A new report from the Visalia-based Community Water Center indicates that over 500 local water board seats have gone uncontested in recent elections. In the southern San Joaquin Valley, the report finds that 87 percent of seats on public water agency boards went uncontested. When only one candidate is seeking a seat, the election for that seat is canceled. The report looked at water agencies that serve residential and industrial customers as well as irrigation districts that serve farmers. The groups calls for a move to recruit and train possible candidates for these offices and better public understanding of the role these districts play in California’s water system. To learn more about the issue we spoke with the report’s author Charloette Weiner who explains in many cases it’s hard to recruit people for these important – but unpaid – positions.