Law Seminars International Presents:

A Comprehensive Conference on

Sustainable Groundwater Planning in California

Important practical legal, technical, business and regulatory information for preparing GSPs

July 10 & 11, 2017

Sacramento, CA
(or anyplace you may be via webcast!)

Download PDF Brochure
Sacramento - 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

This installment in our series on implementation of California's Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) moves past formation of Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) to focus on developing Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs). We will have detailed coverage of the Department of Water Resources (DWR) regulations for plan contents and planning timelines and the technical issues involved in complying with those regulations. We will also have a detailed discussion of the legal issues including California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) compliance.

In some cases, GSAs will need to work with entities over which they have no jurisdiction, including federal agencies, such as the Bureau of Land Management, and Indian Tribes. One of our panels will offer practical tips for dealing with those situations.

All of this will be against the backdrop of current state SGMA implementation plans, including state plans for dealing with unmanaged areas; unresolved GSA formation and boundary disputes; and other pending issues left over from the GSA formation phase. We will have a panel with tips for resolving SGMA disputes without going to court.

Finally, we wrap up with a panel on financing options including state resources and strategies for cost recovery under Proposition 218. We hope you will join us for this very timely and informative conference.

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

What You Will Learn

  • ~ The State's SGMA implementation policy priorities
  • ~ Development of GSPs: Requirements and technical Issues
  • ~ Development of GSPs: Legal issues
  • ~ Development of GSPs: CEQA issues
  • ~ Working with entities over which a GSA will have no jurisdiction
  • ~ GSP implementation: Financing options and strategies
  • ~ How to resolve SGMA disputes without going to court

What Attendees Said

  • "All excellent, I'll be coming again to the next one."
  • "Excellent and informative program. I really enjoyed the program."
  • "Great seminar overall."
  • "Well organized. Well presented."
  • "Excellent talks."

Agenda Day 1

Monday, July 10, 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: The State's SGMA Implementation Policy Priorities

Key objectives at the transition from setting up Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) to developing Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs)

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

9:30 am

Post-Op on Development of GSAs

What's been formed; "white areas" where nothing is covered and the state's plan for dealing with them; areas where there are disputes over GSA formation; provisional/probationary boundaries; other pending issues to be resolved

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

Nicole Kuenzi, Esq. , Staff Counsel
State Water Resources Control Board / Sacramento, CA

10:30 am


10:45 am

Resolving SGMA Disputes: How to Solve Problems without Going to Court

Legal options, technical tools, and operational strategies 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

12:15 pm

Lunch (on your own)

1:30 pm

Development of GSPs: Requirements and Technical Issues

Update on Department of Water Resources (DWR) regulations for plan contents and planning timelines; minimum thresholds; what happens if the minimum thresholds are below state standards; coordination requirements; evaluation and reporting provisions

David Sandino, Esq. , Adjunct Professor
Santa Clara University School of Law / Santa Clara, CA

Resolving technical issues involving the interaction of surface and groundwater: Subsurface flows and the boundary between surface and groundwater; aquifer analysis techniques; measuring the impact of groundwater wells on stream flows

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

Sustainability: Progress towards reliable sustainable yield determinations; developing implementation plans for getting to sustainability; current and resolved technical issues involving Local Sustainability Plans

Iris Priestaf, Ph.D. , President
Todd Groundwater / Alameda, CA

3:15 pm


3:30 pm

Development of GSPs: Legal Issues

Legally significant issues with GSP development: Substantial compliance as a standard; potential project definition issues; interplay between GSP development and traditional water rights adjudication processes

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

Validation of GSAs and GSPs: Automatic approvals under the validation statutes; timing issues for validating GSAs and GSPs; reverse validation suits; tips for developing plans with validation in mind and strategies for challenging validation

Hanspeter Walter, 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, July 11, 2017

8:30 am

Development of GSPs: California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Issues

Exemptions under CEQA and other potential issues to consider in developing a CEQA compliance strategy

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

Legal & technical perspectives on amendments to fine-tune CEQA for dealing with groundwater management issues and lessons from CEQA litigation on preparation of environmental impact documents; practical drafting tips

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

James E O'Toole , Vice President
Environmental Science Associates / Petaluma, CA

10:15 am


10:30 am

Development of GSPs: Working with Entities over which a GSA will have No Jurisdiction

Concerns and special issues for GSAs dealing with federal agencies, such as the Bureau of Land Management, and Indian Tribes: Legal parameters, including requirements for Tribal consultation; tips for working your way through the dance of negotiation

David D. Boyer, Esq.
Atkinson Andelson Loya Ruud & Romo PLC / Cerritos, CA

GSA perspective

Paeter E. Garcia, Esq.
Best Best & Krieger LLP / Los Angeles, CA

Tribal perspective

Anecita Agustinez , Tribal Policy Advisor
California Department of Water Resources / Sacramento, CA

12:15 pm

Lunch (on your own)

1:30 pm

GSP Implementation: Financing Options and Strategies

State project assistance resources: What's currently available and criteria for achieving funding; tips for putting together a successful application

