Water Education and Awareness Day

The fulfillment of basic human needs, the environment, socioeconomic development, and poverty reduction are all dependent on water. Cooperation around this precious resource is key for the future of the well-being of the planet and its inhabitants; we must work together to protect and carefully manage this fragile, finite resource. Every action involving water management and use requires effective cooperation between multiple agencies at local levels. In recognition of this reality, the Forestry and Natural Resources program at Columbia College declared May 26, 2016 to be a local Water Education and Awareness Day as a means of focusing attention on the importance of water-related issues while advocating for the sustainable management of water resources. The day’s program includes stimulating speakers, presentations, panel and thematic discussions as well as a series of water-related displays.

The Center for Water Resources Management is a new collaboration facilitated by Columbia College to promote water education, certification, and training and is based at the Innovation Lab in Sonora, CA. Steve Christianson, Program Coordinator, states, “We have brought together education, utility organizations, governmental agencies as well as the private sector to develop our next generation of water workers for an exciting day of learning.”

On May 26, 2016 the Innovation Lab and the Center for Water Resources Management, located at 101 Hospital Rd. Sonora, CA, will host the first Water Education and Awareness Day from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.  The event is free to the public and will feature presentations by Columbia College, Motherlode Job Training, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the State Water Resources Control Board. A panel discussion of experts will discuss the future of the industry, employment, and the drought.

The Center for Water Resources Management, a unique collaboration of utility agencies, industry, government, school districts, community colleges, and universities will meet quarterly in a formal “Water Cluster” starting this July. Water Clusters are backed by the EPA and the Sonora Water Cluster is the first rural-based cluster in the nation. The Mother Lode Region, one of the highest producing watershed areas in California, providing water for the Bay Area as well as contributing to Southern California’s water supplies, faces unique challenges including multitudes of small water systems with a lack of central coordination. Over the last couple of years, the effects of the drought combined with the impacts of the Rim and Butte fires have challenged the region while also creating opportunities for employment. The Center for Water Resources Management along with Columbia College’s Career Technical Education (CTE) Division and Forestry and Natural Resources program are combining forces to develop cutting-edge training opportunities. Columbia College programs have created a tremendous launch pad for a Regional Water Training Program. Existing Columbia College programs and courses include:  Two-year Associate in Science degree (Water Resources Management), Certificate of Achievement in Water Resources Management, Skills Attainment Certificate in Wastewater Treatment Plant Operations, and many other offerings in Forestry and Natural Resources.

Come and be part of this exciting opportunity to learn and explore job opportunities.

For more information contact:

Steve Christianson

Program Coordinator

Center for Water Resources Management

101 Hospital Rd. Sonora, CA 95370