Students are "The Future of Water" at Mojave's annual event

Students are “The Future of Water” at Mojave’s annual event

The Mojave Water Agency showed local students that they are “The Future of Water” at its seventh annual Innovators High Desert Water Summit held in the Powell Auditorium in Victorville on Feb. 9.

The event is designed to immerse middle and high school students in water education and conservation with a keynote presentation, breakout sessions, and interactive exhibits. This year, Mojave Water Agency collaborated with California State University, San Bernardino’s Institute for Watershed Resilience to show students some of the latest water-related technology and inspire them to consider a career in water.

“Water is the lifeline of our desert. We only get about 5” of rain a year and live in a constant state of drought,” said Board President Kimberly Cox in her welcome address. “We’re here today to show you the possibilities that you have for your future, because you are the future of water and sustainability in our High Desert. We need you.”

In her keynote address, CSUSB Masters student Christine Seeger shared her non-traditional path to working in water that took her from returning to college at age 30 with the intent to be a computer coder, to studying headwater stream resiliency within the San Bernardino National Forest.

“Like water, your course may change, and you have to be flexible,” said Seeger, who praised the students and schools for participating in the Water Summit. “Had I known about these career paths in my high school years, even middle school years, I think college in my 20s would have turned out a lot different because I would have been studying things that interested me back then.”

The audience of about 175 students from all over the Agency’s 4,900-square-mile service area, also attended breakout sessions that featured speakers from the college. Undergraduate students Julia Pineda and David Hernandez provided hands-on lessons about water quality testing. Graduate student Teresa Deaguilera demonstrated mapping technology used to study environmental justice in the water industry; and Angeli Richard lead sessions on modeling watersheds with Legos.

The event culminated with a presentation by this year’s essay contest award winner, Alexis Cisneros, a senior at Hesperia High School who secured a $3,000 scholarship for her “Aqua Viva” community conservation contest concept. Essay finalists who earned $1,000 scholarships were Mariana Strong, who also served as this year’s emcee; and Diego Cruz, both students from Oak Hills High School.

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