California Water: A Historical Perspective

Water Seminar Series Flyer

When: Friday, March 4, 2016, 12 pm - 1 pm
Where: Sacramento State, 6000 J Street | Santa Clara Hall, Room 1207
Topic: California Water: A Historical Perspective
Speaker: Timothy Quinn, Executive Director, Association of California Water Agencies


This seminar series is open to the public. Food will be provided for the first
20–25 people to arrive.

Topic Overview

It would be difficult to overstate the changes in how we manage California's water today compared to management practices only a few decades ago. In past decades, water management was largely the purview of attorneys and civil engineers who built vast water development projects to capture water when and where Mother Nature made it available and to transport it to where the California economy needed it. Today, while that "backbone infrastructure" remains vital to California's future, much greater emphasis is placed on water use efficiency; local resource development (such as reusing and desalinating water); water markets; and sustainable groundwater basins. We have replaced a policy focused on low-cost water for a growing agricultural and urban economy with a policy embracing "coequal goals"—that is, both a restored environment and a healthy economy are of equal importance in establishing future directions for California water policy. All of this is encouraging, but we have entered an era in which water policy is both more complex and more challenging. What does all of this mean for managing water in the future and for the role of objective research in helping to inform better water policy decisions? This presentation explores these questions from the perspective of a 35-year veteran water manager who has witnessed and helped shape much of this dramatic change.

About the Speaker
Timothy QuinnTimothy Quinn is executive director of the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA), a statewide association whose 450 local public water agency members are responsible for about 90% of the water delivered in California. Quinn became executive director in July 2007 and has more than 25 years of experience in California water issues. Prior to joining ACWA, he served as deputy general manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

Back to Top