The California Roundtable on Water and Food Supply

The WATER Institute is a founding member of The California Roundtable on Water and Food Supply (CRWFS), a consensus-based forum for thought leaders to uncover obstacles, identify solutions, and take action to enhance water security for agriculture, the public and the environment. Participants share a dedication to a healthy and balanced future for California and each bring deep experiences on issues at the intersection of water supply and agriculture to the table. Ag Innovations Network is the convenor/facilitatorof CRWFS, and its mission is to promote the long-term health of the food system in particular: of agricultural production, by facilitating critical dialogues with the food system, and between food system stakeholders and the wider public.

CRWFS is a forum for select leaders at the intersection of agriculture and water management to uncover obstacles, identify strategic and widely accepted solutions, and generate recommendations to assure a reliable, long-term supply of water to California’s specialty crop producers while optimizing other beneficial uses of water. The Roundtable is a space where these thoughtful and committed leaders can engage in a facilitated, off-the-record dialogue where creativity and wisdom can flourish, and new thinking and paths forward for sound water management can emerge.

The Roundtable aims to:

  • Build relationships between specialty crop representatives and environmental and public interests to reduce polarization and increase support for sound water management on farms.
  • Develop a unified set of principles that can underlie long-term solutions.
  • Create recommendations for decision makers and the general public on balanced solutions to tough water issues.
  • Package recommendations in formats appropriate for the intended audiences.

The Roundtable will address several key areas of opportunity over the course of the group’s work together. The first module is focused on agricultural water stewardship.

In addition to the Rountable, the WATER Institute has contributed to a related project, The California Agricultural Water Stewardship Initiative (CAWSI). This initiative aims to raise awareness about approaches to agricultural water management that support the viability of agriculture, conserve water, and protect ecological integrity in California. CAWSI's website is a resource center for growers, ranchers, and others interested in sound farm water management.

Roundtable Publications


On June 22, 2011 the California Roundtable on Water and Food Supply released a set of recommendations to shift thinking and spur appropriate action to balance the water needs of both farms and aquatic ecosystems. READ MORE





On November 13, 2012, the California Roundtable on Water and Food Supply released its latest report, From Storage to Retention: Expanding California’s Options for Meeting Its Water Needs. READ MORE






In April 2014, the California Roundtable on Water and Food Supply released its latest report, From Crisis to Connectivity: Renewed Thinking About Managing California's Water and Food Supply... READ MORE