CSU, Chico News

Panel to Discuss Butte County Agricultural Water Conservation

Date: 09-26-2012

Kathleen McPartland
Public Affairs
Colleen Hatfield
Biological Sciences

The story of water across America is the theme of this year’s community Book in Common (BIC), “Unquenchable: America’s Water Crisis and What To Do About It.” As part of the BIC calendar of events, there will be a panel discussion about Butte County agricultural water conservation on Friday, Sept. 28, 10:30–11:30 a.m., in Colusa Hall 100B on the California State University, Chico campus. Representatives of several water and conservation districts in Butte County will give short presentations and then be open for questions and discussion.

The Sacramento River Valley is the main supplier of California’s water, servicing 25 million people, said Colleen Hatfield, Biological Sciences. It is also valued for its $2.5 billion agricultural production and the biodiversity of its 10 intersecting eco-regions. “Water and agriculture are front and center to our local economy and with an uncertain future characterized by increasing water demands and climate change, it is important that we are proactive in wise and efficient water management strategies,” said Hatfield. “This panel discussion will address how we are moving forward with this in agricultural practices.”

Panel members will address the question of what drives water use in Butte County and talk about how it is monitored and how water demands are met by judicious water applications and partnerships. The panel includes experts from the Butte County Resource Conservation District, USDA-Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), Butte County Water and Resource Conservation Department, and University of California Cooperative Extension.

There will also be a discussion of programs offered by the NRCS to assist local producers in water conservation and local success stories and practices put into place by Butte County producers.

Schedule of Water Conservation Panel

10:30 a.m.
Dr. Colleen Hatfield, CSU Chico
Welcome and introductions

10:30–10:40 a.m.
Kelly Miller, Butte County Resource Conservation District
Partnerships in Butte County addressing agricultural water conservation

10:40–10:50 a.m.
Christina Buck, Butte County Water and Resource Conservation Department
Overview of current water monitoring in Butte County

10:50–11:05 a.m.
Joe Connell, University of California Cooperative Extension
What drives water use in Butte County? Matching applications to meet water demands

11:05–11:10 a.m.
Dan Taverner, Natural Resource Conservation Service
Programs offered by the NRCS to assist local producers in water conservation

11:10–11:20 a.m.
Scott Turnquist, Natural Resource Conservation Service
Highlights of local success stories and the detailed practices that have been put into place on Butte County land by local producers

11:20–11:30 a.m.
Question-and-answer session

For more information, please call Colleen Hatfield, 530-898-4235, or Lee Altier, 530-898-4137.