Environmental Leaders, Fortune 500s Announce Collaborative Investments to Protect California’s Water Future
Today the California Water Action Collaborative (CWAC) is announcing its collaborative investments in critical projects designed to protect California’s water future. CWAC is made up of 20 environmental leaders and Fortune 500 companies who are all committed to taking an integrated approach to finding solutions to advance water security and provide a framework for collective action in the state. CWAC members are environmental organizations, food and beverage companies, non-profits, farmers and local water districts. Ag Innovations has been involved since 2015, and this year also began to facilitate the collaborative. We are delighted to be a part of such an active, engaged cross-sector group.
After five years of deep dialogue, research, and case analysis on key water issues, the California Roundtable on Water & Food Supply (CRWFS) took on a new challenge this past year: assessing a gubernatorial initiative. What happens when you bring the CRWFS Connectivity Approach to bear on one of the state’s most holistic efforts at water management to date? Read on to find out.
Is waste wasted? Or is our thinking too limited? There is an emerging body of research and practical applications that suggests California is ready to create a genuine Bioeconomy – an economy where every byproduct is an input to another valuable product. This provocative one-day event is an invitation to peer over the horizon towards this emerging bioeconomy, to learn about what is driving the need to find new solutions to reducing and reusing woody biomass from farms and a wide range of other byproducts of the food system.
Four years ago, the Sonoma County Healthy & Sustainable Food Action Plan (FAP) was issued as a call to action to answer this and many other food and farming related questions. Last month, Ag Innovations, in partnership with the Sonoma County Food System Alliance, published a status report featuring an implementation overview, inventory of local food and farming initiatives, and updated indicators.
On May 24, a coalition of Santa Barbara organizations announced the release of the Santa Barbara County Food Action Plan. The plan represents a milestone for both Santa Barbara County in reflecting community consensus on how to build a more resilient food system and for the food change efforts more generally in its focus on a postive agenda that stands outside of traditional political divides.
Science news: Designing for uncertainty with Theory U; California’s Delta-groundwater nexus; Missing the boat on freshwater fish conservation in California; Measuring drought in more than dollars and cents; and more …
Designing for uncertainty with Theory U: “As anyone who has ever tried to work with a group on a complex design challenge knows, uncertainty is one of the most predictable parts of the job. Whether the topic is groundwater management, farm-worker housing, or building a local food alliance, project leaders are faced with the same challenge: they must bring together diverse stakeholders with divergent views to solve complex problems in rapidly changing political and environmental conditions. In this context, solutions are emergent – that is, they arise through the process and cannot be planned and predicted in advance. Groups often hire facilitators to help them find a sense of certainty and a clear path forward through terrain that, in reality, can offer neither. So how do we serve our clients while also being true to the conditions of the challenges they are facing? One tool that we at Ag Innovations find incredibly useful is the process described by Otto Scharmer of MIT in Theory U.” Read more from Ag Innovations here: Designing for uncertainty with Theory U.
Blog round-up: Speaker Boehner blames CA drought on Obama, Public land management at a crossroads, Water wars from the top of the watershed, Groundwater crap detecting 101, and more …
Facilitating California's groundbreaking groundwater governance system: “The historic Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) was signed into law in the fall 2014, providing the first comprehensive framework for regulating groundwater in California. The timeline is tight for local agencies to implement the act, and the state has recognized the pressing need to connect water management groups with professional facilitators to ensure success. Funding has been allocated to the Facilitation Services Program1 of the state’s Department of Water Resources (DWR) to support a range of activities related to SGMA implementation, including strategic planning, stakeholder assessment, meeting facilitation, and public outreach. Water management groups having facilitation needs are encouraged to submit an application to DWR as soon as possible. ... ” Read more from the Ag Innovations Network here: Facilitating California’s groundbreaking groundwater governance system.
Blog round up: Temperature management on the Sacramento River, Economist advise how to manage drought, changing California’s water rights system, Arizona’s Colorado River zeitgeist and more …
A strategic, connected and adaptive California Water Action Plan? Lucas Patzek writes, “In California’s multiple responses to the drought, there is one key initiative that remains relatively unknown: the California Water Action Plan (Plan). The Plan calls for coordinated action to address the dynamic and interconnected challenges faced by the state’s water system. Thus far, our ability to resolve these challenges has not kept pace with the increase in their scope and complexity. Efficient and effective coordination is exactly what is needed, but the question is: how do the actions of multiple agencies align to advance solutions that are strategic, connected, and adaptive? ... ” Read more from Ag Innovations here: A strategic, connected and adaptive California Water Action Plan?
Evan Wiig of The Farmers Guild, a fiscally sponsored project of Ag Innovations, was interviewed about the Growing Our Farms forum in Sonoma County. Ag Innovations' project, the Sonoma County Food System Alliance helped produce the event and President, Joseph McIntyre facilitated.
Ag Innovations collaborated with local partners to produce the Hunger Forum, an event targeted to raise awareness, and create solutions for the hunger disparity in Sonoma County. Joseph McIntyre facilitated the event.