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Australian leaders to speak about drought at water conference

A delegation of Australian water leaders who had a key role in managing the so-called Millennium Drought that gripped their country from 1995 to 2009 will share insights at a conference in San Diego this week.

The Association of California Water Agencies' 2014 Fall Conference & Exhibition will run from Tuesday to Friday in San Diego. The conference is expected to draw more than 1,600 California water leaders. ACWA is a statewide association of public agencies whose 440 members are responsible for about 90 percent of the water delivered in California.

Stuart White, director of the Institute for Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology, Sydney, will deliver the keynote address during the opening breakfast on Wednesday. The Institute assisted water agencies during the Millennium Drought.

A delegation of other Australian water managers will attend conference sessions and share information as part of their visit to California. The group is expected to meet with officials from Gov. Jerry Brown’s office.

The ACWA conference, themed "Moment of Truth: One State, One Water Future," comes at a pivotal time in California water policy. Water leaders from every part of the state will discuss key challenges such as drought and recent developments such as passage of Proposition 1, the $7.5 billion water bond measure approved decisively by voters on Nov. 4, and landmark legislation on groundwater sustainability enacted in September.

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