DBS&A Vice President / Principal Hydrogeologist, Tony Morgan, P.G., C.Hg., will present “The Unknown Unknowns – Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs) and Information Discovery” at the Groundwater Resources Association of California (GRAC) First Annual Western Groundwater Congress. Mr. Morgan’s presentation will be part of the technical session on “Data: The Essential Element of SGMA, which will highlight the importance of data collection in Sustainable Groundwater Management, dealing with issues associated with data collection and analysis, and utilizing data to address key requirements of SGMA. Learn more about Tony and DBS&A’s SGMA services.

Taking place September 25 to 27, 2018 in Sacramento, California, GRA’s premier technical event will focus on Western groundwater quality and groundwater resources, and will boast world-class technical presentations on Water Resources, Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) legislation, Contaminants, and other special topics. Click here to learn more about the event.

More about Tony’s presentation: The Unknown Unknowns—GSPs and Information Discovery.

Unknown Unknowns (U-U), sometimes called unidentified risks or blind spots, are often not a part of project management (e.g., GSP development) or are sometimes accounted for as a nonspecific “project contingency”. A U-U is sometimes thought to be impossible to find or imagine in advance.

To minimize these blind spots, it is frequently recommended to seek perspectives on the process from others who have experienced similar projects and to test those implicit assumptions used as framework to a project. However, GSP preparation is a very new activity and there no “gray- haired GSP authors/mentors” from which to seek GSP-specific guidance. Parts of a GSP are fairly routine (e.g., establish a water balance based on existing data, review laboratory data to identify water quality concerns) for hydrogeologists or other water scientists, but the synthesis of these data into a useful form to address sustainability criteria, measurable objectives, and minimum thresholds is a largely uncharted path.

Implicit assumptions are an interesting attribute of U-U. If a technical advisory committee for a GSP is, for example, composed of entirely hydrogeologists, then the ability to anticipate the U-U can be constrained by the similarity of their experiences. The addition of an engineer, biologist, or land use professional may provide a perspective that challenges “the way it has always been understood” and thereby offer insights that could minimize the likelihood of a U-U that could impede a project’s progress.

Even with the realization that U-U may exist, the blind spots are not likely to be eliminated as the GSP development process unfolds. Several decades of hydrogeological investigations dealing with the Oxnard Plain area in Ventura County have generated an impressive accumulation of data, but U-U have been identified. The U-U from GSP development actions and related technical studies in Ventura County, California, include, for example, the discovery of undocumented faults that had little apparent impact on groundwater flow and faults that were likely causal factors in elevated groundwater temperatures and localized, stable potentiometric levels, the identification of the importance of aquitard leakage and its contribution to the preferential migration of sea-water intrusion, the recognition of multiple sources of chloride that were historically attributed to sea-water intrusion, and the detection of differing potentiometric heads within a single hydrostratigraphic unit.

An upfront recognition and communication that U-U are probably going to manifest themselves during the GSP development process helps stakeholders understand that rarely are perfect data available and that blind spots, while undesirable, are not likely to be eliminated, but can be minimized.

On behalf of the New Mexico Environment Department Drinking Water Bureau (NMED DWB), DBS&A is offering free training for water systems operators, board members, and water sample technicians throughout New Mexico on Water Chemistry, Breakpoint Chlorination, Distribution Systems; Water System Sampler Training;  Pumps and Motors, Groundwater Hydrology & Wells, and Operator Math; Water Chemistry, Groundwater Hydrology & Wells, and Distribution Systems; Chlorine Contact Time; and Revised Total Coliform Rule.

For more information on training content or to register, visit http://www.dbstephens.com/services/water-workshops-training/.

For additional information on courses throughout New Mexico, visit www.env.nm.gov/dwb/training.

DBS&A Water Resources Specialist, Joseph LeClaire, Ph.D., along with Wyatt Troxel, will co-lead a workshop for the Bay Area Clean Water Agencies (BACWA) on the Unintended Consequences of Water Conservation on September 24, 2018. This workshop will provide insight into the technical challenges of designing, managing, and operating wastewater treatment plants with rapidly changing conditions as a result of water conservation. Dr. LeClaire will present analysis from DBS&A’s study conducted for the Southern California Salinity Coalition “Evaluate Long-Term Trends and Variations in the Average Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) Concentration in Wastewater and Recycled Water.”

Learn more about Dr. LeClaire and DBS&A’s water quality expertise.

