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Napolitano Holds Forum on SoCal’s Water Future

August 31, 2017
Press Release

(BALDWIN PARK, CA) Today, Rep. Grace F. Napolitano (D-El Monte) held a public forum with local residents and leaders of industry, government, research, and academia at the Performing Arts Center of Baldwin Park to discuss how to achieve a sustainable water future for Southern California.

“Today’s forum is truly a team effort with the central goal of securing a reliable, sustainable water supply for the San Gabriel Valley and all of Southern California,” Napolitano said. “Universities, water agencies, cities, businesses, farmers, and residents must all work together, and science must continue to be at the root of our water policy discussions. We are grateful to have many of the brightest minds in their respective fields with us today, whose innovative approaches may help us address our toughest water supply challenges and infrastructure needs right here in the San Gabriel Valley. We thank all of our panelists for sharing their time and expertise and all who have come to learn, dialogue, and advance solutions for our region.”

Approximately 125 people attended the forum and heard from more than a dozen speakers and panelists. Presentations highlighted ongoing challenges facing the region with unpredictable drought cycles and climate change, while offering insights into how to continue expanding Southern California’s water portfolio with the emphasis on sustainability.

“This is a continuation of the Congresswoman’s commitment to annually hold a water forum that brings together local water districts, government officials, and academic institutions to discuss the opportunities and issues of water importance to the 32nd District,” said Dave Wegner of the Water Science Technology Board, National Academy of Sciences. “It allows for discussions between the users and regulators, and fosters an environment to look at innovative opportunities and approaches to water issues before they become problematic, while helping to educate young people on interacting with the government on water issues.”

“As we work collaboratively to address our water supply needs, success will come through the sharing of information and resources,” said Anthony Zampiello, the Executive Officer of the Main San Gabriel Basin Watermaster. “Events such as this increase partnership opportunities and help area water leaders to preserve and improve the water quality and quantity for our communities.”

"It is critical that we work together to address our water problems," said Thomas Wong, President of the Board of Directors for the San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District. “Today’s forum was an excellent opportunity to learn about and engage with what's happening at the federal, state, and local levels as we prepare for our region's water future."

“Today was great to hear about all of the innovative and exciting water projects that will be important solutions to help with our water supply challenges,” said Sam Pedroza, Claremont City Councilman. “I was happy to be here representing Claremont to explore ways to secure funding for local governments, from state and federal sources, to maintain affordable water prices for the San Gabriel Valley.”

Napolitano is a long-time promoter of conservation, water recycling, desalination, and groundwater management as solutions to Southern California’s water needs. She is the top Democrat on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment, and a current member and former Ranking Member of the House Natural Resources Water, Power, and Oceans Subcommittee.

All presentations by panelists will be uploaded following the event and available here:

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