Dr. David Zoldoske, director of the Fresno State Center for Irrigation Technology, was elevated to executive director of water initiatives at Fresno State and will help guide the University in water technology, water resource management and policy.
“We’re looking forward to expanding Fresno State’s reputation as engaged in all things water with an international impact,” Zoldoske said. “We have been working collectively as a community to brand ourselves as the Blue Tech Valley thanks to decades of work with industry, government and regional leaders that have helped make our agricultural area a world model in water and energy efficiency. The need for further innovation continues to increase, accelerated by water shortages, so we want to expand our curriculum, internships and career opportunities across all disciplines to train the best and brightest students to help secure our water future.”
Zoldoske’s expanded role was among several action items recommended in the President’s Water Task Force report that was released in May 2015. Other initiatives being implemented or in the planning process include:
- Establishing Fresno State’s California Water Institute as the “front door” for all water-related activities on campus, including direct linkages to the Center for Irrigation Technology, the Water-Energy Technology Incubator and the International Center for Water Technology.
- Establishing a regional Center for Disadvantaged Communities that addresses access to clean drinking water among other challenges.
- Developing water and energy technology demonstration facilities on the 1,000-acre University Agricultural Laboratory to improve water and energy use efficiency, provide on-site water treatment for dairy and winery operations and promote the use of reclaimed or recycled water.
- Make efficient water use part of the DNA of the campus culture, including reduced reliance on bottled water, improved landscape irrigation efficiency and potential one-pass water use in cooling towers.
- Work with fellow California State University and University of California campuses, agencies and the greater water community to serve as a partner and leader in water research, education and community engagement.
The campus water task force included Zoldoske and 18 other faculty, staff and area and government representatives. A copy of the complete task force report is available online.
Since 1994, Zoldoske has served as the director of the Center for Irrigation Technology, an independent testing laboratory, applied research facility and educational resource. As a Fresno State graduate in agricultural economics, he began his irrigation career as a student research assistant before being hired as a full-time research technician in 1983.
Zoldoske served as vice chair of the California Department of Water Resources strategic planning caucus for New Water Technology, a member of the California Department of Food and Agriculture Nitrogen Tracking and Reporting Task Force and was co-chair of the Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance committee established by AB2717.
Zoldoske was named 2015 “person of the year” by the California Irrigation Institute, and was named 2013 “person of the year” by the Irrigation Association. He is a senior fellow with the California Council on Science and Technology and an honorary member of the American Society of Irrigation Consultants. He is also a past president of the Irrigation Association (2005), founding executive director for the Water Resources and Policy Initiative for the California State University system (2008-2013) and past president of the American Society of Agronomy California Chapter (2002).