The California Water Association joined the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (LADWP), West Basin Municipal Water District, National Water Research Institute and others in sponsoring a forum on November 12, 2013, titled “Are We Running Dry?” Hosted by The Chronicles Group, The Negri Foundation and the Southern California Association of Governments at the latter’s office in Los Angeles, the Forum was open to the public and designed to investigate the growing water crisis in Southern California and promote discussion on long-term sustainable solutions to the supply problem.
Part of that discussion centered on the complexity and urgency of the evolving political and environmental water crisis in Southern California. Following a screening of the award-winning documentary produced by the Chronicles Group, “The American Southwest: Are We Running Dry?,” former LADWP Chief Executive Officer and General Manager David Nahai, now partner in the law firm of Lewis, Brisbois, Bisgaard & Smith, and President of David Nahai Consulting Services LLC, outlined the current supply situation in Southern California in his keynote address. Nahai summarized future options for the region and noted that an overriding objective was to reduce the region’s reliance on imported water supplies, both from Northern California and the Colorado River.
A series of panel discussions and a question and answer session with leading water experts in Southern California explored a wide range of potential solutions to solve water reliability, quality and access challenges both now and in the future. The panel participants provided a comprehensive overview of the issues of water sustainability and potential solutions, which covered the spectrum of local/regional supply projects, including recycled water, desalination, conjunctive management of surface and groundwater, water-use efficiency, groundwater and surface water storage, storm-water capture and water transfers.
The Chronicles Group Chief Executive Officer and Executive Producer Jim Thebaut moderated the panels, which were comprised of leading water industry luminaries, including:
Mike Feuer – Current Los Angeles City Attorney and former Assemblymember who was instrumental in water legislation from 2006 to 2012
Michael George – Managing Director, Integrated Water Industry Services, Wedbush Securities, Inc., and former Chief Executive Officer of Western Water Company
Jeff Kightlinger – General Manager, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
Caryn Mandelbaum – Freshwater Program Director, Environment Now
Jim McDaniel – Senior Assistant General Manager, LADWP
Jeff Mosher – Executive Director, National Water Research Institute
Mark Pisano – Senior Fellow, Price School of Policy Planning and Development, University of Southern California
Ron Smith – Member, Board of Directors, West Basin Municipal Water District
Scott Slater – Shareholder and Member of Water & Public Lands Group, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP
Maureen Stapleton – General Manager, San Diego County Water Authority
Floyd Wicks – Owner, H2Options, Inc. and Water Supply Consultant, Niagara Conservation