July 15, 2014
Stormwater conference draws a crowd in Ohio
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Kelly Mattfield, supervising water resources engineer in BC's Milwaukee office, attended the annual Ohio Stormwater Conference June 4-6 in Akron, Ohio. She filed this report:

In its seventh year, the continues to grow. With more than 600 attendees and 90 exhibitors, it may be the largest stormwater conference outside of . It is a great conference to attend to hear about some of the latest ideas and practices in stormwater management, not only in Ohio, but across the country.

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Nov. 11, 2013
Productive networking at AMWA conference
Chad Hill  
Chad Hill, senior vice president in BC's Denver office, attended the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies' annual meeting Oct. 27–30 in St. Petersburg, Fla. He brought back some important takeaways from the industry's thought leaders:

The AMWA conference continues to be a great venue to listen, learn and exchange information relevant to the water industry. This year's theme was . Information on workforce engagement, smart technology, effective utility management, water utility of the future, and many more was presented by a number of industry thought leaders.

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April 24, 2013
Still thirsty after all these years
Cindy Paulson  
Cindy Paulson, Ph.D., senior vice president, had the pleasure of attending, for the first time, the California Water Policy meeting April 18–19 in Los Angeles. She came away impressed and eager to share her thoughts about this long-running conference.

After 22 years, the conference still appears to be one of the best-kept secrets in the California water world. One of the reasons I liked it so much is that the meeting brought together leaders from all aspects of California water and framed the sessions to enable meaningful and candid conversations on the challenges we face and how we might move forward together. People from diverse backgrounds spoke openly and respectfully, giving room for differences to be worked out.

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Jan. 25, 2013
Case studies in successful injection projects
John Ayres  
John Ayres, a senior hydrogeologist in BC's Sacramento office, attended Wednesday's Groundwater Resources Association of California's GRACast web seminar on groundwater recharge that looked at Case Studies in Successful Injection Projects.

The third web seminar in GRA’s series on groundwater recharge featured presentations by Adam Lee of Los Angeles County Public Works and Derrick Whitehead of Municipal Consulting Group. I encourage you to check out the rest of the series, with seminars scheduled Feb. 20 and March 20 (a link to the GRA website is at the end of my post).

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Dec. 20, 2012
Thoughts, reactions from ACWA fall conference
Paul Selsky  
Paul Selsky, P.E., vice president and manager of Brown and Caldwell's Sacramento/Davis water resources group, attended the Association of California Water Agencies
2012 Fall Conference Dec. 4–7 in San Diego.

Federal Affairs Committee

The Water Infrastructure Financial Innovation Act, known as , is a proposed funding program for water projects that would be done through loans at a low interest rate with a 35-year repayment. Repayments would start five years following substantial completion of a project; several people have estimated that this loan program is equivalent to a 16 percent grant.

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Nov. 9, 2012
AMWA covers range of utility management
Chad Hill Chad Hill, senior vice president in BC's St. Paul, Minn., office, attended the annual meeting of the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies on Oct. 21–24 in Portland, Ore. He filed this report:

Once again, the conference was well attended by utility leaders from across the country. The forum provided an excellent opportunity for information sharing on a wide range of subjects — from management challenges, the energy-water nexus, incident response, and crisis communications.

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Nov. 6, 2012
NRC releases results of water reuse study
Ron Crites Ron Crites, chief engineer in BC's Davis office, attended a recent webinar to hear about the final results of a three-year water reuse study by the National Research Council. He filed this report:

The National Research Council sponsored a three-year study on “Water Reuse: Potential for Expanding the Nation’s Water Supply through Reuse of Municipal Wastewater.” The results of this study were presented by four of the 14-member working committee during a recent webinar.

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Oct. 31, 2012
Cleveland panel sets new table on collaboration
Cindy Paulson Cindy Paulson, Ph.D., senior vice president, recently attended the Urban Water Sustainability Leadership Conference on Oct. 15–17 in Cincinnati, sponsored by the U.S. Water Alliance.

The conference featured several excellent “Spotlight Cities,” but the panel from the Greater Cleveland Area–Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District stole the show. The five-member panel inspired the audience with its energy and vision, demonstrating what can be accomplished with collaboration and creativity.

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July 16, 2012
What we can do to help Rwanda's water efforts
Cindy Paulson  
Cindy Paulson, Ph.D., senior vice president, just returned from a trip to Rwanda, where she traveled with Water For People’s local team to see several projects and learn more about their work. This is the last of four reports:


Eugene Dusingizumuremyi, WFP’s engineer on staff in Rwanda, explains how a new $560,000 water system of several tanks and pump stations will supply 16,000 people
in the Rulindo District with clean water.

Living in this country, it’s easy to take water and sanitation for granted. Utilities in the United States do such an excellent job that we never think twice when we turn on a faucet or flush a toilet. Spending time in a place like Rwanda makes you realize how fortunate we are to have these and so many other basics at hand.

