DAY ONE  - JUNE 6, 2018

8:15AM – 8:30AM


  • Steve Phillips, US Geological Survey, GRA President
  • Tim Parker, Parker Groundwater, GSA Summit Chair

8:30AM – 10AM

Moderator - Adam Hutchinson, Orange County Water District

Policies and other aspects – voting  - every basin will look different – have to have individual design if they are going to work – identify commonalities –

 Session Overview Presentations:

  • Governance for SGM - Adjudications and Special Districts
    Bill Blomquist, Professor of Political Science and Adjunct Professor of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis

  • Early Progress and Coordination in Multi-GSA Basins
    Tara Moran, Stanford Water in the West

 GSA Flash Presentations:

  • Salinas Valley Basin GSA
    Gary Petersen, General Manager
  • Yolo County Flood Control and Water Conservation District
    Tim O’Halloran, General Manager
  • Mid-Kaweah GSA
    Paul Hendrix, General Manager
  • San Joaquin County
    Brandon Nakagawa, Water Resources Coordinator

10:00AM - 10:30AM BREAK

10:30AM – 12:00PM

Adaptive Management - Operating Under Unknowns
Moderator: Rob Gailey, Consulting Hydrogeologist

Within the SGMA context, adaptive management is both an approach and a philosophy that integrates new information and changes in conditions to manage groundwater resources more successfully. The SGMA regulations require setting measurable objectives, determining the success or failure of implemented programs in meeting interim milestones and, as necessary, modifying groundwater sustainability plans to correct course and achieve the desired objectives and remaining milestones.  The approach is intended to addresses uncertainty regarding both current understanding of groundwater systems and future conditions.  How does one set objectives and milestones as well as effect plan adjustments when significant uncertainty may exist?  The speakers will explore this topic.

Session Overview Presentations:

  • Technical perspectives and Assistance on Adaptive Management
    Steven Springhorn, California Department of Water Resources
  • Using Uncertainty Analysis to Adaptively Manage
    Thomas Harter, University of California, Davis

GSA Flash Presentations:

  • Rosedale Rio Bravo Water Storage District
    Eric Averett, General Manager
  • Butte County Water and Resource Conservation
    Paul Gosselin, Director
  • Ventura County
    Tony Morgan, SGMA Consultant
  • San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District
    Bob Tincher, Deputy General Manager
  • Orange County Water District
    Adam Hutchinson, Recharge Planning Manager


The Consequences of Groundwater Sustainability in California
Jeffrey Mount, Ph.D.  (Northern California David Keith Todd Speaker), Senior Fellow, Public Policy Institute of California Water Policy Center

1:30PM – 3:00PM

Stakeholder Involvement and Community Engagement
Moderator - Gary Petersen, Salinas Valley GSA

SGMA requires GSAs to plan for stakeholder engagement by considering the interests of all beneficial users, to implement community engagement to encourage the active involvement of diverse social, cultural, and economic elements of the population within the groundwater basin, and to demonstrate progress toward the goal of sustainability, taking corrective action to address deficiencies. The panel will provide a overview of the SGMA requirements for stakeholder involvement and community engagement, and examples of how GSAs are proceeding.

Session Overview Presentations:

  • Stakeholder Involvement and Community Engagement
    Gina Bartlett, Consensus Building Institute
  • Stakeholder Involvement in Rural and Disadvantaged Communities
    Charles Gardiner, The Catalyst Group

 GSA Flash Presentations:

  • Local Government Commission
    Danielle Dolan
  • TBD
  • TBD
  • TBD

3:00PM– 3:30PM BREAK

3:30PM – 5:00PM

GSA Fees and Finance
Moderator - Tim Parker, Parker Groundwater

SGMA required the formation of new groundwater sustainability agencies to manage groundwater basins under the new law, but the state did not provide any funding. These new government agencies have started largely by in-kind contributions and services provided by their member organizations. Many have started the process of rate studies to ensure a sound foundation for setting fees and minimizing the risk of litigation while navigating the challenges of Proposition 26 and 218. The panel will present information on rate study process and legal update, and dive into the approach and progress of several GSAs.

Session Overview Presentations:

  • Overview of Rate Study Process, Ways to do the Math, Do’s and Don’ts of Rate Studies, Challenges and Opportunities, and Needs for Community Engagement
    Sally VanEtten, Raftelis Financial Consultants
  • Brief Overview of Prop 26 & 218 and Latest in Case Law
    Michael Colantuono, Colantuono Highsmith & Whatley

GSA Flash Presentations:

  • Kings River East GSA
    Denise England, Tulare County Water Resources Manager
  • Sonoma County GSAs
    Ann DuBay, Sonoma County Water Agency Government Affairs Manager
  • Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority GSA
    Jim Worth, Indian Wells Valley Water District Counsel*
  • Sacramento Groundwater Authority GSA
    John Woodling, Executive Director
  • Chino Basin Water Master
    Peter Kavounas, General Manager


Chris Austin, Mavens Notebook



Building Bridges to a New World in Water Resource Management
Kirby Brill, P.E.  (Southern California David Keith Todd Lecturer), Former General Manager, Mojave Water Agency


DAY TWO - JUNE 7, 2018

8:30AM – 10:00AM

Intra- and Inter-Basin Coordination
Moderator – Paul Hendrix, Mid-Kaweah GSA

SGMA requires Coordination Agreements within sub-basins anticipating multiple GSPs, and anticipates efforts to coordinate among interconnected sub-basins.  This panel will present an overview of what’s expected for coordination across GSA boundaries, the technical issues to address, and how selected regions of the state are taking on this challenge.

