Netafim Teams Up with The Los Angeles Times To Present Central Valley Forum Examining Water Policy and the Future of California Agriculture

Experts Convene In The Heart of California Agriculture to Explore
Ideas, Obstacles, Answers And The New Realities Of Water In The West

FRESNO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–As drought continues to plague California’s vital agricultural sector,
policymakers, water management experts, environmental leaders and
growers convened in the state’s Central Valley to examine water issues,
technologies and solutions specific to the region during the Los Angeles
Times’ recent The California Conversation: Water In The West
forum in Clovis, CA.

Presented by drip irrigation manufacturer Netafim, the Los Angeles
Water In The West forum led off with a question and
answer session between Times senior correspondent Peter King and
Karen Ross, Secretary of the California Department of Food and
Agriculture. During the discussion, Secretary Ross addressed the state
of California agriculture and shared her view of what lies ahead for the
region’s growers.

“Looking ahead I see the continued resiliency, the continued adoption of
appropriate technology, and the use of that technology to create more
productivity with less inputs. Drip irrigation and subsurface irrigation
are perfect examples of saving water, saving inputs and optimizing
yields. It is what we have to do as we have less arable land and less
available water,” said Secretary Ross. “Even in a changing climate, I
still look at California agriculture and think the best days for
California agriculture are yet to be here.”

As the presenting sponsor, Netafim USA CEO John Vikupitz added,
“California’s farmers have a strong record of developing and
implementing water efficiency practices to optimize water use and adapt
to drought. The path to a more sustainable water future will undoubtedly
require a renewed emphasis on providing growers with the right tools,
technology, and knowledge to help them maximize water productivity per

Following the conversation with Secretary Ross, veteran Times
columnist Patt Morrison engaged a distinguished panel of experts in a
discussion on water rights, agriculture, policies and politics in the
era of drought.

The event panel featured stakeholders, water management experts,
environmental leaders and growers from across the region, including Mark
, Director of CA Department of Water Resources; Dan Dooley,
Principal, New Current Water and Land; Randy Fiorini, local
grower and Chair of Delta Stewardship Council; Nikiko Masumoto,
local grower, Masumoto Family Farm; Becky Quintana, Tulare County
resident and environmental activist; and Sarah Woolf, President
of Water Wise and board member of Westlands Water District.

Cowin, California’s top water official, noted that more can be done to
improve the efficiency of California’s water systems, saying that the
recent dry period is “a preview of what we should expect more of in the
next century,” and that “if global climate change affects California the
way we expect it to, we can expect more of these extended dry periods.”

Woolf, also a local grower, agreed that increasing water efficiency and
improving storage and groundwater supplies is an essential step for the
future of California agriculture, adding that “managing the status quo
is not going to get us where we need to go as a state.”

Fiorini was more blunt in his assessment: “Anyone not using drip or
micro irrigation today is making a big mistake.”

Held at the Clovis Veterans Memorial District, the forum was the second
in Los Angeles TimesThe California Conversation event
series that aims to spotlight statewide issues. Netafim was also
presenting sponsor of the series’ inaugural event in June 2015, which
featured a public conversation about water issues with Governor Jerry
Brown at the University of Southern California.

“It is imperative that the Los Angeles Times continues to engage
thought leaders on a range of topics essential to life in the Golden
State, ranging from water and politics to technology and
entertainment,” said Chris Argentieri, The Times’ General Manager. “As
we’ve focused The California Conversation events on the
water crisis in the West, Netafim has been a great sponsor in helping us
present candid, solutions-oriented discussions with industry
representatives, elected officials, stakeholders and advocacy groups
that have a direct impact on the future of the state.”

A recap video of the forum is available by visiting The
California Conversation: Water In The West


Netafim USA, based in Fresno, Calif., develops and manufactures drip
irrigation systems for agriculture, landscape & turf, greenhouse
& nursery, mining and wastewater. Netafim offers an extensive range of
irrigation solutions including driplines, filters, sprinklers, valves,
water meters and automation equipment for complete dripline system
installations. For more information go to


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