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July 12, 2012
Sanitation is Rwanda's greatest unmet challenge
Cindy Paulson  
Cindy Paulson, Ph.D., senior vice president, just returned from a trip to Rwanda, where she traveled with Water For People’s local team to see several projects and learn more about their work. This is the third of four reports:

The country relies heavily on a new type of pit toilet known as Ecosan, with the
intention that solid waste be collected regularly, dried for six months, then used as
compost or “humanure” on crops.

With 11 million people living in an area 1/20th the size of California, there isn’t one wastewater treatment facility in all of Rwanda. Everyone relies on individual septic systems in more populated areas and on pit toilets in rural areas. The City of Kigali has one septage facility that is an unlined, untreated pit that appears to be over capacity. Although a new master plan for Kigali includes a major wastewater treatment plant to serve its more than 1 million residents, it is unfunded and not considered a near-term priority. In my short visit, it seems to me that sanitation is Rwanda’s greatest unmet challenge.

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July 11, 2012
Rwanda: Water is plentiful, but capturing it is key
Cindy Paulson  
Cindy Paulson, Ph.D., senior vice president, just returned from a trip to Rwanda, where she traveled with Water For People’s local team to see several projects and learn more about their work. This is the second of four reports:

Schools and some homes are being outfitted with tanks to collect rainwater from
rooftops for livestock and washing.

Rwanda has no real shortage of water. The Nile River has its source in the hills of this country, located in the heart of central and east Africa. With more than 40 inches of precipitation over two rainy seasons annually, water is relatively plentiful. But much of the surface water in Rwanda is polluted. Springs and groundwater are less polluted, but generally found in lowland drainages and/or remote spots that are far from the hillside communities where people are encouraged to live.

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July 10, 2012
Rwanda on the right track, but plenty left to do
Cindy Paulson  
Cindy Paulson, Ph.D., senior vice president, just returned from a trip to Rwanda, where she traveled with Water For People’s local team to see several projects and learn more about their work. This is the first of four reports:

With two rainy seasons, there is no need for irrigation and the highly productive land provides two to three crops every year. Their fields are extraordinary — well tended
and beautiful.

I was extremely impressed by the country and its people — they are remarkably well organized, self reliant, joyful and resilient. I was also impressed by the work of , but struck by the enormity of all that is left to be done.

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March 23, 2012
Full plate for Delta stewardship council
Paul Selsky  
Paul Selsky, P.E., vice president, attended the Delta Water Stewardship Council meeting March 15–16 on a variety of topics related to the Delta Plan. He filed this report (David Zuber also contributed to this report):

The Nunes bill (SB 1837) from the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water and Power excludes the Central Valley Project from state regulation. State Water Project users said they may have to mitigate the damage caused by federal contractors, so the bill was changed to state that SWP contractors would not be impacted. This results in moving the responsibilities to other water users. Will the feds become the water master? Some states are in opposition to the bill. Phil Isenberg expects the impact will be some revisions to the CVPIA. Randy Fiorini mentioned that the bill is a result of frustration by some water users who have been economically affected by water shortages.

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Feb. 8, 2012
Update on USBR's water plans
Paul Selsky  
Paul Selsky, P.E., vice president, attended the 45th annual Mid-Pacific Region Water Users Conference on Jan. 25–27 in Reno, sponsored by the Central Valley Project Water Association. He filed this report:

Approximately 240 Bureau of Reclamation staff and water contractor representatives heard updates from each of the area managers about the USBR’s water plans for the Central Valley Project in California and the Newlands Project in Nevada, as well as updates about the Klamath River and Cachuma Reservoir.

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Dec. 21, 2011
CDPH reaches out on draft groundwater regs
Joe Wong  
Joe Wong, P.E., chief engineer, attended a workshop Dec. 13 at the CDPH Richmond campus on the revised draft groundwater replenishment (with recycled water) regulations released in November. He filed this report:

This workshop was one of three similar statewide workshops for CDPH to reach out and explain to stakeholders and interested parties about the background and details of the draft revised regulations, and to seek comments to be submitted by Jan. 30 for the CDPH to begin the formal regulations development and process.

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Nov. 16, 2011
Hydrogeologic concepts and water rights
John Ayres  
John Ayres, a senior hydrogeologist in BC's Sacramento office, attended a UC Davis Extension single-day course on groundwater law Nov. 9 that covered hydrogeologic concepts, water rights, the uncertain nature of the role of the SRWCB and two adjudication case studies.

Because I am already familiar with hydrogeologic concepts, I focused on the water rights and law components of this workshop. In legal terms, “overdraft” is a chronic lowering of the groundwater in a groundwater basin, producing undesirable result(s). The instructor spent a moment to focus on the chronic nature; however, a periodic, drought-related lowering may not constitute overdraft in court.

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Nov. 16, 2011
Water rights and recycled water
Ron Crites  
Ron Crites, chief engineer in BC's Davis office, attended a WateReuse workshop — "Whose Water Is It Anyway? Water Rights and Recycled Water" — Nov. 2 at Sacramento Regional CSD that focused on water rights associated with recycled water. He filed this report for Field Notes:

This workshop covered the fundamentals of water rights in California and looked at three case studies on water rights for recycled water. Attorneys David Aladjem (Downey Brand) and Andy Hitchings (Somach Simmons and Dunn) presented the types of water rights, the water code sections dealing with recycled water and water rights, and legal and regulatory impediments to water recycling.

