The purpose of the GRA Awards Program is to recognize noteworthy projects and unique individual contributions related to the education, protection, and management of groundwater in California.

The objectives of the Annual Awards Program are:

  1. To provide recognition to individuals who have demonstrated leadership and continuous dedication in the field of groundwater management;
  2. To provide recognition for unique contributions to the field of groundwater management, and provide recognition to GRA (as an organization) whose mission is dedicated to resource management that protects and improves groundwater through education and technical leadership.


Lifetime Achievement:
presented to individuals for their exemplary contributions to the groundwater industry, contributions that have been in the spirit of GRA's mission and organization objectives. Individuals that receive the Lifetime Achievement Award have dedicated their careers to the groundwater industry and have been pioneers in their field of expertise.

Previous Lifetime Achievement Award recipients include:

  • 2014 - Dr. David Huntley (1950 - 2015)
  • 2013 - Dr. Shlomo P. Neuman
  • 2012 - Anne J. Schneider, Esq. (1947 - 2010)
  • 2011 - Joseph C. Scalmanini, CE (1945 - 2014)
  • 2010 - Dr. John A. Cherry
  • 2009 - Dr. T.N. Narasimhan, PG (1935 - 2011)
  • 2008 - Dr. Perry L. McCarty
  • 2007 - Dr. Herman Bouwer (1927 - 2013)
  • 2006 - Glenn A. Brown, PG, CEG (1924 - 2015)
  • 2005 - Dr. Luna B. Leopold, PG (1915 - 2006)
  • 2004 - Dr. John D. Bredehoeft
  • 2003 - Rita Schmidt Sudman
  • 2002 - Thomas W. Dibblee, Jr., PG (1911 -2004)
  • 2001 - Carl J. Hauge, PG, CEG
  • 2000 - Dr. Joseph H. Birman, PG, Gp, CEG, CHg
  • 1999 - Dr. David Keith Todd, CE (1923 - 2006)
  • 1998 - Eugene E. Luhdorff, Jr., PE (1930 - 2010)

Kevin J. Neese: Established in 1999 to honor the late GRA Director, geologist, and attorney, the Kevin J. Neese award recognizes a recent, significant accomplishment by a person, persons, or entity that fosters the understanding, development, protection, and management of groundwater.

Previous Kevin J. Neese Award recipients include:

  • 2014 - Governor Jerry Brown for his vision and leadership in development of the sustainable groundwater management legislation
  • 2013 - Santa Clara Valley Water District for implementing its unique Domestic Well Testing Program
  • 2012 - David L. Orth, General Manager of the Kings River Conservation District for his leadership and dedication to the collaborative initiatives to develop the Upper Kings River Basin Integrated Regional Water Management Plan
  • 2011 - Sacramento County Environmental Management Department for its Abandoned Well Program
  • 2010 - Senator Fran Pavley for leadership in the enactment of the comprehensive, statewide groundwater level monitoring legislation in California
  • 2009 - U.S. Geological Survey, California Water Science Center for development of a new, three-dimensional groundwater-modeling tool for California's Central Valley and report Groundwater Availability of the Central Valley Aquifer
  • 2008 - Orange County Water District for its Groundwater Replenishment System (GRS), a new water purification plant that became operational last January
  • 2007 - University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) Groundwater Hydrology Program for its efforts to engage scientists, regulators, farm advisors, dairy industry representatives, and dairy farmers to better understand the effects of dairy operations on water quality
  • 2006 - Senator Sheila Kuehl for her work to improve the production and availability of information about the state of our groundwater resources
  • 2004 - California Department of Water Resources for publication in 2003 of its updated Bulletin 118: "California's Groundwater"
  • 2002 - Glenn County Water Advisory Committee for formulating a significant groundwater management ordinance that was adopted by the Glenn County Board of Supervisors
  • 2001 - American River Basin Cooperating Agencies and Sacramento Groundwater Authority Partnership for fostering the understanding and development of a cooperative approach to regional planning, protection and management of groundwater
  • 2000 - Board of Directors of the Chino Basin Watermaster for delivering a remarkable OBMP that created a consensus-based approach for making water supplies in the Chino Basin more reliable and cost effective
  • 1999 - Governor Gray Davis for his work and leadership in addressing MTBE

Awards are formally presented to all recipients at GRA's Annual Meeting, which usually takes place in the fall every year.