BACWA describes the workshop as “a peer-to-peer dialog to gain an understanding of the regional impacts of current conditions, the threat to compliance and the challenge to process control. It also is intended to provide an overview of the gaps in the industry that must be filled with an understanding of changing conditions, trends, process strategies and technological alternatives.”

BACWA is a joint powers agency, formed under the California Government Code by the five largest wastewater treatment agencies in the San Francisco Bay Area. Its members include the many municipalities and special districts that provide sanitary sewer services to more than 6.5 million people. BACWA is dedicated to working with their members, state and federal regulatory agencies, and non-governmental organizations to improve and enhance the San Francisco Bay environment. They provide technical expertise, financial support, and a public utility perspective to ensure that regulations affecting their members are well-informed, thoughtful and effective. Learn more about BACWA.

Hear DBS&A Hydrogeologist Paul Kirby, P.G., and Stephanie Moore, P.G., present on groundwater quality and emerging groundwater management trends at the 2018 Texas Groundwater Summit. One of Texas’ premier annual groundwater events, the Summit is hosted by the Texas Alliance for Groundwater Conservation Districts (TAGD) and will be held from August 28 to 30, 2018 at the in San Antonio, Texas.

Mr. Kirby will present a summary of recent efforts by Fayette County and Pecan Valley Groundwater Conservation Districts (GCDs), as they work to improve their understanding of water quality and groundwater conditions in their Districts. Ms. Moore will provide an overview of managed aquifer recharge (MAR), a conjunctive management tool that includes aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) and a variety of other techniques to increase aquifer recharge.

DBS&A is committed to participating in the continued discussion and improvement of groundwater policy, emerging management trends, education, and research in Texas and around the world. We are happy to work with and support the efforts of TAGD, Texas GCDs, and our fellow groundwater professionals.

US EPA Region 6 and co-host Texas A&M University in Kingsville, in partnership with Albuquerque Metropolitan Arroyo Flood Control Authority (AMAFCA), Bernalillo County, South Sandoval County Arroyo Flood Control Authority (SSCAFCA), Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s), and States in Region 6 are sponsoring the 2018 EPA Region 6 Stormwater Conference taking place from August 19 through 23, 2018 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The conference theme is “Our Water, Our Future: Communication, Collaboration, and Adaptive Management for Improved Stormwater Quality.”

DBS&A Hydrogeologist Chad Johannesen, PG, will be presenting on the Implementation of Microbial Source Tracking Program by the City of Albuquerque, and Environmental Scientist Julie Kutz will be presenting on the City of Albuquerque Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination (IDDE) Program.

Click here to learn more on DBS&A’s stormwater services.

Click here for more information on the conference.

Meet DBS&A Vice President/Principal Hydrogeologist, Tony Morgan, PG, CHg; Water Resources Planner, Joe LeClaire, PhD; and Geo-Logic Associates (GLA) Principal Hydrogeologist, Mike Reason, PG, CHg, at the 12th Annual San Bernardino County Water Conference on Friday August 10, 2018 in Ontario, California. They will be available to discuss how DBS&A, GLA, and Clear Creek hydrogeologists and engineers are helping to address groundwater depletion, water-quality issues, strict regulations, and developing alternative sources of water.

Learn more about DBS&A’s water resources capabilities.

Learn more about the Geo-Logic companies.

DBS&A Principal Hydrogeologist and Engineer, Farag Botros, Ph.D., P.E., will be presenting on Emerging Convergence between the Law and Hydrology of Water Quality and Quantity at a one-day seminar hosted by Law Seminars International in Santa Fe, New Mexico on August 8, 2018. The seminar is entitled New Directions in Hydrology & Water Law. The focus is on emerging trends in the interrelated fields of law and hydrology, including the anti-speculation doctrine, the evolution of the State Engineer impairment assessment, third generation issues following tribal water settlements, and the emerging convergence of water quality and water quantity issues. Learn more about Dr. Botros.

Learn more about DBS&A’s water resources services and environmental litigation and expert services.

Click here for more information on the seminar.

The American Ground Water Trust (AGWT) States’ Rights and the Control of Groundwater conference will take place on July 17th and 18th, 2018, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. This conference will focus on the legal issues surrounding the control of groundwater in the west, including insights to management and ownership of groundwater on tribal lands.

