Western States Groundwater

Approximately fifty participants [EPA Regions 8-10, western states (i.e., AK, CA, CO, HI, ID, NM, NV, OR, UT) and various other source water professionals] attended the May event held at the Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove, California. The Forum brought together source water partners to share and discuss solutions to source water and groundwater protection challenges in the West.

Day One of the Forum featured fourteen speakers covering a variety of topics linked to source water protection including: climate change; recycled water; fire; agriculture; low impact development; local collaboratives; and on-site wastewater management.

Day Two utilized “Open Space”, a dynamic and engaging meeting technique, and featured nineteen breakout discussions covering a range of source water topics. Day Two also included a field trip to sites in the Carmel River watershed highlighting (1) the use of recycled water for irrigation and conservation of source water, and (2) water resource management in the Carmel River system.

Day Three (a half day) involved: a review of breakout summaries from the Day Two; group prioritization of breakout topics warranting further discussion; a group exercise to draw links between priority topics; and a discussion of next steps. Attendees came away from the meeting energized from the presentations and discussions, with newly formed working relationships and constructive ideas for addressing source water protection issues.

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