Governor Jerry Brown’s recent move to implement mandatory state-wide drought restrictions re-affirms growing uncertainties about California’s water future. Images of dwindling rainfall and worsening drought often re-enforce popular perceptions of impending shortages as chiefly physical phenomena, restricting possibilities for robust and innovative responses through the social sphere. In the Central Coast, in particular, seemingly intractable divisions between public water agencies and homeowners’ coalitions, between groundwater aquifers and the needs of agriculture and between people and fish result in a fragmented political and ecological landscape where polarizing battles are not only seen as normal, but self-evident. This cocktail hour will invite participants to engage in an uncommon civic dialogue to imagine and envision what broad-based, collective interventions for Central Coast water might look like. Participants from all backgrounds will be strongly encouraged to share and discuss innovative suggestions for how a more ecologically-sound, socially-equitable water plan might be drafted and implemented. Using the year 2030 as a horizon, participants will have the opportunity to share suggestions and expertise across disciplinary boundaries and to consider whether and how competing visions for Central Coast water might be reconciled.
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