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Engage Encinitas to host first ‘Citizens Academy’ event

ENCINITAS — Four months after its formation, Engage Encinitas will host its first of a series of panel sessions aimed at educating and informing the public about key community and regional issues.

The first topic: water (or the lack thereof).

“Water: Every Drop Counts” is the title of the discussion, which is part of Engage Encinitas’ “Third Thursday Citizens Academy” series.

The discussion will be held from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. April 16 in the Encinitas Library Community Room, 540 Cornish Drive.

Those in attendance will hear from three experts in the field of water and water conservation in a moderated panel discussion in which they will discuss regional water conservation efforts and things residents can do to manage the region’s precious water supply.

The panelists are Mike Thornton, the general manager of the San Elijo Joint Powers Authority; Joey Randall, the customer service manager of the Olivenhain Municipal Water District; and Dadia Ponizil, the owner and operator of Ponizil Energy.

The local chapter of the League of Women Voters of North County will moderate the session, which is free to attend.

To get a better understanding of the region and Western United States’ water policies and issues, Engage Encinitas representatives are encouraging prospective attendees to read Mark Reisner’s “Cadillac Desert: The American West and its Disappearing Water.” The group will also be posting water-related articles on its Facebook page.

Engage Encinitas is the moniker of the nonprofit organization formed by four local women, including former Councilmember Teresa Barth, who announced the creation of the group shortly after her council term ended in December 2014.

The organization aims at strengthening civic engagement among the city’s citizenry without political or partisan influence.

The founding members include Barth, Liz Taylor, the board president of the San Diego Coastkeeper and a staff attorney for UC Irvine’s School of Law’s Center for Land, Environmental and Natural Resources; Mim Michelove, the co-president of Healthy Day Partners and a driving force behind the Encinitas Union School District’s burgeoning agricultural activities; and Tiffany Fox, a former reporter at U-T San Diego who currently serves as a public information representative at UC San Diego.

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