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Water Debate


On February 4, 2009, a panel of ag water users and environmentalists discussed water use issues at a debate sponsored by Fresno State’s Political Science Student Association and the Political Science Department. It was moderated by U.S District Judge Oliver Wanger who has presided over several recent water use cases here in the Central Valley.

The ag representatives were Jim Beck, general manager of Kern County Water Agency, Thomas Birmingham, general manager and general counsel of the Westlands Water District, and Kole Upton, former chairman of Friant Water Users Authority.

The environmentalists were Lloyd Carter, board member of the California Water Impact Network and Revive the San Joaquin and president of California Save Our Streams Council, Bill Jennings, chairman of the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, and Michael Jackson, board member of California Water Impact Network and former counsel to California Sportfishing Protection Alliance and Regional Council of Rural Counties.

The evening's discussion of issues flowed in the following order:

Recent litigation

Judge Wanger opened with a review of water-related federal litigation over the past 20 years.

See video

Endangered species act explained

Judge Wanger gave some brief remarks.

See video

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