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News Release
News Contact: Cathy Summa-Wolfe, College of Marin, 415-485-9528

Grand Opening Set for World-Class Water Conservation Center
at the College of Marin Indian Valley Campus

KENTFIELD, Calif., July 5, 2007— College of Marin, Marin, County water districts, community leaders and industry professionals are joining forces to bring state-of-the-art water technology practices to county residents.

The grand opening of the Water Management and Technology Education Center (WaMTEC) gets underway Thursday, July 19, 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on the lawn between the Pomo and Miwok buildings at the Indian Valley Campus. The founding partners of the center will take their shovels and dig up a portion of the lawn to demonstrate one of the first steps in best practices for water conservation—removing lawns.

The designated area will serve as a model and an outdoor learning environment for professionals and students.

“By establishing the WaMTEC center on our Indian Valley Campus, the College of Marin is working to fulfill our commitment to education for sustainability,” said COM Superintendent/President Frances L. White, Ph.D. “Indian Valley offers an extraordinary space to teach and demonstrate state-of-the-art strategies in the design, installation and maintenance of sustainable landscapes and irrigation systems,” said White.

The College of Marin will begin a new community education series for “Qualified Water Efficient Landscapers” this summer. The course offered July 23 to July 28 will focus on the latest tools and strategies that promote responsible water use in Northern California. The class begins a series of courses and seminars designed for professionals and homeowners.

“This is a critical time for water users in Novato,” said Ryan Grisso, Conservation Manager for the North Marin Water District. “To live within available supplies, we need to educate homeowners, landscape and irrigation professionals as well as new people entering the industry, Grisso said”

Marin County residents are highly vulnerable to drought during summer months. Landscapes, such as lawns now consume 30 to 50% of total water use. Applying cutting-edge water management practices and technologies can cut consumption by 50 to 75%.

“This gives us an opportunity to educate our future business people in healthy water management techniques as well as offer the community opportunities to think about how we use water,” said Susan Adams, Marin County Supervisor.

The Marin County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the resolution by Charles McGlashan to support WaMTEC.

"The California Landscape Contractors Association is committed to the WaMTEC vision -- which is to develop a new generation of professionals with the water-wise skills and tools needed to create beautiful, water efficient landscapes,” said Dave Phelps, President of the North Coast Chapter, California Landscape Contractors Association.

North Marin Water District is implementing water reduction requirements and offering residents a rebate for lawn that they remove up to $400. (North Marin Water District will pay $50 per 100 square feet of regularly-irrigated lawn area removed. The rebate is limited to $400 for single-family dwellings, $100 for townhouses or condominiums, and $100 for apartments.)

WaMTEC, is a public and private partnership comprised of the following founders: College of Marin, North Marin Water District, Marin Municipal Water District, County of Marin Board of Supervisors, Joint Venture Marin, and California Landscape Contractors Association.

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