A Conference for Municipal Professionals & Elected Officials
Register now to attend the Growing Sustainable Communities Conference - Western Region 2012 on Wednesday and Thursday, May 2 & 3 in Sonoma County, California.
The conference will feature four tracks of educational sessions for municipal government professionals and elected officials (nationwide) on Thursday, May 3, at the Double Tree Hotel in Rohnert Park, Calif. The general conference will be preceded by a special, half-day legislative roundtable for top leadership in local government, and a networking reception for all conference and roundtable attendees at the St. Francis Winery and Vineyards on May 2 (transportation will be provided from the hotel).
Programming at the general conference May 3 will include the following topics (subject to change):
1. West Basin Water Reliability 2020 - The West Basin Municipal Water District has embarked on a program to reduce dependence on less reliable imported water to coastal LA from 66% all the way down to 33% by the year 2020. Its Water Reliability goals will be achieved by more than doubling the use of recycle water, doubling conservation efforts, increasing programs to educate youth about conservation and beginning an ocean-water desalination program.
2. The Costs and Benefits of Green Infrastructure - Landscape architech and former member of the Sustainable Stormwater Group for the City of Portland, Ore., David Elkin will outline the installation and maintenance costs of green infrastructure and define the metrics for determining the ROI. He'll also address how green infrastructure can serve as an economic redevelopment driver.
3. Hydro-Meteorological Guidance for Stormwater Management and Operations - The impacts of weather on stormwater management and operations range from the minor inconvenience of clogged storm drains to all-out street flooding and uncontrolled combined sewer discharges. The need for improved weather forecasting and real-time guidance for flooding and water supply has been the driving force behind the technological/methodological advancements that have occurred during the last 5 years. These advancements have led to greatly improved quantitative precipitation forecasts (QPF) and real-time quantitative precipitation estimate (QPE) guidance from Doppler Radar, which has produced a drastic improvement in time-to-warn, while decreasing costs for terrestrial gage equipment.
4. Orange County Great Park Project - The City of Irvine, Calif. is embarking on an ambitious plan to turn the former El Toro Marine Corps Air Station into a 1,250-acre regional park, the Orange County Great Park. The scale of the Great Park will allow the City to deliver a triple win to the community by: i) improving stormwater quality discharge to receiving waters in conformance with current and pending MS4 regulations, ii) reduce Great Park water demand and associated operating costs expediting successful implementation; and, iii) provide incentive to developers to choose to build in Orange County.
1. Boulder EnergySmart Program - The City of Boulder, Colorado, is leading the way to overcoming the barriers to energy retrofits in the renter-occupied housing sector by adopting the nation's first energy code for rental housing. The integrated service, EnergySmart, which guides homeowners in Boulder County through the energy upgrade process, is helping the city’s rental owners reach the mandatory energy efficiency benchmarks.
2. Community Choice Aggregation, Sustainable Energy Utilities and Municipalization - We'll address community options for a sustainable energy future and answer the question: What is Community Choice Aggregation and how could it affect you?
3. Financing Renewable Energy for Water Use and Treatment Projects - This presentation will focus on regional examples, including a successful program in Portland, Ore.
4. Realizing the Potential for Municipal Solar Power - Public entities in the western region are increasingly motivated to adopt solar power as part of their overall economic, clean energy and environmental strategies. However, high up-front costs and lack of technical capacity prohibit many jurisdictions from selecting and moving forward with promising projects. Through the California Solar Initiative, the Solar Energy & Economic Development Fund (SEED Fund) is supporting Marin and Sonoma agencies to demonstrate an innovative solar procurement business model that utilizes a public-private revolving fund to make locally generated solar power a reality.
1. Preparing Your Community for the Next Generation of Vehicles - John Boessel of Calstart will lead a panel discussion on electric vehicles and supporting infrastructure with panelists Stephanie Meyn of the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency based in Seattle; Debra van Duynhoven, sustainability manager for the City of Palo Alto; and Dave Head, fleet operations director for Sonoma County.
2. Funding Opportunities for Sustainable Transportation Projects - Andrew Seth of Climate Communities and Sustainable Strategies DC will review a number of funding opportunities available at the state and federal level.
3. Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning Strategies for Community-wide VMT Reductions - Hear the latest from the Complete Streets Coalition and the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycling Professionals.
1. Mining Your Waste Streams for Power - Hear how communities in California and across the country are converting biogas from wastewater, landfills, food scraps and animal waste into electric power and vehicle fuels. Among the case studies will be Sonoma County's Farm to Fuel project and other regional examples.
2. The Future Ain't What It Used To Be - Learn how the City of Chula Vista developed and implemented a Climate Adaptation Plan to reduce their future risk from expected local climate change impacts. The presentation will highlight lessons learned from the planning process and early successes in plan implementation.
3. Choosing the Right Metrics for Measuring Progress on Sustainability Measures - Through case studies in Colorado, California and Iowa, this presentation will demonstrate the types of metrics available as tools to small and mid-sized communities for measuring their sustainability progress. Using these tools, communities have been able to cut energy costs, improve efficiency, and reduce environmental impacts in a way that resonates with local government staff and residents, putting budget allocations back into a general fund.
The half-day roundtable will include a facilitated discussion about the sustainability priorities of California's local governments and the drafting of a sustainability agenda, which will be presented to California's state and federal representatives.
Those who wish to attend may register online now at www.GSCwest.com. Seating is limited.