How California can use the latest technology to solve its water supply crisis is the focus of a new Public Broadcast System program co-sponsored by the California Farm Water Coalition.
"This is really a celebration of the creativity and leadership that everyone from family farmers in the Central Valley to the public water agencies that serve our largest cities have implemented in addressing one of California's biggest challenges for the future," says Mike Wade, executive director of the California Farm Water Coalition.
The program, "Stretching Our Water Supplies," will be broadcast on public television stations in California, Oregon and Nevada beginning in November. It is produced by Huell Howser as part of his long-running series on life in California for public television.
In the first of the program's three segments, distinguished biologist Dr. Stuart Siegel, founder of Wetlands and Water Resources, Inc., San Rafael, explains how public water agencies serving California's farms and cities are working together to restore wetlands and habitat in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, the crossroads of the state's water system.
In the second segment, Panoche Drainage District General Manager Dennis Falaschi demonstrates the innovations that have enabled him to recycle the saline drainage water from more than 100,000 acres of farmlands. As a result, contaminants that used to be discharged into the San Joaquin River have been reduced by 85 percent. The water is now being used to grow specially selected agricultural commodities that scientists hope will one day help to improve food supplies and nutrition in Third World countries.
In the last segment, Huell Howser visits a family farm that is carrying water conservation to extraordinary levels of efficiency, using cutting edge technology that enables the farmer to look into the root zone below ground and measure the "heartbeat" of his crops.
"The creativity on display in the program will be evident to everyone who cares about protecting our water resources," said Wade. "Huell Howser has done an amazing job of searching out the best work and translating the science into stories to which we can all relate and see clearly how important these innovations will be to our lives."
"Stretching Our Water Supplies" is co-sponsored by the California Farm Water Coalition and the Family Farm Alliance. Huell Howser's long-running reports on life in California for public television have been endorsed by the California Teachers Association, the California Federation of Teachers, the California State Library Foundation, the California Library Association the California School Boards Association, the California Council for the Social Studies, and the California Historical Society.