Session Overview Presentations:

  • The View from Sacramento; What do SGMA and the GSP Regulations Say about Coordination, What DWR is Looking for, and Their Role in Determining Inter-Basin Interaction
    Steven Springhorn and Trevor Joseph, DWR

  • What are Hydrogeologists and Modelers Looking for and How do We Get There?
    Derrik Williams, HydroMetrics

GSA Flash Presentations:

  • Sharing a Basin Water Budget – What’s at Stake?
    Terry Erlewine, Kern Groundwater Authority 
  • Coordination before and after SGMA
     Kim Loeb, Fox Canyon Groundwater Management Authority
  • Coordination of the Many in the Subbasin
    Andrew Garcia, San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority
  • A county’s perspective in regional coordination
    Christina Buck, Butte County
  • What is Achievable Among Interconnected Basins in Critical Overdraft, e.g. Southern San Joaquin Valley Inter-Basin Practitioners Roundtable?
    Larry Rodriguez*, GEI Consultants

10:00AM - 10:30AM BREAK

10:30AM – 12:00PM

Sustainability Criteria 
Moderator: Thomas Harter, UC Davis

SGMA defines sustainable groundwater management as the management and use of groundwater in a manner that can be maintained during the planning and implementation horizon without causing undesirable results. SGMA and the GSP Regulations define the following sustainable management criteria: sustainability goal, undesirable results, minimum thresholds, and measurable objectives. This panel will provide information and tools on developing sustainability criteria and examples of GSAs approaches and progress.

Session Overview Presentations:

  • Foundational, How DWR Thinks about Sustainability Criteria
    Trevor Joseph, California Department of Water Resources
  • Developing Sustainability Criteria and Supporting Monitoring and Management Activities
    Marcus Trotta*, Sonoma County Water Agency

GSA Flash Presentations:

  • How Yolo is Developing Sustainability Criteria
    Tim O'Halloran, Yolo County Flood Control District
  • Napa County Alternative Plan
    Vicki Kretsinger, Luhdorf & Scalmanini
  • Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems Defined and New tools for Developing Sustainable Management Criteria
    Melissa Rohde, The Nature Conservancy

12:00PM– 1:00PM LUNCH

CGC and GRA  – Ken Manning, California Groundwater Coalition Chairman, and Steve Phillips, Groundwater Resources Association of California President will provide timely information on Capitol Efforts in the Groundwater Arena, SGMA Technical Opportunities for Education and Awareness, and How the Missions of These Two Organizations Work Together and Separately to Help Sustain Groundwater in California.

1:00PM– 2:30 PM

Connecting Land Use and SGMA - County and City Roles
Moderator - Carolyn Berg, County of San Luis Obispo

Counties and cities play major roles in SGMA including GSA members, land use planning which typically involves water associated demands, source water and watershed-basin interconnection permitting agencies for wells and building structures, and ability to utilize police powers and ordinances to manage various issues including groundwater.  SGMA requires that city and county land use plans be provided to GSAs and that GSAs provide a report on the anticipated effect of the land use plan on the GSP implementation, and a copy of the draft GSP to cities and counties 90 days prior to adoption.

Session Overview Presentation:

Uncommon Dialogue: Fostering Meaningful Coordination Between Land Use Planning & Groundwater Management Under SGMA
Tara Moran, Stanford Water in the West

GSA Flash Presentations:

  • Stanislaus County – Walt Ward, Water Resources Manager
  • Kern County - Lorelei Oviatt, Director of Planning and Natural Resources
  • San Luis Obispo County - Rob Fitzroy, Deputy Director of Planning & Building Department

2:30PM – 3:00PM BREAK

3:00PM – 4:30PM

Water Markets and SGMA
Moderator - Ellen Hanak, Water Policy Center Director and Senior Fellow, Public Policy Institute of California

Water markets may help many basins find a sustainable solution to meet SGMA mandates. Water markets are effective tools for managing limited supplies by giving users the flexibility to purchase additional water from those with surplus. Water markets paired with creative financial solutions can enable water to be purchased and returned to wetlands, rivers, lakes and communities. 

Session Overview Presentation:

  • Overview of Water Market Issues and SGMA
    Ellen Hanak, Public Policy Institute of California
  • Key Takeaways on Groundwater Trading Under SGMA 
    Nell Green Nylen, UC Berkeley
  • Overview of Trading Experiences—With a Focus on GW—In Other States, Including Nebraska
    Richael Young, Mammoth Trading

GSA Flash Presentations:

  • Sacramento Valley
    Curt Aikens, Yuba County Water Agency
  • Northern SJ Valley
    Steve Knell, Oakdale Irrigation District
  • Southern SJ Valley
    Jon Reiter, Maricopa Orchards
  • Mojave Basin
    Lance Eckhart, Mojave Water Agency
  • South Coast
    Matthew Fienup, California Lutheran University, and Chair, Fox Canyon Water Market Group