Law Seminars International Presents:

An Advanced Two-Day Conference on

SGMA, GSA Setup & GSP Preparation

New regulations; practical tips for getting plans in place

January 9 & 10, 2017

Los Angeles, CA

Download PDF Brochure
Los Angeles - CA


Who Should Order

Attorneys, environmental, real estate and agricultural professionals, corporate managers, governmental officials, Tribal representatives, resource managers, planners and landowners

Why You Should Order

California's Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) is in full swing. For the first time in the state's history, SGMA requires local agencies to develop and implement plans to achieve sustainable groundwater management for basins designated as medium or high priority by the California Department of Water Resources. New regulations have been adopted and others are being prepared that will shape the technical, practical, legal and political landscape for groundwater management throughout California.

In some regions, the SGMA process is unfolding cooperatively, while in others the battle lines are being drawn. SGMA is a game changer and the stakes are tremendously high, as the new law and regulations will affect water resource and environmental management, land use decision making, municipal and agricultural water use, and many other aspects of California life.

Join industry experts, leading attorneys and agency officials for a two-day conference regarding the mechanics and implications of SGMA. Topics include statewide perspectives on groundwater management, legal implications of the new law and regulations, practical approaches and requirements for forming Groundwater Sustainability Agencies and developing Groundwater Sustainability Plans, the roles of state and local agencies, funding issues, and practical examples of how real life groundwater disputes are resolved today.

~ Program Co-Chairs: Scott A. Morris, Esq. of Kronick Moskovitz Tiedemann & Girard, and Deborah A. Wordham, Esq. of Best Best & Krieger LLP

What You Will Learn

  • SGMA implementation and the Brown Administration's view on how it's working
  • Development of Groundwater Sustainability Agencies
  • The interplay between the SGMA and the California Environmental Quality Act
  • Resolving GSA Formation Disputes
  • Development of GSP: Settled and still pending legal issues
  • Practical tips for working through the technical concerns in developing GSPs
  • Financing issues; funding, cost recovery under Proposition 218

Agenda Day 1

Monday, January 09, 2017

8:00 am

Registration Opens

8:30 am

Introduction & Overview

Scott A. Morris, Esq. , Program Co-Chair
Kronick Moskovitz Tiedemann & Girard / Sacramento, CA

Deborah A. Wordham, Esq. , Program Co-Chair
Best Best & Krieger LLP / Los Angeles, CA

8:45 am

Special Opening Address: An Overview of SGMA Implementation and The Brown Administration's View on How It's Working

What's been accomplishe and what's next, including implementation of the recently enacted SB 1262 requiring incroporation of groundwater management under SGMA into water supply planning laws

Gordon B. Burns , Undersecretary
California Environmental Protection Agency / Sacramento, CA

9:15 am

Development of Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs)

Update on general criteria for becoming a GSA; Department of Water Resource's (DWRs) role in formation or selection of GSAs; what GSAs may manage; limits on authority; rules governing boundary changes; role of federal and Tribal entities

Jeremy N. Jungreis, Esq.
Rutan & Tucker, LLP / Costa Mesa, CA

Progress report on agency development; what's been formed; areas where there are disputes over formation

Mark S. Nordberg, P.G. , Senior Engineering Geologist
California Department of Water Resources / Sacramento, CA

10:30 am


10:45 am

The Interplay between the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)

Similarities and differences from typical land use planning; lessons from CEQA litigation on preparation of environmental impact documents

Alisha M. Winterswyk, Esq.
Best Best & Krieger LLP / Irvine, CA

Update on amendments to fine tune CEQA for dealing with groundwater management issues

Brian Boxer, AICP , Senior Vice President, Northern California Regional Director
Environmental Science Associates / Sacramento, CA

12:00 pm

Lunch (on your own)

1:15 pm

Resolving GSA Formation Disputes

Legal options, technical tools, and operational perspectives on finding the best path to a solution

Ernest A. Conant, Esq. , Moderator
Young Wooldridge LLP / Bakersfield, CA

Eric L. Averett , General Manager
Rosedale-Rio Bravo WSD / Bakersfield, CA

Dave Ceppos , Associate Director
Center for Collaborative Policy, California State University Sacramento / Sacramento, CA

3:00 pm


3:15 pm

Development of Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs): Settled and Still Pending Legal Issues

Update on Department of Water Resources (DWR) regulations

Timothy Ross, Ph.D. , Groundwater Section Chief, Southern Region Office
California Department of Water Resources / Glendale, CA

Legally significant issues with GSP development including the interplay between GSP development and traditional water rights adjudication processes

Steve M. Anderson, Esq.
Best Best & Krieger LLP / Riverside, CA

Appeals: Processes for challenging GSPs including forums; standing; standards for review; and tips for participating in plan development with the possibility of appeal in mind

Eric N. Robinson, Esq.
Kronick Moskovitz Tiedemann & Girard / Sacramento, CA

5:00 pm

Continue the Exchange of Ideas: Reception for Faculty and Attendees

Sponsored by Best Best & Krieger LLP and Kronick Moskovitz Tiedemann & Girard

Agenda Day 2

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

8:30 am

Practical Tips for Working through the Technical Concerns in Developing GSPs

Plan contents and planning timelines: Substantial compliance as a standard; minimum thresholds and measurable objectives; defining projects and management actions; boundary change processes; coordination requirements; evaluation and reporting provisions

Deborah A. Wordham, Esq. , Program Co-Chair, Moderator
Best Best & Krieger LLP / Los Angeles, CA

