Campus: CSU Fresno -- October 16, 2002

$60 Million Water Research Facility In Development at Fresno State


Plans for a $60 million water research and development facility were unveiled today (Oct. 15) by the International Center for Water Technology, a new joint venture between water technology manufacturers in the San Joaquin Valley and California State University, Fresno.

The announcement of the public-private partnership was made at Fresno State during a morning news conference and an afternoon reception for water technology manufacturers, civic leaders and economic development officials.

The new center is a collaborative venture between Fresno State and the San Joaquin Valley Water Technology Cluster, an organization of 30 manufacturers of water and water-related products located from Bakersfield to Stockton. The first phase of the facility will be completed in June 2003.

Among those appearing at the press conference were Rep. Cal Dooley and Rep. George Radanovich, who announced that the House Appropriations Committee has designated $2 million for planning and early construction work for the center. The full House and Senate must approve the appropriation.

Established in April 2001, the Water Technology Cluster comprises companies that are representative of the entire industry, which involves 120 establishments and more than 5,000 employees throughout the San Joaquin Valley.

In addition to the new International Center for Water Technology, the Water Technology Cluster is working together to solve work force development problems and to develop joint marketing and export programs. The San Joaquin Valley Water Technology Cluster is the region’s first effort to develop the economy based on strategic clusters of industry that have opportunities for growth and job creation in the global economy.

Dr. John D. Welty, president of Fresno State, called the center an exciting project for the Valley, and said the university is pleased to be a partner in its development.
The center’s business plan was developed by a team of university partners: the California Water Institute, Center for Irrigation Technology, Central California Futures Institute and University Business Center.

“The ICWT builds on the successful 20-year history of the university and industry partnerships through the Center for Irrigation Technology,” said Ashley Swearingen, executive director of the Futures Institute, a non-profit research and public policy organization associated with Fresno State. “The new program will go beyond irrigation to include municipal, commercial and industrial water systems and will serve Valley, state, U.S. and international needs,” she said.
Specific program components of the new center include:

  • University- and industry-sponsored research and development.
  • Testing services and certification for industry and development of industry standards for water equipment and applications.
  • Cooperative marketing and export assistance to increase the competitiveness of U.S. water technology worldwide.
  • Public policy and community education to inform diverse parties about the technical aspects of water issues.

Among the speakers at the news conference were the Dr. J. Michael Ortiz, provost and vice president of Academic Affairs at Fresno State; Claude Laval, chairman of the Claude Laval Corp. and co-chairman of the San Joaquin Valley Water Technology Cluster; and Doug Henton, a Silicon Valley-based economist who has developed economic competitiveness strategies for regions all over the world. Henton has been the principal adviser to the Fresno Area and the San Joaquin Valley in the development of the water technology cluster.

For more information, see www.ICWT.net.

Contact: Shirley Melikian Armbruster (559) 278-2795 or (559) 269-5261


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