SAN RAFAEL -- The supply of water in Marin County and California's ongoing drought, the future of public transportation with the forthcoming SMART rail and how the county's biggest hospital will be rebuilt amid a health care reform-driven landscape will be the focus of the Business Journal's Impact Marin conference March 13.

Pre-registraton for the event closes Monday.

The conference will feature a host of experts on the aforementioned issues that are poised to define much of Marin's economy in the coming years. The Business Journal will also unveil results from the second annual Marin County Business Climate Survey, a first-of-its-kind gauge of key business concerns specific to Marin.

The first panel, titled "Water: Focused on the drought and the status of supply," will feature the following experts discussing what has turned out to be the worst drought in California's history, and how it impacts business and life in Marin. The panel includes: Chris DeGabriele, general manager of North Marin Water District; Krishna Kumar, general manager of Marin Municipal Water District; and J. Dietrich Stroeh, a partner with Novato-based CSW/Stuber-Stroeh Engineering Group.

The next panel, titled "Transportation: Focusing on the SMART train's status and the newly developing congestion on 101 North and the Richmond Bridge," will focus on important infrastructure challenges faced by Marin County and, by extension, the greater North Bay. On the panel will be: Farhad Mansourian, general manager of SMART, also known as Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit and the North Bay's first full-scale commuter rail; Gary Phillips, mayor of San Rafael; and Diane Steinhauser, executive director of the Transportation Authority of Marin

Rounding out the conference will be Marin General Hospital Chief Executive Officer Lee Domanico, who will share the future of the county's largest hospital, a level 3 trauma center. Marin County voters last year backed the planned rebuilding of the hospital to meet state seismic safety standards, authorizing by a two-thirds majority $394 million in general obligation bonds for the project, which will total roughly $500 million.

Mr. Domanico will also discuss the Affordable Care Act's impact on business of health care, and what that means for the future of Marin General Hospital. He’ll give specific examples of the path the hospital is pursuing with regard to people, collaborations and infrastructure as it confronts the biggest change in U.S. healthcare since the implementation of Medicare.

Preregistration is available until March 10 or by calling 707-521-5264. Tickets are $65, or $675 for a table of 10. A continental breakfast is included, along with a subscription to the Business Journal for new subscribers. It will be held at Embassy Suites in San Rafael from 8 a.m. to 10:15 am. Registration at the door begins at 7:30 a.m.