FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb. 6, 2014
Contact: Lisa Lien-Mager, Director of Communications, 916/441-4545 or 530/902-3815 (cell)
ACWA Establishes Statewide Drought Action Group
Water Community Experts to Identify Needs, Actions to Combat Severe Impacts
SACRAMENTO – With California now in its worst drought on record, ACWA is moving to assemble a group of water community experts to recommend specific actions to combat severe drought conditions this year.
ACWA’s Board of Directors voted to establish the Drought Action Group at its Jan. 31 meeting as a way to channel expertise and hands-on drought experience to identify needs and potential solutions. The group’s work will help guide ACWA’s efforts at the state and federal level to advance actions to reduce impacts this year and in future droughts.
“This drought is unprecedented, and we need serious solutions. Many ACWA members have had to invoke mandatory water use reductions, and more will follow suit in the coming weeks,” ACWA President John Coleman said. “The agricultural economy in the Central Valley will be hit especially hard, with forecasts of as much as 500,000 acres of land fallowed due to lack of irrigation water.
“As the water community, it is critical for us to pull together an action-oriented group that can leverage our collective knowledge of drought impacts to identify steps that could be undertaken to address this and future droughts.”
The Drought Action Group, appointed by Coleman and chaired by Dave Brent, director of the City of Sacramento’s Utilities Department, is tasked initially with developing a report in the next two months. The report is expected to catalog serious drought conditions in the areas of greatest need, water supply alternatives and critical actions. Taj Dafour, chief engineer with Soquel Creek Water District, serves as vice chair.
The group, which includes water agency representatives with technical and/or policy expertise from all 10 regions of ACWA, will hold its first meeting Feb. 14 in Sacramento. Its work will complement state and federal efforts under way to address the drought.
In addition to establishing the group, ACWA has mobilized to coordinate with several external groups on drought response and is serving as a drought information clearinghouse. The association also partners with the Department of Water Resources to educate consumers through the Save Our Water program.
ACWA is a statewide association of public agencies whose 430 members are responsible for about 90% of the water delivered in California. For more information, visit www.acwa.com.
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