FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – A meeting with what was billed as the leaders of California’s largest urban water suppliers did not include a representative from the City of Fresno – despite an invitation being extended.
The meeting on Monday between Gov. Gavin Newsom and the assorted water leaders was convened to discuss aggressive actions to combat drought and encourage their customers to save water, according to the governor’s office.
In the meeting, the governor warned that if local conservation efforts do not work then the state could be forced to bring in mandatory restrictions.
The water agencies represented at the meeting included Bay Area companies such as the Contra Costa Water District and the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission – as well as companies in Southern California such as the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and the San Diego County Water Authority. A complete list provided by the governor’s office did not include any water companies serving the Central Valley.
“Other agencies and water users, including the City of Fresno, were invited to the meeting with the Governor but were unable to make it,” said Deputy Press Secretary Daniel Villaseñor in a statement.
“Additionally, the California Municipal Utility Association (CMUA) and the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) were both in attendance. CMUA and ACWA both represent several Central Valley suppliers and ACWA specifically represents the City of Fresno.”
Villaseñor added that the Central Valley has been a key part of these discussions – and will continue to be.
The City of Fresno’s Director of Communications Sontaya Rose confirmed that an invitation had been extended to Fresno’s water representatives – to discuss how participating cities could be prepared for droughts.
“We were asked to attend the meeting at 12:40 on Tuesday and had to respond by the end of that business day.”
Rose added that Fresno is very engaged with the CUWA, the California Urban Water Agencies, which did have a representative present at the meeting with Governor Newsom.
The CUWA’s position on doughts includes expanding messaging around non-essential water uses, enabling access to stored water, focusing on small water suppliers in need of help, helping local agencies save water, and supporting alternative drought-resilient supplies (including desalination).