At Friant Water Authority’s second Annual Meeting this past Tuesday, March 27, nearly 250 growers, water agency staff, and public officials convened at the DoubleTree Convention Center in Fresno to both celebrate a year of success and to confront critical challenges for the coming years. Attendees mingled during the reception before enjoying a buffet dinner at tables. Many people brought spouses or other family members with them.
“Our focus for last year’s meeting was to highlight big changes in our organization during 2016 and early 2017. This year, in addition to highlighting accomplishments from 2017, we wanted to provide a forum to discuss what we feel are the major challenges and opportunities facing the Friant Division and the entire San Joaquin Valley in 2018 and beyond, especially related to addressing capacity problems on the Friant-Kern Canal that are severely restricting water deliveries. We also wanted to reach an even broader cross-section of the San Joaquin Valley community than we did last year. I think we accomplished those goals,” said Jason Phillips, FWA Chief Executive Officer.
In addition to presentations by FWA staff, the program included a presentation by Dr. Jerry Meral on the benefits of the Water Supply and Water Quality Act of 2018 (2018 Water Bond) for the Valley and a panel of state and federal water officials discussing their near-term priorities. FWA Board President Kent Stephens also presented an award to Lucille Demetriff, recently retired from the board, for her more than 20 years of service to FWA and Friant Water Users Authority.