Groundwater Resources Association Announces their First Annual Western Groundwater Congress

The Groundwater Resources Association of California (GRAC) has announced their First Annual “super-sized” Western Groundwater Congress (WGC) for Tuesday, Sept. 25 through Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018. Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) legislation, water resources and other timely topics as well as practical hands-on workshops. The event will be held at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Sacramento.

The three-day agenda is extensive and includes four concurrent choices for each of three sessions each day. Each session features a moderator with usually three to four panelists.

The sessions on Tuesday, Sept. 25 will include:

  • Funding for Groundwater Improvement

Moderator: Chris Petersen, GEI Consultants

  • Lessons Learned from Groundwater Management in Western States

Moderator: Lisa Porta, Jacobs

  • High Resolution Site Characterization

Moderator: Murray Einarson, Haley & Aldrich

  • CV Salts and Nitrate Control Program

Moderator: Richard Meyerhoff, GEI Consultants

  • Recharge…What is it good for? Everything!

Moderator: Adam Hutchinson, Orange County Water District

  • Data: The Essential Element of SGMA

Moderator: Steven Springhorn, Department of Water Resources

  • Vapor Intrusion

Moderator: Gina Plantz, Haley & Aldrich

  • Tools for Groundwater Supply and Quality Management in Irrigated Agriculture

Moderator: Thomas Harter, UC Davis

  • Recharge…What is it good for? Everything! Part 2

Moderator: Kamyar Guivetchi, California Department of Water Resources

  • SGMA

Moderator: Tim Godwin, California Department of Water Resources

  • CalEPA Vapor Intrusion Guidance Updates – Status and Implications

Moderator: Gina Plantz

  • The Future of Groundwater – an Agricultural Perspective

Moderator: Jack Rice

The sessions for Wednesday, Sept. 26 will be:

  • Rehab—Not Just for Hollywood

Moderator: Chris Johnson, AEGIS Groundwater Consulting LLC

  • SGMA Planning II

Moderator: Tim Godwin, California Department of Water Resources

  • Trends in the Environmental Management of 1,4 Dioxane and PFASs

Moderator: Erika Houtz

  • Oil, Gas and Groundwater

Moderator: Ted Johnson, Water Replenishment District of Southern California

  • New Frontiers in Well Design

Moderator: Kevin McGillicuddy

  • Bringing Clarity to Water Quality Issues Under SGMA

Moderator: Jim Strandberg, Woodard & Curran

  • The Underground Seen: Advanced Subsurface Visualization

Moderator: John Jansen, Collier Consulting

  • Identifying and Considering Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems Under SGMA

Presented by: Melissa Rohde, The Nature Conservancy

Sessions on Thursday, Sept. 27 will be:

  • Take me to the (Ground)Water: Hot Legal Issues in Groundwater Law

Moderator: Jena Acos, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP

  • Modeling Sustainable Groundwater Conditions I
  • Modeling Sustainable Groundwater Conditions II

Moderator: Ali Taghavi, Woodard & Curran

  • Advances in Remediation

Moderator: Eric Suchomel, Geosyntec Consultants

  • Collegiate Colloquium

Moderator: Jean Moran, California State University East Bay

  • Alternative Regulatory Policies and Evaluation Metrics

Moderator: Alyx Karpowicz, San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board

  • New Advancements (or Innovations) in Groundwater Analysis Tools and Technologies

Moderator: Lisa Porta, Jacobs

  • David Keith Todd Lecturer – Southern California

Moderator: Wes Miliband, Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo

  • David Keith Todd Lecturer – Northern California

Moderator: Stephanie Diaz, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory



The welcome and Opening Keynote Session for the Congress will feature David Rudolph, Ph.D., P.Eng. speaking on “A Renaissance in Regional Hydrogeology.” In addition to the above sessions there will be Student Flash Presentations, the President’s reception on Tuesday evening, the Awards Luncheon and GRA Annual Meeting at lunch on Wednesday, a poster session, a unique session, “Sustainable Practices in Wine Making & Wine Tasting,” and a vendor reception on Wednesday evening. The Congress is slated to end at 3 p.m. on Thursday.

More detailed information on the Congress, volunteer opportunities for students and pricing for the Congress can be found at:

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