State Water Board Chair Felicia Marcus. Chair of the State Water Resources Control Board, Felicia Marcus, talked about the water challenges facing the State of California and many of the solutions that are underway to address these challenges.
Chairman’s Remarks. NCWA Chairman Bryce Lundberg provided his reflection on the Sacramento Valley’s exceptional natural and human resources.
Sacramento River Operations and Salmon. Lewis Bair and Thad Bettner talked about the challenges facing water suppliers along the Sacramento River, their innovative water management over the past several years, the challenges that are emerging in 2016, and their vision for sustainable water management along the Sacramento River.
Why Do We Need Sites Reservoir? The General Manager for the Sites Project Authority, Jim Watson, provided an update on the Sites Reservoir Project and his vision for how Sites Reservoir can be operated for the benefit of Northern California and the State of California.
Managing Water for Change. Yolo County Flood Control and Water Conservation District General Manager Tim O’Halloran discussed change and how water resources managers can better plan and prepare for various types of change that affect water supplies.
If Not Now, When? Richard Roos-Collins, a leading environmental attorney and commentator, provided his perspective on conservation in California, what is needed to advance water policy in California and opportunities to manage water for environmental benefits in the future. Generating the Future. Mary Wells, a farmer and water leader in the Sacramento Valley, talked about the importance of sustainable water management for both today and future generations.
Water: More or Less. Rita Schmidt Sudman, the former Executive Director of the Water Education Foundation, offered a book signing on her new book–Water: More or Less. Her collaboration with artistvStephanie Taylor is a wonderful new addition to water literature in California.
The annual meeting is a time to show the Sacramento Valley’s appreciation for individuals who have devoted their life to preserve and more effectively manage water resources in the region.
Will S. Green Award
The 2016 recipient of the Will S. Green Award is Tim O’Halloran. Tim currently serves as the General Manager for the Yolo County Flood Control & Water Conservation District (District), which manages water supplies for a significant part of Yolo County. This region has been at the forefront of efforts to preserve farms, rural communities and the environment. For the past thirteen years, Tim has worked with diverse interests and he has helped to develop innovative and holistic water resources management programs to meet California’s 21st Century water challenges. Tim and the District have forged partnerships throughout the region to provide reliable and affordable water for farms and ranches, while preserving the natural resources of the Cache Creek watershed. He has also developed innovative programs to improve information management, the sagacious and efficient management of water, water quality and habitat. He has also been a statewide leader in creatively managing the surface and groundwater resources in a conjunctive manner. The Will S. Green Award is presented annually by the NCWA Board of Directors to an individual who has devoted their life to the promotion and advancement of irrigation in the Sacramento Valley.
Innovative Water Management Award
The 2016 recipient of the Innovative Water Management Award is the Sacramento River Settlement Contractors. The Sacramento River Settlement Contractors (SRSC), covering approximately 480,000 acres, are various irrigation districts, reclamation districts, mutual water companies, partnerships, corporations, and individuals that divert water from the Sacramento River under water rights that were vested before the construction of the Central Valley Project (CVP) began. The SRSC manage water for various beneficial purposes in the Sacramento Valley, including farms, birds and the Pacific Flyway, cities and rural communities and fisheries. For the past several dry years, the SRSC’s have been challenged by the operations of the CVP and the increased requirements to manage for temperature control in the Sacramento River. This has led to innovative water management and teamwork by the SRSC and their efforts to serve water for multiple beneficial purposes during challenging times. The Innovative Management Award is given by the NCWA President to an individual (or organization) who has demonstrated innovation and creativity in advancing water management in the Sacramento Valley.
Crystal Clear Award
The 2016 recipient of the Crystal Clear Award is Richard Price. Richard is the retired Butte County Agricultural Commissioner. In this role, Richard was instrumental in advancing the Regional Water Quality Control Board’s (Regional Board) understanding of Sacramento Valley agriculture as it implemented the Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program (ILRP) and expanded the program to include groundwater quality. In June 2005, Richard, along with former Glenn County Agricultural Commissioner Mark Black, began implementation of a pilot program as a collaborative effort between the Regional Board and the Agricultural Commissioners’ offices in Butte and Glenn Counties. As part of this program, the Commissioners’ developed maps that show cropping patterns, pesticide use, and management practices to help the Regional Board gain a better understanding of the agricultural practices. This information is the foundational element of showcasing the successful efforts by Sacramento Valley agriculture to sustainably manage their operations and improve water quality. The Crystal Clear Award recognizes exemplary efforts to protect and address water quality in the Sacramento Valley.