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Water Policy & the Drought: Balancing Competing Interests to Stay Afloat (Full Version)

Felicia Marcus, Mel Levine, David Sedlak, Dick Beahrs

Event: 2015 Reunion & Parents Weekend at Homecoming

Date: October 3, 2015 Duration: 90 minutes

Scientists agree that California’s droughts are cyclical and appear to be growing worse. While we have developed technologies to address our water challenges, water policy remains a hot-button issue in the Golden State, and not necessarily on traditional Republican-Democratic policy lines. Along with the need for major new infrastructure, deep conflicts divide agricultural and urban industries, Central Valley and coastal communities, environmentalists and fracking proponents, and others. Panelists discussed how we can build consensus and create bipartisan solutions to ensure a sustainable water future for our state.


  • Felicia MarcusState Water Resources Control Board (Board) Chair
  • Mel Levine (BA ’64), Counsel and retired Partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP; former U.S. Representative, 27th Congressional District; Member, Goldman School Board of Advisors
  • David L. SedlakMalozemoff Professor in Mineral Engineering, Co-director of Berkeley Water Center, and Director of Institute for Environmental Science and Engineering (IESE)
  • Richard “Dick” H. Beahrs (BA ’68), Moderator