More than a slogan – The urgent need to work together for a better water future

Common Good Panel_1

CDFA Secretary Karen Ross (second from right) at this week’s panel discussion: ‘The Common Good – Working Together for a Secure Water Future.” Others with Secretary Ross (from right) are moderator Mark Keppler of the Maddy Institute, Ashley Boren of Sustainable Conservation, Central Valley farmer Cannon Michael, former Fresno mayor Ashley Swearengin, and Ellen Hanak of the Public Policy Institute of California.

Earlier this week I joined people representing a diverse group of interests for a panel discussion about water. The event, in Clovis, was organized by Sustainable Conservation, and its title, The Common Good: Working Together for a Secure Water Future, represents much more than a simple, optimistic slogan. As our discussion made clear, working together is absolutely essential to maintain and build sustainability for California agriculture as well as the state’s ongoing development in all facets.

I was honored to join former Fresno mayor Ashley Swearengin, Sustainable Conservation’s Ashley Boren, the Public Policy Institute of California’s Ellen Hanak, and Central Valley Farmer Cannon Michael. Between the four of us and moderator Mark Keppler of the Maddy Institute, we covered the waterfront, so to speak – all of the modern demands for water were represented. Our group symbolizes the type of partnerships that must come together and move forward to effectively manage our future.

We know that demand for food worldwide will grow significantly over the next several decades, and we know that available natural resources are becoming more scarce – so to reach a point where sustainability can be achieved, all sides in the water discussion must truly communicate with one another. This is no longer about Farms v. Fish. Rather, it’s about building a California where we’re all vested in each other’s success. I hope you’ll take the time to view this video recording of our discussion and then join us in working together for a better water future.

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