DBS&A’s Neil Blandford, P.G., Senior Vice President and Principal Hydrologist, will present an overview of tribal groundwater issues in the Little Colorado River Adjudication in Arizona. Affiliate Clear Creek Associates’ Principal Hydrogeologist Doug Bartlett, R.G., P.G., will present on groundwater management challenges in Arizona related to definitions of the legal category of water, called “subflow.” Also meet DBS&A Vice President and Senior Engineer, Gundar Peterson, P.E., and Hydrogeologists, Amy Ewing, P.G. and Paula Schuh, P.G. Click here to learn about DBS&A’s water rights expertise.

The AGWT conference will bring together attorneys, federal, tribal and state water resources managers, engineers, scientists, planners, and water end users (utilities, irrigators etc.) to discuss past and current cases, legal challenges, primacy and jurisdictional authority over groundwater management. Presentations will also include the scientific studies and groundwater modeling results that have informed decision-making.

For many states in the western U.S., primacy for administration of groundwater is held by the states. However, recent legal challenges have brought the extent of state control of groundwater into question. Chief amongst these are the Texas v New Mexico case before the U.S. Supreme Court and the Coachella v Agua Caliente case in California. In the case of Texas v New Mexico, one of the issues is groundwater use within the State of New Mexico between the point of delivery under the Rio Grande Compact at Elephant Butte and the Texas state line. In the Coachella v Agua Caliente case in California, the court has backed the Agua Caliente tribe’s claim that it holds a federally granted reserved right to groundwater beneath the tribe’s reservation. Two local water agencies, the Coachella Valley Water District and the Desert Water Agency, have argued unsuccessfully that the tribe has the same right to use groundwater under state law as other landowners. Recently in New Mexico, the U.S. Forest Service attempted to assert its authority to manage groundwater on its lands, contrary to New Mexico water law. This conference will explore the changing landscape of states’ rights and the administration of groundwater.

Click here for more information on the event. https://agwt.org/civicrm/event/info%3Fid%3D270%26reset%3D1

Greg Schnaar, Ph.D.

Greg Schnaar, Ph.D.
Director of Expert Services
and Principal Environmental Scientist

At the Annual Conference of the International Network of Environmental Forensics (INEF 2018), DBS&A’s Director of Expert Services and Principal Environmental Scientist, Gregory Schnaar, Ph.D., will be presenting on the Use of Analytical Contaminant Fate and Transport Modeling in Forensic Source Evaluation. Click here to learn more about DBS&A’s environmental litigation and expert services experience and expertise.

#INEF2018 takes place June 25 through 27, 2018 at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah. Click here for more information on the event. The INEF was founded in 2008 to provide a forum for scientists, environmental consultants, regulators, and lawyers to share information regarding the use of environmental forensics. Environmental forensics is comprised of three key elements:

  • Characterization of chemicals released to the environment
  • Identification of timing and historical context of chemical release
  • Determination of responsibility for chemical release

​In support of the Student Paper Competition, DBS&A is sponsoring an award prize. INEF has an active student outreach program with the express purpose of encouraging students to pursue studies in environmental forensics.

TX Aquifer Program - 2018 _June 6-7_(16)The American Ground Water Trust (AGWT) will hold its Annual Texas Aquifer Conference on “Everything Aquifers and Groundwater Management” on June 6-7, 2018, in Austin, Texas. The conference is co-sponsored by the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB).

DBS&A Founder and Principal Hydrologist, Daniel B. Stephens Ph.D., Ph.G., P.G., is the Keynote Speaker. His presentation is titled “Analysis of the Hydraulic Fracturing and Water Quality Controversy in Pavillion, Wyoming: Applying the Lessons Learned to Oil & Gas Development in Texas.” Click here to read Dr. Stephens’ issue paper on the subject, published by the National Ground Water Association in August 2014.

Hydrologist, Stephanie Moore, P.G., will moderate an afternoon session on groundwater quantity. Hydrogeologist, Andrew Donnelly, P.G., and Geologist, Paul Kirby, P.G., will also be in attendance.

The Texas Aquifer Conference features invited presentations on the legal, policy, management, scientific, and engineering issues relevant to the Texas Groundwater Community. The objective of AGWT conference programs is to showcase groundwater issues and facilitate information sharing among landowners, groundwater end-users, regulators, management agencies, scientists, engineers, lawyers, and citizens who have economic or environmental interests in water resources.

Click here to learn more about DBS&A Water Resources Services. For more information on the conference, click here.