California Rep. hosts roundtable on water issues

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Ontario, Calif. — U.S. Rep. Gloria Negrete McLeod hosted a roundtable discussion at IAPMO’s World Headquarters West that focused on California’s current water supply and what the private sector, labor, and local, state and federal governments can do to address water issues facing the state.

McLeod, a Democrat representing California’s 35th District, serves as co-chair of the bipartisan Congressional Water Caucus. Her district includes Ontario, Fontana, Chino, Pomona, Montclair, Fontana, Bloomington and a portion of Rialto.

“This is a very timely discussion that we’re going to have, discussing water issues,” McLeod said in her opening remarks. “The Northwest is having a lot of rain currently, and Northern California is having some rain – (although) not as much as we would like – so for lots of people they think, ‘Well, the drought is over.’ Well, for us in Southern California, the drought is not over. The drought is a very real thing for us, and water is a very precious commodity for all of Southern California – for the entire state, really.”

“We’re going to hear today about the great work that IAPMO does in being sound stewards for our most precious resource – water,” said Dave Viola, chief operating officer of IAPMO.

The panel consisted of Patricia Van Dam, president, San Bernardino County Farm Bureau; Kathye Rietkirk, board representative, California Farm Bureau Federation; Joe Grindstaff, general manager, Inland Empire Utility Agency; Kirk Howie, assistant general manager, Three Valleys Municipal Water District; Bill Steele, area manager, Bureau of Reclamation; Pete DeMarco, senior vice president of Advocacy, Research and Program Development, IAPMO; John Kemmerer, associate director, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 9; Michael T. Massey, District Council 16 certifier, United Association; and Boykin Witherspoon III, executive director, Water Resources and Policy Initiative/California State University.

The topics included Drought, Water Supply, Quality of Infrastructure and Labor, and Opportunities in Research and Science. Following the panel discussions, the floor was opened to questions from panelists and audience members.

Moderator Dain Hansen, vice president of Government Relations for IAPMO, applauded McLeod’s involvement in the discussion.

“We are thrilled to see Representative McLeod and the Congressional Water Caucus taking a leadership role so desperately needed during these drought-stricken times,” he said. “With IAPMO’s large breadth and expertise, particularly on the demand side of water, we are ready to be a resource in moving and supporting sound policy addressing these issues.”

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