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2012 State of the Sacramento River Watershed Forum

Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Sheraton Grand Hotel, Sacramento, CA


Overview: Same Conversation, Different Day… Or is Real Change Ahead?

The future of California is joined at the hip with the Sacramento River... so says UC Davis geologist, Dr. Jeff Mount. Hands down, the Sacramento River is the workhorse river for California. There are several key planning processes currently taking place that could impact the Sacramento River and its watershed. Please join the state’s top water leaders and fellow colleagues for SRWP’s fourth annual conference to get the latest news on the hottest topics affecting the Sacramento River Watershed including:

  • Morning keynote from Congressman John Garamendi on California’s water future
  • Sacramento River Watershed: What’s Government Got to Do With It? Hear from agency leaders on their priorities for the watershed. Are these priorities coordinated?
  • Developing flow requirements for the Sacramento San Joaquin Bay-Delta… what kind of changes will that bring? Hear from local experts on potential benefits and consequences.
  • Dispelling Fact from Fiction… get the straight talk from Southern California water interests. How much water do they want/need from the north? How efficient is their water use? Why grow water intensive crops like cotton in dry regions? Come prepare to ask your burning questions.
  • How will a Fix for the Delta affect the Sacramento River Watershed? Hear from the Chair of the Delta Stewardship Council and some key watershed stakeholders.
  • Sacramento Valley Flood Management Update: what’s in the works? Find out from a panel of flood management experts.
  • Hang out and network with colleagues after the conference for an evening reception.

Sponsorship Opportunities! Learn about the amazing benefits and recognition possibilities that come with the Forum's sponsorship opportunities! Download the forms:

Showcase Your Work! Showcase your organization or company's work with a display table. Contact SRWP to reserve a spot!

Register Today! Registration fee is $125 and includes breakfast, lunch, reception, and meeting materials. A limited number of scholarships are available. Contact SRWP for more information.

Hope to see you on May 22nd!

Keynote Speaker


Congressman John Garamendi


Sponsorship Opportunities! Learn about the amazing benefits and recognition possibilities that come with the Forum's sponsorship opportunities! Download the forms:

There are six sponsorship levels:

  • Presenting ($7,500)
  • Watershed Champion ($5,000)
  • Watershed ($2,500)
  • River ($1,000)
  • Creek ($500)
  • Steward ($300)
  • Non-profit Partner ($100)


MWD SCRCSD California Water Boards


ICF NHC Sac County  


Carollo Engineers CBEC
Dewberry ECORPS LWA Northern California Water Association
River Partners SSWD Somach Simmons & Dunn URS Corporatio
WEST Consultants      


Central Valley Joint Venture Conaway Preservation Group

Fran Borcall

MBK Engineers RWA Westervelt Ecological Services  

Non-profit Partner





Please check back for updates to this agenda!

Download a PDF version of the agenda.


Registration, Continental Breakfast, and Networking


Welcome to the Forum

  • Chris Elliott, SRWP Board Chair and Vice President, ICF International


Morning Keynote: Vision of California’s Water Future
  • Congressman John Garamendi, 10th Congressional District, California


The Sacramento River Watershed: What’s Government Got to Do With It? 

State and Federal agencies have missions and authorities that often work at cross purposes and too rarely in concert to promote efficient and effective management of Sacramento River water resources. Senior agency management will discuss their priorities and how they might improve capabilities so the whole regulatory and management apparatus can do better than the sum of its parts.

Moderator: Greg Zlotnick, Principal, Zlotnick H2O Consulting

  • Charlton H. Bonham, Director, California Department of Fish and Game
  • Mark Cowin, Director, California Department of Water Resources
  • William J. Leady, Colonel, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District
  • Pablo Arroyave, Deputy Regional Director, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Mid-Pacific Region


Networking Break


Developing Flow Requirements for the Sacramento River San Joaquin Bay-Delta and its Watershed

The State Water Resources Control Board has started the process of reviewing the Bay-Delta Water Quality consider whether updated water quality and flow criteria to protect beneficial uses within the Bay Delta are necessary. More flow for the Delta would likely mean the Board would have to initiate a water rights proceeding to implement the Board’s decision. This panel will discuss the controversial topic of flow needs for the Delta and potential impacts to water users.

Moderator: Mark Rentz, Director of Regulatory Affairs, Association of California Water Agencies (invited)

  • Thaddeus L. Bettner, General Manager, Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District
  • Caren Trgovich, Chief Deputy Director, State Water Resources Control Board
  • Doug Obegi, Staff Attorney, Natural Resources Defense Council (invited)


Lunch and Panel Discussion

Dispelling Fact from Fiction: Straight Talk from Southern California Water Interests

This panel presents an opportunity to ask leaders of south state water agencies the burning questions northern state residents have harbored about agricultural and urban water use in southern California. How much water do they want or need from the north? How efficient is their water use? Why grow water intensive crops like cotton in dry regions? Come prepared to engage in a discussion to reinforce facts and dispel myths.

Moderator: Leo Winternitz, SRWP Board Member and Associate Director CA Water Program, The Nature Conservancy

  • Dennis Cushman, Assistant General Manager, San Diego County Water Authority
  • Roger Patterson, Assistant General Manager, Metropolitan Water District (invited)
  • Jason Peltier, Chief Deputy General Manager, Westlands Water District

Networking Break

2:00 Finding a Fix for the Delta: What Does that Mean for Upstream Interests?

The Delta Stewardship Council is developing a Delta Plan that seeks to achieve the coequal goals of restoration of the Delta’s ecology and reliable water supplies for the state. This panel will discuss how the proposed solutions may affect north of Delta water and environmental interests and explore options for achieving the coequal goals while minimizing impacts to other users.

Moderator: Martha Davis, Executive Manager Policy Development, Inland Empire Utilities Agency

  • Stan Dean, District Engineer, Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District
  • David Guy, President, Northern California Water Association
  • Phil Isenberg, Chair, Delta Stewardship Council
  • John Woodling, Executive Director, Regional Water Authority
  • Jay Ziegler, Director of External Affairs and Policy, The Nature Conservancy


Sacramento Valley Flood Management Update: What’s in the Works?

Evolving policy at the Federal and State levels has led to unprecedented flood planning and construction activity in the Sacramento River watershed. This panel will discuss the latest developments in the Central Valley Flood Protection Plan and on-the-ground local efforts, as well as the role of different government entities.

Moderator: Chris Elliott, SRWP Board Chair and Vice President, ICF International

  • Bill Edgar, Central Valley Flood Protection Board
  • Mike Inamine, Sutter Butte Flood Control Agency
  • John Cain, American Rivers (invited)
  • Gary Bardini, Department of Water Resources (invited)
  • Scott Shapiro, Downey Brand (invited)


Wrap up and next steps

  Evening Reception