Heather Shannon , Senior Engineering Geologist
California Department of Water Resources / Sacramento, CA

Cost recovery under Proposition 218: What projects are covered and not; update on recent decisions and how they impact project planning; current issues still to be resolved and tips for dealing with the resulting uncertainty

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

Penciling out alternative project strategies: Update on options including surface water storage; recycling water; water transfers; desalinization

Jill Duerig , General Manager
Zone 7 Water Agency / Livermore, CA

3:00 pm

Evaluations and Adjourn

Faculty Bios

Scott A. Morris, Scott A. Morris, Program Co-Chair, is a shareholder at Kronick Moskovitz Tiedemann & Girard. He represents clients on water rights, water transfers, groundwater issues, environmental law, hazardous materials, and mining and development permits.

Deborah A. Wordham, Deborah A. Wordham, Program Co-Chair, is Of Counsel at Best Best & Krieger LLP. She focuses on water rights, water quality, and water resources. Previously, she was a Deputy Attorney General with the California Attorney General's office.

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

Ernest A. Conant, Moderator, is a partner at Young Wooldridge LLP. He focuses on water law and public agency matters including serving as general counsel for several public agencies. He assisted with development of the Semitropic and Arvin-Edison Water Storage District's water banking programs, which temporarily stored water for agencies throughout the state.

Anecita Agustinez Anecita Agustinez is the Tribal Policy Advisor for the California Department of Water Resources. She has been actively engaged with DWR's various divisions assisting in Tribal consultation and in the development of DWR's Tribal Consultation Policy.

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

Eric L. Averett, General Manager of the 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 Manager of the Kern Groundwater Authority.

David D. Boyer is Of Counsel at Atkinson Andelson Loya Ruud & Romo PLC. He represents public and private clients in civil actions involving water rights and supply, state water contracts, and environmental and natural resources.

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 is a shareholder at Kronick Moskovitz Tiedemann & Girard. He represents cities, school districts, water agencies, community services districts, and other public agencies in public finance.

Jill Duerig is General Manager of Zone 7 Water Agency, which manages Livermore-Amador Valley's groundwater basin as a Sustainable Groundwater Management Agency. She also is a member and former chair of the board of the State & Federal Contractors Water Agency, a joint powers authority that among other things facilitates scientific investigation and habitat restoration measures in the Delta in efforts to assure a sufficient and high-quality water supply.

Anona L. Dutton, Vice President, Erler & Kalinowski, Inc., manages efforts to secure and manage reliable water supplies for water agencies and developers, including 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.

Paeter E. Garcia Paeter E. Garcia is a partner at Best Best & Krieger LLP. He focuses on water rights, water supply planning, and environmental and natural resources. He represents clients on water law and policy matters, such as surface and groundwater right issues, water transactions and conveyance, and groundwater management and storage arrangements.

Nicole Kuenzi Nicole Kuenzi is a Staff Counsel with the State Water Resources Control Board, where she advises the Division of Water Rights and the Board's Groundwater Management Unit. Previously, she was at the water law firm of Petros & White in Denver, Colorado.

Mark S. Nordberg, Seni Mark S. Nordberg, Seni or 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 environmental and planning firms.

James E. O'Tool James E. O'Tool e, Vice President, and Water Practice Leader at Environmental Science Associates, focuses on water and wastewater infrastructure projects, recycled water programs, conjunctive use, indirect potable reuse, groundwater management, and facilities implementation.

Iris Priestaf, Ph.D., President, Todd Groundwater, consults on a variety of groundwater resource management issues including groundwater basin characterization, development, and management. She prepared one of the first AB3030 groundwater management plans and provides expert support for Sustainable Groundwater Management Act compliance.

Professor Dav id Sandino of Santa Clara Law School is a former Chief Counsel for the California Department of Water Resources. During his tenure with the Department, he also served as lead counsel for the California Reclamation Board (currently named the Central Valley Flood Protection Board).

Heather Shannon is a Senior Engineering Geologist in the Financial Assistance Branch, Division of Integrated Regional Water Management at the California Department of Water Resources.

Hanspeter Walter is a shareholder in Kronick Moskovitz Tiedemann & Girard. He practices in water, environmental, administrative, and land-use law, with an emphasis on regulatory compliance, water rights, water quality, and other land-use matters.

Alisha M. Winterswyk Alisha M. Winterswyk is a partner in the Environmental and Natural Resources practice group at Best Best & Krieger LLP. She centers her practice on the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).


Continuing Education Credits

Live credits: Law Seminars International is a State Bar of California approved MCLE provider. This program qualifies for 11.75 California MCLE credits. We have applied for 11.5 AICP credits (pending). Upon request, we will apply for, or help you apply for, CLE credits in other states and other types of credits.

Webcast Options

Video Replays allow you to time-shift your content. The Vodcast has navigation tools and search capabilities that allow you to quickly find the portions most important to you. It allows you to plug a flashdrive into your laptop and make effective use of in-flight plane time.

Audio Podcasts are perfect for making more effective use of the time you spend commuting.


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