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Sept. 21, 2011
Water storage workshops explore challenges
Paul Selsky  
Paul Selsky, P.E., vice president with Brown and Caldwell's Sacramento/Davis water resources group, attended the first of two water storage workshops Sept. 14 in Sacramento, designed to inform the California Water Commission about existing and planned storage projects.

About 160 people attended the first of two water storage workshops, this one
Sept. 14 in Sacramento. The next workshop is scheduled for Oct. 25.

In the 21st century, water storage will have new characteristics. Operations of existing infrastructure will change, and integration is essential. Storage will be more expensive and more integrated (and more of a challenge to finance), and investments will be more public.

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Aug. 31, 2011
Desal workshops attract scores of water leaders
Joe Wong  
Joe Wong, P.E., chief engineer, is chair of the Desalination Committee for the CA-NV Section of AWWA. He just wrapped up the third year of dual desalination workshops in Northern and Southern California. His colleague, Dr. Bill Faisst, contributed to this report:

About 60 people attended the Oakland workshop, and many participated in a tour
of the RARE facility at the Chevron refinery in Richmond.

Scores of water professionals converged on Fountain Valley and Oakland for the third in a series of specialty workshops sponsored by the Desalination Committee of CA-NV Section of AWWA earlier this month. The day-long workshops focused on “The Effects of Pretreatment on Desalination of Seawater, Brackish Water, and Recycled Water.”

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July 25, 2011
Highlights of July's CWC meeting
Paul Selsky  
Paul Selsky, P.E., vice president and manager of Brown and Caldwell's Sacramento/Davis water resources group, attended Wednesday's monthly meeting of the California Water Commission and came away with these insights:

Access challenges for DWR geotechnical drilling on private land
A recent court order requires the DWR to use eminent domain with just compensation to landowners to gain access for geotechnical drilling for the Delta water tunnel project. “Even $1 of impact requires compensation,” the judge said.

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June 16, 2011
Policy shift in Colorado
Cindy Paulson  
Cindy Paulson, Ph.D., is senior vice president

I was in Evergreen, Colo., for a quick visit recently. It was a treat to see elk wandering the open meadows, with magnificent snowcapped peaks in the background, and it was great to catch up with colleagues and friends from my many years there.

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May 26, 2011
A week in Baton Rouge
Cindy Paulson  
Cindy Paulson, Ph.D., is senior vice president

I’ve spent a lot of time in Baton Rouge over the last several years, working with the state to plan restoration and protection efforts to create a sustainable Louisiana coast. In seeking sustainability, the state has had nothing but a moving target to deal with.

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May 24, 2011
Spring at Hetch Hetchy
Cindy Paulson  
Cindy Paulson, Ph.D., is senior vice president

What a refreshing break from our recent drought this spring has been. Seeing all the runoff in the Sierra really drives the point home. A few weekends ago, I had a chance to stay at Hetch Hetchy Reservoir for a few days to take it all in. Though it's infrequent lately to even reach capacity, SFPUC plans to cycle the reservoir fully three times this year, just to keep up with expected runoff.

O’Shaughnessy Dam was rumbling, as the two major dam outlets were wide open. Soon, SFPUC also intends to open everything and simulate a rare flood event on the Tuolumne River. Most impressive of all, though, was Wapama Falls (above), a wild torrent of water coming down around Hetch Hetchy Dome and crashing at our feet near the reservoir.

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Timely, topical dispatches from BC Water News contributors.


Archives

Nov. 11, 2013
Productive networking at AMWA conference

April 24, 2013
Still thirsty after all these years

Jan. 25, 2013
Case studies in successful injection projects

Dec. 20, 2012
Thoughts, reactions from ACWA fall conference

Nov. 9, 2012
AMWA covers range of utility management

Nov. 6, 2012
NRC releases results of water reuse study

Oct. 31, 2012
Cleveland panel sets a new table on collaboration

July 16, 2012
What we can do to help Rwanda's water efforts

July 12, 2012
Sanitation is Rwanda's greatest unmet challenge

July 11, 2012
Rwanda: Water is plentiful, but capturing it is the key

July 10, 2012
Rwanda on the right track, but plenty left to do

March 23, 2012
Full plate for Delta stewardship council

Feb. 8, 2012
Update on USBR's water plans

Dec. 21, 2011
CDPH reaches out on draft groundwater regs

Nov. 16, 2011
Hydrogeologic concepts and water rights

Nov. 14, 2011
Water rights and recycled water

Sept. 21, 2011
Water storage workshops explore challenges

Aug. 31, 2011
Desal workshops attract scores of water leaders

July 25, 2011
Highlights of July's CWC meeting

June 16, 2011
Policy shift in Colorado

May 26, 2011
A week in Baton Rouge

May 24, 2011
Spring at Hetch Hetchy


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