GRA's 2016 Conference and 25th Annual Meeting

Still in the midst of a historic drought, California is facing major challenges in the areas of groundwater supply, quality, and sustainability. With the passing of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) in 2014, and the Department of Water Resources’ recent release of Draft Groundwater Sustainability Plan Emergency Regulations, water management agencies have a lot on their plates. Now the questions arise: How do Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) comply with the new regulations? How do GSAs fund these plans? Is the technical and monitoring data available to draft successful plans? The formation of GSAs is the first step toward groundwater management in California; subsequent steps require involvement of groundwater stakeholders as an integral component of the planning process, from rural agriculture to urban water utilities. Together, these entities will shape the future of California’s groundwater. Facing the compound issues of climate change, regional to local water quality issues such as salt management and emerging contaminants, and the complex effects of changes in groundwater/surface water interactions, it is more important than ever to ensure California is on the path to sustainable, responsible management and protection of California’s groundwater resources.

GRA’s 2016 Conference and 25th Annual Meeting will provide policy makers, practitioners, researchers and educators the opportunity to learn about the current policies, regulations and technical challenges affecting the protection, use and management of groundwater in California. This year's conference will focus on the information and tools that California needs to face the challenges in addressing ongoing drought and climate change, compliance with SGMA, and ongoing and emerging water quality issues. Attendees will learn from real-world case studies on groundwater management; replenishment and recharge; drought response success stories, including agricultural water conservation efforts; and walk away with concepts and solutions that they can apply to their local groundwater management issues.


California Department of Water Resources | State Water Resources Control Board  | California Department of Food and Agriculture | California Department of Fish and Wildlife  | California Department of Toxic Substances Control | San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board | United States Geological Survey | California State University East Bay | U.C. Davis | U.C. Water Institute  | Orange County Water District | Water Education Foundation | The Nature Conservancy | Water in the West | Association of California Water Agencies  | National Ground Water Association | International Association of Hydrogeologists |U.S. Society for Irrigation and Drainage Professionals


The two-day conference features an opening plenary session, concurrent sessions on groundwater supply/management and quality/contamination, lunch presentations, President’s Reception and celebration of GRA's 25th Anniversary, Collegiate Colloquium, GRA’s 2016 Northern and Southern California David Keith Todd Lecturers, exhibitors, poster presentations, and a panel of industry leaders. Featured sessions and topics for podium and poster presentations include:


    • Plenary - 2016: Charting the Course to Sustainability
      • Confirmed Speakers:
        • Mark Cowin, Director, DWR
        • Karen Ross, Secretary, CDFA
        • Steve Moore, SWRCB Board Member
        • Ellen Hanak, Pacific Institute
    • SGMA – Legal, Policy, and Compliance
      • GSA Formation Update
      • Pros and Cons of GSAs versus Adjudications
      • Relationship of SGMA and other Planning Requirements
      • Surface Water Flows, Sustainable Yield, Water Rights, and SGMA
    • SGMA – SGMA Planning and Considerations 
      • Data-Related Challenges and Opportunities for Sustainable Groundwater Management
      • Case Studies of Innovative Groundwater Management
      • Accumulated Groundwater Overdraft and Vulnerability to Drought
      • CEQA and Groundwater Management Planning
    • SGMA – Technical Challenges for GSPs 
      • Data Availability and Assistance for GSAs
      • Best Management Practices for GSP Development and Implementation
      • Managing Headwaters, Forestry Practices, and Reservoirs for Groundwater Management
      • Integrating Climate Impacts into Integrated Groundwater/Surface Water Models
    • Uplands and Lowlands – Surface Water/Groundwater Interaction 
      • Quantifying and Understanding Surface Water/Groundwater Interactions
      • Assessing Impacts of Stream Depletion on Beneficial Uses
      • Delineating Recharge Elevation in Headwater Catchments
      • Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems and SGMA GSPs
    • Cleanup Approaches, Strategies, and Remediation Technologies
      • RWQCB's Approach to Combined Remedies
      • Metabolites and Mixtures: Addressing Petroleum Contamination
      • 1,4-Dioxane Remediation
      • Next Steps in Sustainable Groundwater Remediation
      • Groundwater Basin Remediation in the City of Los Angeles
    • Better Site Assessments
      • Advanced Methods for Site Characterization and 3D Visualization 
      • Using Geophysics to Build Better Site Models
      • Rapidly Delineating Chlorinated Solvent DNAPL
      • Environmental Sequence Stratigraphy for Improved Remediation Decision Making
    • Modeling and Visualization
      • An Introduction to MODFLOW-6
      • Basin- or Local-scale Models for Supporting SGMA Planning
      • Leveraging Advanced Modeling & Visualization Methods
      • Case Study of Global Sensitivity Analysis
    • Groundwater Replenishment/Recharge
      • Importance of River Water Recharge to Selected CA Basins
      • Successful River Water Recharge Case Studies
      • Recharge Master Plan Implementation
      • Water Independence – Road to Locally Sustainable Water Resources
    • Closing Panel – Next Steps to Manage Groundwater Sustainability: Planning and Beyond
      • 6 industry leaders from diverse organizations/agencies


GRA seeks to increase participation by university and college faculty and students in its events. The Collegiate Groundwater Colloquium presents students who are conducting highly relevant research in the general areas of the conference theme. The colloquium and reception provide students with an excellent opportunity to showcase their research and attendees an opportunity to learn from the frontier of groundwater science and engineering. For more information, including student scholarship opportunities, please contact Dr. Jean Moran at


Jim Strandberg: 925-949-5825
Steve Phillips: 916-278-3002


If you are interested in being a co-sponsor or exhibiting your organization's services or products, please register as a sponsor or exhibitor now. For questions you may contact the event coordinators at or by telephone - Sarah Kline 916-446-3626 or Abigail Madrone 530-761-0250.


Wed, Sep. 28 - Thu, Sep. 29, 2016

Event has ended


Hilton Concord
1970 Diamond Boulevard
Concord, CA 94520
We're perfectly located for business, shopping, or exploring San Francisco and Napa Valley's famous wine country; just off I-680 and Willow Pass in San Francisco's East Bay. Oakland International Airport is 29 miles away, San Francisco International Airport is 39 miles away, and our complimentary shuttle is ready to whisk ...

We're perfectly located for business, shopping, or exploring San Francisco and Napa Valley's famous wine country; just off I-680 and Willow Pass in San Francisco's East Bay. Oakland International Airport is 29 miles away, San Francisco International Airport is 39 miles away, and our complimentary shuttle is ready to whisk you to the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Concord Station, located one mile from the Hilton Concord.

Make your reservation today!

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