July 16, 2013

Contact: Mario Santoyo, (559) 799-0701

Speakers from a wide variety of perspectives will address crucial Bay-Delta Estuary water, infrastructure and environmental issues during a Delta Water Summit on Saturday, August 3, from 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in the Satellite Student Union at California State University, Fresno. Many top water leaders from around California and the nation will be participating.

Governor Brown has been invited to present his water supply vision for California as has Commissioner of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Michael Connor. Deputy Resources Secretary Gerald Meral will speak on a panel along with Delta Stewardship Council Member Gloria Gray and Sunne McPeak of the Delta Vision Foundation.



“Even in the Central Valley, ground zero for water supply shortages and economic impacts due to Delta pumping restrictions, chances are that most have felt or heard of the Delta’s problems but really do not understand much about the details,” said Mario Santoyo, California Latino Water Coalition Executive Director and one of the forum’s organizers.

Delta pumping restrictions such as biological opinions governing when and how much water can be pumped and exported continue to create enormous impacts on communities, counties, businesses, landowners and farmers. At the same time, the drafted Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) and an alternative Delta conveyance project proposed by Governor Brown and his administration represent the most significant and important water development concepts and conversations that California has had since the 1982 Peripheral Canal debate.

“Yet, if you asked the average Californian if they know anything much about any of these various items the answer is typically ‘Not much or not at all’.” Santoyo said. “This is particularly true in Southern California and the Silicon Valley, even though both of those important urban areas rely tremendously on water supplies conveyed through and pumped from the Delta.”

The summit will bring together high level policy, technical and legislative representatives from the state and federal governments as well as key water agencies and environmental interests to present, discuss and answer questions through a series of panels moderated by well-known media figures. A number of elected officials and legislators are expected to attend. Half of the time allotted to panel discussions will be devoted to audience questions.

The summit’s major partners include the California Latino Water Coalition, KMPH-TV in Fresno, Univision, the Fresno Bee and Fresno State. Sponsors include the State of California, Association of California Water Agencies, Clean Water and Jobs for California, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, California Water Institute, Fresno State College of Social Sciences, Friant Water Authority, Westlands Water District, the San Luis and Delta-Mendota Water Authority, Fresno Farm Bureau, Nisei Farmers League, California Farm Water Coalition, California Water Alliance, Tulare Lake Basin Water Storage District, and Granville Homes.

The tentative program includes:

9:00 a.m. Welcome by CSUF President Joseph Castro.
9:10 a.m. Governor Brown (Invited) on his Water Supply Vision for California.

9:30 a.m. KMPH Video Overview of the Delta issues and the BDCP. (narrated by Rich Rodriguez)

9:35 a.m. Panel discussion, lead by Fresno Bee Moderator Bill McEwen, regarding water agencies roles, challenges and expectations with the BDCP. Q&A by the audience:

· Ara Azhderian, Water Policy Administrator, San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority
Joan Maher, Deputy Operating Officer for Water Supply, Santa Clara Valley Water District
Ron Jacobsma, General Manager, Friant Water Authority
Jim Beck, General Manager, Kern County Water Agency
Tom Birmingham, General Manager, Westlands Water District
Chris Acree, Executive Director, Revive the San Joaquin (Invited)
John Coleman, Vice President, Association of California Water Agencies

10:30 a.m. Panel discussion, lead by Univision Moderator Reina Cardenas, regarding State and Federal Administration roles and actions associated with the BDCP and any short term relief. Q&A by the audience:

· Michael Connor, Commissioner, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (Invited)
Gerald Meral, Deputy Secretary, Natural Resources Agency
Gloria Gray, Delta Stewardship Council
Sunne McPeak, Delta Vision Foundation

11:25 p.m. Panel discussion, lead by KMPH Moderator Rich Rodriguez, regarding current legislative efforts by them or colleagues to assist either the short term relief or long term solution. Q&A by the audience:

· Congressman Jim Costa
Congressman David G. Valadao
Senator Jean Fuller
Assembly Member Henry T. Perea
Assemblymember Jim Patterson
Assemblymember Rudy SalasAssemblymember Jim Fraizer (Invited)

12:20 p.m. Closing remarks by Assembly Member Henry T. Perea, California Latino Water Coalition Central Valley Co-Chairman.

Free parking is available but only in CSUF’s green and yellow designated areas.

Persons with disabilities who anticipate needing accommodations or who have questions may call 559-799-0701 in advance of this event.

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