Local water officials were expected to attend special lectures this weekend on how to build and manage a brand new all-encompassing water agency.
Members of both the Newhall County Water District and the Castaic Lake Water Agency boards – who have been drafting plans and holding public meetings for the creation of one newly-defined water agency – were expected to attend talks at the Hyatt Regency Valencia hotel Friday.
The mini-conference on water agency mergers – a sort of water merger 101 class – features two guest speakers expected to provide insight and guidance in creating a new agency.
And, although the special sessions are intended for water officials they are open to the public.
The Friday night talks given by guest speakers are to be followed up in two “Strategic Challenge” work sessions at the Hyatt Saturday morning.
The first Saturday session asks of participating water officials: “What are the key board areas of emphasis regarding establishing the new agency?”
Coupled with that discussion is the follow-up question: “How do we define success?”
The second Saturday session is titled: Planning in the face of water resource uncertainty.
It is the hope of water officials that participating water board members “takeaway” nuggets of insight gleaned from the Friday lectures.
The first scheduled speaker Friday is Dr. Bill Mathis who is expected to give a talk on “Driving Organizational Change.”
The second speaker is Paul Jones who is slated to discuss: Practical considerations for combining water districts.
Mathis is the founder of the Napa-based Mathis Group which provides general management and clinical consulting services. According to his company’s online profile, with the help of on-staff clinical psychologists, Mathis addresses high risk, safety, law enforcement and crisis-related situations.
Jones is the general manager of Eastern Municipal Water District within the Association of California Water Agencies. He reduced his district’s reliance on imported water and has helped advance recycled water programs, according to news release issued by the ACWA.
The ACWA is a statewide association of public agencies whose 430 members are responsible for about 90 percent of the water delivered in California.
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