the United States and abroad and presented several potential tactics to avert a mounting global drought.

"There is a notable absence of 'reality' in home makeover reality television, especially when it comes to irrigation," said panelist Michael Glassman, president of the design firm Michael Glassman & Associates and Co-Host of Discovery Home's TV show Garden Police. "It is the responsibility of viewers, and companies like Rain Bird, to urge the media to educate homeowners on how to use water smartly and create landscapes that are efficient and functional."

Established in 2004 as a forum to further define the relationship between water conservation and landscape water use, Rain Bird's fifth Intelligent Use of Water Summit comes on the heels of a recent U.N. report predicting an eminent and devastating global water shortage by the year 2025. Today's Summit focused on how municipalities, corporations and governments can shape water usage habits through global and local water conservation strategies, programs and initiatives.

"As our global population increases, demand for clean water will inevitably rise, making it essential for governments and companies to do their part to conserve water and make the most efficient use of our most precious natural resource," said Rain Bird Corporate Marketing Director Dave Johnson. "We believe that it is our responsibility to raise awareness of the importance of smart outdoor water use, provide products and services that use water in the most efficient manner possible and motivate other corporations and organizations to do their part to adopt smart-watering habits and avert a global water crisis."

Panelist Jim Trog, Central Control Irrigation Manager, Four Peaks Landscape Management, added: "We must promote the use of new irrigation technology and not hesitate to automate. We simply cannot afford to wait several years for these technologies to gain widespread acceptance."
The two-hour event was followed by an open session in which over 100 audience members were able to direct questions to the panel members.

Today's panel featured members with water conservation expertise as it relates to academia, research, media, government, landscape architecture and design. The panelists were: Michael Glassman - President, Michael Glassman & Associates and Co-Host of Discovery Home's TV show Garden Police (Davis, CA); Denis Gourdeau - Water Management Coordinator, City of Calgary (Alberta, Canada); Dan Lambe - Vice President, Programs, The National Arbor Day Foundation (Lincoln, NE); Lesley Tait - Senior Environmental Advisor, Thames Water (London, England); Jim Trog - Central Control Irrigation Manager, Four Peaks Landscape Management (Tempe, AZ); Robert Glennon - Panel moderator and Law Professor at the University of Arizona's Rogers College of Law (Tucson, AZ). In addition to lending their expertise as panelists at today's summit, each panelist submitted a written brief on today's topics of discussion that is available for download in PDF format at www.rainbird.com.

Rain Bird's next Intelligent Use of Water Summit is scheduled for summer, 2007.

Based in Azusa, Calif., Rain Bird Corp. is the leading manufacturer and provider of irrigation products and services. Since its beginnings in 1933, Rain Bird has offered the industry's broadest range of irrigation products for farms, golf courses, sports arenas, commercial developments and homes in more than 130 countries around the world. Rain Bird has been awarded more than 130 patents, including the first in 1935 for the impact sprinkler. Rain Bird and The Intelligent Use of Water is about using water wisely. Its commitment extends beyond products to education, training and services for the industry and the community. Rain Bird maintains state-of-the-art manufacturing assembly facilities in the United States, France, Sweden and Mexico.

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Also see: "Rain Bird's Fifth Intelligent Use of Water™ Summit to ring in New Year with examination of public attitudes, behaviors surrounding global water conservation"

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