Experts to share insights at groundwater forum

Bee Staff ReportsApril 8, 2014 

— Concerns about the region’s groundwater supply and its impact on Turlock will be discussed during a public forum April 15 at California State University, Stanislaus.

The free evening event will feature a panel discussion with water experts from the university as well as state and local agencies.

“One of the roles of a university is to be a venue where important discussions take place, and the outlook of our water supply is critical for this region,” Stanislaus State President Joseph Sheley said.

Sheley said that’s why the university is co-hosting this forum with the Turlock Chamber of Commerce.

“There is no issue more important to the long-term vitality of our economy and region than the availability of water,” Chamber of Commerce Chairman Andrew Wigglesworth said.

The event’s goal is to inform and educate the public on groundwater issues and what they mean to the community, businesses, students, farmers and residents.

Organizers say panelists were chosen to provide a broad cross-section of experts, with a focus on how different segments of the region can work together toward mutually beneficial solutions.

Panelists include: Dorene D’Adamo, a State Water Resources Control Board member; Horacio Ferriz, a Stanislaus State geology professor; Michael Cooke, Turlock’s municipal services director; Michael Frantz, a Turlock Irrigation District director; and Wayne Zipser, the Stanislaus County Water Advisory Committee chairman.

“This forum is an excellent and important opportunity for collaboration amongst all stakeholders on this critically important issue,” D’Adamo said. “The governor’s California Water Action Plan identified sustainable groundwater management as critical for this state’s future growth.”

D’Adamo noted that the state water board supports programs to protect, develop and sustain local groundwater resources.

“The collective knowledge and resources exist to keep our region’s groundwater sustainable for the future,” TID’s Frantz said. “What needs to develop now is the collective will to do something about it. This forum is another step in getting there.”

The event, called “Our Groundwater Challenges: What Do They Mean for the Turlock Area?” will be from 6 to 8 p.m. April 15 in the university’s Mary Stuart Rogers Educational Services Gateway Building, Room 130.

Free parking during the forum will be available in Lot 11.

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