Participants Find Water Forecast Stimulating at OC Water Summit

More than 330 met at the Grand Californian Hotel in the Disneyland Resort of Anaheim on June 16 to attend the 10th annual OC Water Summit, titled “Finding Water.” Experts discussed the current rush to find new sources of water in California to overcome the challenges caused by cyclical droughts.

Highlights of the day included Master of Ceremonies Fritz Coleman and his “water forecast” for Southern California, which covered a changing climate, continued arid conditions and cyclical droughts. He colorfully set the scene for six sessions, including the luncheon speaker.  Coleman is a celebrated NBC4 weathercaster and standup comedian.

At lunchtime, Seth Siegel, New York Times bestselling author of “Let There Be Water: Israel’s Solution for a Water Starved World,” described how Israel can serve as a role model to help California and the U.S. solve their water shortages. Even though 60 percent of the country of Israel is made of desert, it has found solutions to its water problems through innovative methods and techniques.

The esteemed list of water industry moderators, panelists and speakers also included Dr. David Sedlak, “TED Talk” speaker and author of “Water 4.0: The Past, Present and Future of the World’s Most Vital Resource;” Jeffrey Kightlinger, general manager, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California; David Gutierrez, P.E., G.E., senior water resources and geotechnical engineer, GEI Consultants, Inc.; Scott D. Mason, senior policy advisor, Holland & Knight; Randy Fiorini, chair of the Delta Stewardship Council; Shivaji Deshmukh, P.E., co-general manager for West Basin Municipal Water District; Cedella Beazley, regional commercial director, Americas, Dow Water & Process Solutions; The Honorable Helene Schneider, mayor, city of Santa Barbara; David J. Stoldt, general manager, Monterey Peninsula Water Management District; Colonel Kirk E. Gibbs, commander, Los Angeles District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; The Honorable Laura Friedman, California State Assembly, District 43; Marcie Edwards, former general manager, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and former city manager, city of Anaheim; and Jennifer West, managing director, WateReuse California.

Following introductions by Orange County Water District Director Stephen Sheldon and Director, Municipal Water District of Orange County Jeffery Thomas, OC Water Summit sessions delved into topics of desalination, stormwater capture, four water revolutions and if the water industry will reinvent how it manages water after our historic drought, solutions to address aging infrastructure, and women who have been instrumental in reshaping California’s water portfolio.

Presentations and videos are available at