Sacramento Branch Meeting

Please join us on
Wednesday, October 12, 2016
at Aviator's Restaurant

The Sacramento Branch is pleased to present:
Kathy Monks, Tetra Tech

"Cost-Effective Solutions to Manage and Sustain Naturally Degraded Groundwater Quality"



The Navy and California Water Board successfully worked together to adopt a Basin Plan Amendment to reclassify naturally saline groundwaters beneath Naval Air Weapons Station (NAWS) China Lake as not suitable for drinking water.  Removal of the Municipal and Domestic Supply (MUN) groundwater use designation from two groundwater sub-basins ensures that groundwater naturally unsuitable for drinking is not required to be remediated to unattainable drinking water standards.  This action simplifies remedial strategies with realistic and attainable end-point remedial action goals and removes a major legal impediment to progress the Installation Restoration Program at NAWS China Lake. The Navy estimates this reclassification will save an estimated $200 million in groundwater remediation costs.

One of the many consequences of the California Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) is to enable one or more public or private entities to delineate and reclassify groundwaters within major groundwater basins (defined in California Department of Water Resources Groundwater Bulletin 118) into sub-basins. Groundwaters may be reclassified based on technical and/or political considerations that ultimately optimize beneficial uses within their communities.  Generally, all groundwaters are considered by the State Water Resources Control Board to have beneficial uses, which may include potential uses as a source of drinking water, agricultural supply, freshwater replenishment, or as an industrial supply.  However, a portion of the groundwater basin may have degraded water quality from naturally-occurring constituents that does not support MUN beneficial use.
If such a situation exists, a Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) should consider requesting the Regional Water Quality Control Board amend the Water Quality Control Plan (i.e., the Basin Plan) to de-designate MUN beneficial use, if appropriate, for portions of their groundwater basin.  Challenges include technical justification and possibly establishment of sub-basin boundaries, concurrence and signatory agreement within the GSA, and stakeholder acceptance. Consistent with the intent of SGMA, GSA reclassification goals should optimize sustaining naturally-occurring degraded groundwater for appropriate applications, such as industrial or agricultural uses, while preserving less mineralized groundwater for drinking water reserves.  Technical, legal, and political challenges to the formal resolution of sub-basin boundary establishment and potential beneficial use reclassification require:

  • Rock-solid technical justification and local community support;
  • Sufficient data base of physical properties, chemical characteristics, groundwater movement and fluctuations within and between aquifers;
  • A defensible hydrogeological conceptual site model that delineates sustainable (physical and chemical) groundwater basin boundaries, influencing dynamic factors, and identifies data gaps
  • Groundwater use and groundwater yield sustainability evaluation; and
  • Beneficial use assessment through technical and economic feasibility analyses, considering effectiveness, implementability, and costs.

Kathy will present an overview of the project, discuss the hydrogeological conceptual site model, technical and economic justification strategies, regulatory steps for groundwater reclassification, scoping and community involvement, and outcomes of the Basin Plan Amendment for NAWS China Lake. Other possible de-designation applications and groundwater reclassification strategies also will be discussed.  The successful completion of this process for NAWS China Lake in January 2016 resulted in adjudication of a Basin Plan Amendment that de-designates shallow groundwater in portions of the Indian Wells Valley high-priority groundwater basin and adjacent Salt Wells Valley.  The final de-designation area covers 60,968 acres (over 95 square miles) in portions of Kern, Inyo, and San Bernardino Counties.



Kathy Monks is a senior hydro-geologist with Tetra Tech and has over 25 years of diverse experience in project management and environmental consulting and is based in Nevada City, California.  She manages and provides technical leadership for water resources assessments, groundwater basin plans/sustainability assessments, remedial investigations/feasibility studies, optimization studies, and environmental impact statements/consequence evaluations.  As Tetra Tech’s project manager and technical lead for the de-designation effort at NAWS China Lake, she developed a technical justification for groundwater reclassification and worked closely with the Navy, Water Board, and community for the successful passage of the Basin Plan Amendment.  She is a licensed professional geologist in California and Arizona.



All Proceeds to Benefit Science StudentsThe GRA Sacramento Branch has a history of supporting university-level science students.  Our Scholastic Sponsorship Program is an opportunity to publicize your business while contributing toward a good cause.  The cost is minimal; if interested, please contact Judie Snyder-Poblano at 707-374-4300 or 209-712-9020 or

Social Hour (5:30-6:30 pm)
Announcements & Dinner (6:30-7:30 pm)
Presentation (7:30-8:30 pm)

Costs and menu are shown below. GRA is unable to assure food and room for you without an RSVP. Using GRA's automated RSVP process is quick and painless!

Usual great food, including two meat entrées, salad, rice, potatoes, vegetable and Iced Tea. A No-host beer and wine bar will be available.

Meeting costs are:Members: $27.00
Non-Members: $32.00
Students: $10.00

*Retired professionals receive a 10% (rounded to the nearest dollar) discount on any meal. 

Questions about the meeting or to contact the Sacramento Branch in general, including submittal of your ideas and/or desires for future presentations, please telephone Rodney Fricke at 916-407-8539 or email him at

November 9, 2016: Barbara Washburn-OEHHA. Dry Well Project and Observations
December 2016: Joint Holiday Mixer-AEG turn to host event.


Wed, Oct. 12, 2016

Event has ended


Aviator's Restaurant


Aviator's Restaurant within Sacramento Executive Airport
6151 Freeport Blvd., Sacramento, CA
Aviator's Restaurant at Executive Airport is located within the aircraft Terminal Building.
Thomas Bros. Map Book page 317, grid C6.
Plenty of free parking.