Leading experts in water conservation and regulation will direct the conversation about water and animal agriculture at the National Institute for Animal Agriculture Annual Conference. The 2015 conference, called Water and the Future of Animal Agriculture will be held March 23-26, 2015 in Indianapolis at the Hyatt Regency Indianapolis.

The opening keynote speaker, Dr. Jay Famiglietti, Ph.D., is a professor of earth system science and of civil and environmental engineering at the University of California, Irvine. He also is the Senior Water Scientist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology and was appointed to the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board by California Governor Jerry Brown.

Famiglietti leads a research group that investigates how the water cycle and freshwater resources are being impacted by climate change. He was recently interviewed on 60 Minutes about an advanced computer model he helped develop that NASA uses with satellites to track water depletion in some of the world's target aquifers. Famiglietti and his students pioneered methods of using data from NASA's Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) and have found that the current rate of groundwater use around the globe is unsustainable.

Famiglietti has delivered over 50 lectures on global water cycle change and freshwater availability.

Another keynote speaker to talk at the 2015 NIAA Annual Conference will be Aubrey Bettencourt, Executive Director of the California Water Alliance. She has helped to coordinate groundbreaking grassroots, state and federal lobbying efforts and public relations development.

Bettencourt is a third generation farmer on her family's farm in Hanford, Cali. She has also been trained in National Security and was a research analyst for the Center for Security Policy in Washington, DC, working with the FBI, CIA and U.S. Department of Defense and State specializing in international money laundering.

Now, Bettencourt is a policy consultant and political strategist serving clients throughout California. She helped push for a three-part federal drought package, the California Emergency Drought Relief Act of 2014, to provide immediate drought relief for affected communities, a recovery plan and a long-term solution to prevent future drought emergencies.

The NIAA looks forward to the conversation that these two experts will lead along with several other speakers throughout the conference.

For more information or to register online go to www.animalagriculture.org/2015AnnualConference or contact the NIAA by calling 719-538-8843 or emailing niaa@animalagriculture.org.