“No one can be left behind!” These were the words of Fresno State President Castro who hosted a roundtable on water in March of 2019. To this event, he invited urban, agriculture, disadvantaged communities, and environmental NGOs. President opened the event with the comment, “As we all recognize, the status quo for water resource management in the San Joaquin Valley is not sustainable, and we must work together to identify and implement lasting, sustainable solutions that benefit all stakeholder groups. No one can be left behind.”
It is that spirit of collaboration that draws Fresno State’s California Water Institute (CWI) to the Blueprint – an outreach and engagement effort to bring folks together to talk about moving forward collectively with a new paradigm for water management – everyone working together – urban, agriculture, environment, and disadvantaged communities – no one can be left behind.
This effort fits well with CWI’s mission of engaging the San Joaquin Valley with Fresno State faculty, staff, and students to pursue sustainable water resources management solutions through outreach, research, and education. We have been involved in this effort by researching funding and governance options for water infrastructure improvements in the San Joaquin Valley, and conducting a public opinion survey about water issues and economic conditions to measure support for potential solutions. We hope to get additional faculty and staff involved in the technical side of this effort.
CWI will continue its involvement in the stakeholder engagement process to help in the development of a shared-vision for water in the San Joaquin Valley, which will include outreach and education. We will use the lessons learned from similar collaborative efforts in California and the U.S. to develop educational opportunities that can showcase the problem solving process.
In the end, we agree with President Castro that a regional collaborative solution to the water needs of the San Joaquin Valley is the only way to make sure that no one is left behind.
Programs Manager, California Water Institute