Water Guzzlers or Water Gurus?

This year’s 12th Annual Desert Garden Community Day on October 28 at UCR Palm Desert features a CV Water Counts panel on sustainability and technology regarding water use in our local agriculture and golf industries.

What are these industries doing to conserve water in our desert community? How are these industries using technology to use less water more efficiently? What are they doing to make their industries more sustainable for the future?


Come listen to this discussion with CV Water Counts on desert water issues with our “Water Guzzlers” and see by the end of the talk if these industries can be “Water Gurus” in a community-wide discussion of sustainable water use and growth.

“CV Water Counts mission is to present information that aids public understanding that a sustainable future is not only possible in our desert communities, but is happening now!” –John Souliere, Mission Springs Water District 

The panel is titled Water Guzzlers or Water Gurus? A Discussion About Sustainable Water Use Technology in Water-Dependent Industries.

“When you fly over the Sonoran-Desert Communities of the Coachella Valley, you quickly note vast regions covered with agriculture and golf courses. Many discussions have been raised about sustainable growth as it pertains to water, not only in a drought-susceptible state such as California, but also in the middle of a desert! The CV Water Counts regional conservation group will host a panel of industries known for their dependence on water to shed light on contemporary practices that have moved historic “water-guzzler” industries over to sustainable “water-guru” industries. Panelists include Craig Kessler, Director, Governmental Affairs Southern California Golf Association, John Powell Jr., Coachella Valley Farmer and CVWD Board President and Joshua Seipel, Area Specification & Public Agency Account Manager for the Rain Bird Corporation.”


John Powell Jr.

John is a local third-generation farmer and president and chief executive officer of Peter Rabbit Farms, his family’s Coachella-based farm.

He is the Coachella Valley Water District Board President and trustee representing California on the governing board of the Colorado River Water Users Association, he is a former director and past chairman of the Western Growers Association.

Craig Kessler

Craig is the Director of Governmental Affairs for the Southern California Golf Association (SCGA). He has pioneered a model for stakeholder participation in water and environmental issues with the golf industry and governmental entities over the last decade.

He is the Chair of the Coachella Valley Golf & Water Task Force and member of the Los Angeles Recycled Water Advisory Group, the Los Angeles Integrated Resources Management Plan Committee, and the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) Industry Stakeholder Group. He has served for 20 years as a USGA committeeman.

Joshua Seipel

Joshua has worked for over 15 years within the landscape construction industry as a landscape and irrigation designer, project manager and marketing chair for the US Green Building Council Inland Empire Chapter.

Since joining Rain Bird in 2016 he has consulted with public agencies and irrigation clients on utilizing industry best practices, proper design, application and product selection for their irrigation projects. 


John Soulliere, Conservation and Public Affairs Officer for Mission Springs Water District.

For over 20 years John has worked in the public water industry and municipal governments. He currently manages conservation programs along with public and legislative affairs.

I hope you are as excited as I am to welcome our sponsor CV Water Counts to the 12th Annual Desert Garden Community Day and look forward to seeing you at UCR Palm Desert on October 28 for our free event. Doors open at 8:30am and presentations begin at 9am and continue to 1:30pm. The CV Water Counts panel begins at 12:45pm.

More details at deserthorticulturalsociety.org

See you there!!

––Tracy Merrigan, Vice President, Desert Horticultural Society of the Coachella Valley and UC CoopExt Master Gardener



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