Anona L. Dutton, P.G. , Vice President
Erler & Kalinowski, Inc. / Burlingame, CA

Timothy Ross, Ph.D. , Groundwater Section Chief, Southern Region Office
California Department of Water Resources / Glendale, CA

Leslie Dumas, P.E., D.WRE , Senior Water Resources Engineer
RMC Water and Environment / Walnut Creek, CA

10:15 am


10:30 am

Financing Issues

State project assistance resources: What's available and tips for successfully seeking funding

Mark S. Nordberg, P.G. , Senior Engineering Geologist
California Department of Water Resources / Sacramento, CA

SGMA and cost recovery under Proposition 218: Update on recent decisions and how they impact project planning; issues still to be resolved and tips for dealing with the resulting uncertainty

Jonathan P. Cristy, Esq.
Kronick Moskovitz Tiedemann & Girard / Sacramento, CA

12:00 pm

Evaluations and Adjourn

Faculty Bios

Scott A. Morris, Scott A. Morris, Program Co-Chair, shareholder, Kronick Moskovitz Tiedemann & Girard, focuses on natural resources, land use, and water law. He represents clients on water rights, water transfers, groundwater issues, environmental law, hazardous materials, and mining and development permits.
Full bio and contact info for Scott A. Morris at Kronick Moskovitz Tiedemann & Girard

Deborah A. Wordham, Deborah A. Wordham, Program Co-Chair, of counsel, Best Best & Krieger LLP, focuses on water rights, water quality, and water resources, including the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, as well as endangered species, the California Environmental Quality Act, and the National Environmental Policy Act. Previously, she was a Deputy Attorney General with the California Attorney General's office.

Gordon B. Burns, Undersecretary, Special Address, California Environmental Protection Agency, is a leader on water issues including the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, the reorganization of the State's drinking water program, the drought task force, and environmental regulations of marijuana cultivation. He was previously a litigator in the California Attorney General's Office, where he focused on natural resources cases, writs, and appellate practice.

Ernest A. Conant, Moderator, partner, Young Wooldridge, LLP, focuses on water law and public agency matters. He has been general counsel for several public agencies, including assisting with the development of the Semitropic and Arvin-Edison Water Storage District's water banking programs, which temporarily store water for various agencies throughout the state.

Steve M. Anderson, partner, Best Best & Krieger LLP, focuses on environmental, water and natural resources law. He works on water supply, water quality, endangered species, environmental mitigation, conservation easements and other natural resource law matters.

Eric L. Averett, General Manager, Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water Storage District, evaluates and resolves water supply and quality challenges facing Kern County. He is chair of the Kern River Watershed Coalition and is manager of the Kern Groundwater Authority, organizations formed to organize and unite water interests to address regulatory challenges related to water supply reliability and water quality.

Brian Boxer, AICP, Senior Vice President, Northern California Regional Director, Environmental Science Associates, focuses on integrating environmental planning and documentation, community planning, and project development that results in improved projects, informed policy and collaborative decision-making.

Dave Ceppos is Associate Director and SGMA Program Manager for the Center for Collaborative Policy (CCP), a program of the California State University Sacramento. He is experienced in watershed and natural resource planning, ecological assessment, hydrology, flood risk reduction planning, hazardous waste management, and habitat restoration.

Jonathan P. Cristy, shareholder, Kronick Moskovitz Tiedemann & Girard, represents cities, school districts, water agencies, community services districts, and other public agencies in public finance, and primarily serves as bond counsel, disclosure counsel, or agency counsel to these public entities in connection with their debt financings.
Full bio and contact info for Jonathan P. Cristy at Kronick Moskovitz Tiedemann & Girard

Anona L. Dutton, P.G., Vice President, Erler & Kalinowski, Inc., manages efforts to secure and manage reliable water supplies for water agencies and developers, including leading the technical efforts to minimize the water footprint of new and existing development, assessing groundwater and surface water supply yields, installing groundwater wells, securing water transfer options, and supporting strategic SGMA implementation.
Full bio and contact info for Anona L. Dutton at Erler & Kalinowski, Inc.

Jeremy N. Jungreis, senior counsel in the Government & Regulatory Section at Rutan & Tucker, LLP, focuses on environmental compliance and litigation, land use/natural resource strategies, water rights, water supply development projects, public agency law, utility law, strategic planning/coalition building, and governmental relations.

Mark S. Nordberg, P.G., Senior Engineering Geologist, California Department of Water Resources, is part of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Program and leads DWR's efforts for groundwater sustainability agency formation. Previously, he was a consultant with various environmental and planning firms.

Eric N. Robinson, shareholder and manager of the Water Resources Practice Group at Kronick Moskovitz Tiedemann & Girard, assists in obtaining and defending water supplies, including water transfers and groundwater banking transactions. He obtains and defends environmental regulatory approvals for water resource and land development projects.
Full bio and contact info for Eric N. Robinson at Kronick Moskovitz Tiedemann & Girard

Timothy Ross, Ph.D., Groundwater Section Chief, Southern Region Office, California Department of Water Resources, supervises groundwater and geology investigations and works on the CASGEM, Sustainable Groundwater Management, and Well Completion Reports programs for Southern California.

Alisha M. Winterswyk, partner in the Environmental and Natural Resources practice group, Best Best & Krieger LLP, centers her practice on environmental laws, specifically on the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). She counsels clients on the substantive mandates of CEQA/NEPA and procedures that must be satisfied during the administrative process.

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Continuing Education Credits

Live credits: Law Seminars International is a State Bar of California approved MCLE provider. This program qualifies for 10 California MCLE and 9.75 AICP (pending) credits. Upon request, we will apply for, or help you apply for, CLE credits in other states and other types of credits.

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