Experts Address Water Conservation, Supply at Summit's State of the Union
"We know that the people of southern Nevada will be more resilient to a potential change in the availability of water if they use the water that we currently have more efficiently," said Doug Bennett, conservation manager for Southern Nevada Water Authority, a panelist at the State of the Union Summit.
In an effort to bring attention to current and future water scarcity issues and the significant challenges facing the world, U.S. water experts convened in the nation’s capital recently at the Intelligent Use of Water Summit: State of The Union.
The 11th Intelligent Use of Water Summit focused on providing greater insight into the water conservation policies and legislation, programs, initiatives and trends that ultimately steer city and state-wide efforts to reduce outdoor water waste.
Presented by irrigation leader Rain Bird, in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution, the water conservation symposium provided an opportunity for thought leaders to discuss water-management strategies and successes across the nation.
"It is imperative that we build an understanding among the general public and with the policy makers that no other resource is going to have a bigger impact on the future of human health and well-being than water,” said Rain Bird corporate marketing director Dave Johnson. “It is through forums such as these that we aim to bring greater awareness to the importance of creating a sustainable water supply and combine expertise toward a long-term solution.”
The panel featured Paul Goble, Indian Wells, Calif.; Karen Guz, San Antonio Water Conservation Dept.; Elizabeth Hurst, Inland Empire Utilities Agency in Chino, Calif.; Karla Wilson, EcoWorks Unlimited, on behalf of Missouri Botanical Garden, Missouri Dept. of Natural Resources and Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District; Mark Risse, University of Georgia on behalf of Conserve Georgia; and Doug Bennett, Southern Nevada Water Authority in Las Vegas, Nev.
“It’s important to realize that conservation is not going to be enough for most regions. We simply can't conserve our way out of every water crisis," said Mark Risse. "We need to look at improved methods of collecting and storing the water that we accumulate during the rainy seasons and moving water to areas that need it. We also need to look at the areas where we are growing, discouraging growth in areas where there is not enough water and encouraging growth where there is plenty of water available to sustain future growth.”
As panelists, each had the opportunity to showcase their water conservation case study and share their successful strategies and initiatives on outdoor water conservation with those in attendance as well as those watching and participating via the free Webcast.
"We are in a persistent drought in southern Nevada with very little annual rainfall. Our main concern right now is the effect that climate change will have on the Colorado water shed,” said Doug Bennett. “We know that the people of southern Nevada will be more resilient to a potential change in the availability of water if they use the water that we currently have more efficiently."
A replay of The Intelligent Use of Water Summit: State of The Union is available for viewing on www.rainbird.com/corporate/IUOW/summits.htm.