MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS -- Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs reached out to local water authority officials and community members during a water conservation symposium at the Coachella Valley Water District, in Palm Desert, Calif., June 26, 2015.
NREA attended the Drought and Urban Water Conservation Symposium, hosted by the Colorado River Basin Region Water Quality Control Board in order to better educate the community on the Combat Center's progressive water conservation efforts and achievements.
Throughout the event, representatives from various drought-affected organizations addressed the audience of more than 40 community members. Their presentations conveyed different strategies being used to meet the restrictions on urban water use as set forth by the state of California, made effective June 1, 2015.
"The objective of the symposium is to provide an opportunity for the state water resources control board and drought-affected agencies and organizations to share information, perspectives, and strategies being implemented to address the governor's mandate for statewide reduction of urban water use," said Gita Kapahi, director, Office of Public Participation.
Serving as the representative for the Combat Center, Chris Elliott, water resource manager, NREA, delivered a presentation on the installation's drought response policy and the different ways the base is working to conserve water.
"The Combat Center is being proactive with its water conservation program and is committed to exceeding the requirements associated with water conservation, not just meeting them." Elliott said. "We want to do everything we can without impeding the mission of the Marine Corps."
During his presentation, Elliott explained varies methods the Combat Center has been implementing to meet the water conservations goals set in place.
"We were able to save 62 million gallons of water from Oct. 2014 to May 2015, compared to the previous fiscal year, when we saved 54 million gallons," Elliott said. "We attribute this to the Water Conservation Task Force that was recently set in place."
Following the presentations, an open-microphone session provided attendees the opportunity to ask questions about water conservation and how it affects the community.
"I learned a lot today because I didn't know about all the things the base is doing for water conservation," said Ellen Way, board chair, CRBRWQCB. "If there is a correct behavior, the military should lead by that example, and I was very proud of everything that the base is doing to preserve water."
Elliott answered questions from the community about how the installation better cares for the environment, which helps to ensure the Combat Center remains the Marines Corps' premiere training venue.
"It's very important that we communicate what we are doing from a water conservation perspective to the outside community," Elliott said. "Opportunities like today are a great way for us to reach out and show people that that base is doing great things with, not only training, but for the environment as well."