Current State Drought Raises Concern with "Ethics of Water" Panel Discussion

California’s current drought raises many questions and concerns for citizens throughout the state. How does the drought impact commodity prices and choices about what should be grown? How do these choices affect the welfare of future generations? What are the ethical and social justice implications of how we weigh the future value of these choices?

These questions and others will be addressed during a panel hosted by The Kegley Institute of Ethics (KIE) at California State University, Bakersfield (CSUB) entitled, “The Ethics of Water Distribution in the San Joaquin Valley” on Tuesday, October 25, in the CSUB Student Union Multi-Purpose Room at 7 p.m. The panel coincides a series One Book, One Bakersfield, One Kern events, a communitywide reading and discussion project inviting everyone to read The Big Thirst: The Secret Life and Turbulent Future of Water.

In addition to the water shortage, the discussion will reference relevant stakeholders in the San Joaquin Valley, economic tradeoffs related to

different ways of allocating water, and the social implications of those tradeoffs, including poverty levels and race of affected communities.

The “Ethics of Water” panel will feature community members, as well as other specialists including: Kimberly M. Brown, Senior Director, Water Resources, Wonderful Orchards; Michael Montgomery, United States Environmental Protection Agency; Jan Gillespie, Ph.D., Professor of Geology, CSUB; and Barbara Wyse, M.S., Principal and Senior Economist, Highland Economics in Portland, OR. Beth Brookhart Pandol, Executive Director, Water Association of Kern County will moderate.

“As Fishman so powerfully argues, we simply have to change our relationship with water use,” noted Christopher Meyers, KIE’s director. “This panel will address what those changes will look like in coming years and how they will impact goods and services that we now too blithely take for granted.”

The event is sponsored by Kern Schools Federal Credit Union and Kaiser Permanente in Partnership with San Joaquin Community Hospital. The event is free and open to the public and there will be free parking for attendees in Lots K1, K2 and M after 6 p.m.

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(661) 654-2136

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