Water Officials to Gather in Monterey

Special District Reforms, State Budget Issues on Tap at ACWA Conference

Water leaders from throughout the state are set to gather in Monterey for the spring conference of the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA).

The event, set for May 5-7 at the Monterey Conference Center, is expected to draw more than 2,000 water officials to hear the latest on special district reform legislation, new science in the Delta, state budget finances and water rights fees. Other topics on the agenda include perchlorate in drinking water, the political outlook for the November elections and a proposed move to make investor-owned utilities eligible for grant funds under Proposition 50 of 2002.

Newly appointed Department of Water Resources Director Lester Snow will provide insight into policy direction and new initiatives by the Administration brought to office in last year's unprecedented recall election. Snow is the headline speaker at the conference's opening breakfast on Wednesday, May 5.

Republican senatorial candidate Bill Jones is the keynote speaker at a luncheon program on Thursday, May 6. Jones, who is challenging U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer this fall, is expected to address the federal role in meeting California's water needs. Boxer was invited to speak as well, but was unable to attend due to schedule conflicts.

The closing breakfast session on Friday, May 7, will feature political veterans Sal Russo and Ritchie Ross for an inside look at issues and personalities defining the November elections.

Specific conference programs include:

-- "State Water Resources Control Board: Fees, Groundwater Management and Other Fun Stuff," noon, May 5.

-- "New Delta Science and Implications for Water Supply," 2:15 p.m., May 5.

-- "The State Deficit: Probable Winners and Losers from Structural Reform," 8:30 a.m., May 6.

-- "Public vs. Private: Who Should Get Prop. 50 Funds?" 10:15 a.m., May 6.

-- "What's Hot and What's Not in 2004 Politics?" 8:30 a.m., May 7.

More program details are available at www.acwanet.com.


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