Finding the Balance — Improving Infrastructure,
Water Management, and the Environment in a World with
Limited Funding and Ample Regulations

Sacramento, California

10th International Conference
on Irrigation and Drainage

October 24-27, 2017

Cooperating Organization

Groundwater Resources Association of California


Conference Registration, Exhibition and Sponsorship opportunities on line soon.

Sections of this Announcement may be reached from these links:


Sacramento Tower Bridge photo by Michael Grindstaff, Public Domain. The Tower Bridge is a Vertical lift bridge across the Sacramento River, linking West Sacramento in Yolo County to the west, with the capital of California, Sacramento, in Sacramento County to the east. Irrigation districts, water entities, and federal/state agencies face a wide variety of issues every day as they try to effectively and efficiently provide water to their customers. These issues range from "big picture" items such as how to properly manage their water supply, determining where water is located in the district on a minute-to-minute basis, addressing environmental issues and regulations, and maintaining the district's infrastructure.

Understanding water balance concepts, whether they be on the farm, district or basin level, is essential for groundwater basin management and proper development of water conservation programs. Environmental issues, and the regulations associated with them, can be daunting to a district. In addition, irrigation district maintenance, especially with older districts, can be a drain on financial resources if not addressed properly. Groundwater recharge has the potential to address both water management and environmental issues. However, there are many questions and complexities surrounding groundwater recharge.

The goal of this Conference is to assist water districts by providing tools and case studies to address this wide spectrum of issues while also identifying funding sources that districts can use to assist with their operations. Of special interest will be how these challenges are handled in different states and how can those lessons learned be shared.

The theme of the Conference is Finding the Balance — Improving Infrastructure, Water Management, and the Environment in a World with Limited Funding and Ample Regulations.

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Who Should Attend?

UC Davis, stormwater floods almond orchard in study to recharge groundwater This USCID Conference will provide a forum for water district staff, water agency staff, irrigation and drainage specialists, consultants, equipment suppliers and academics to share innovative solutions and learn from each other's experiences. Irrigation and drainage professionals from abroad are especially welcome to attend and share their experiences.

The Groundwater Resources Association of California is a Cooperating Organization of the Conference. Members of GRA are encouraged to attend the Conference as authors and/or participants.

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Conference Format

A half-day study tour on Tuesday morning will be followed by lunch and a Plenary Session featuring presentations of broad interest to irrigation managers. Focused oral presentations during Technical Sessions and a Poster Session will occur on Wednesday and Thursday. Invited speakers will offer their perspectives during meals. A day-long Workshop will be offered on Thursday. The Conference will conclude with a Friday study tour. Receptions, meals, breaks and tours will provide excellent networking opportunities.

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Featured on Thursday will be Understanding, Completing, and Implementing State and Federal Water Management Plans: A Workshop for Districts, Agencies and Consultants

Workshop Goal: the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) and the Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) both require Water Management Plans (WMPs) from water agencies meeting specific criteria. DWR and Reclamation have also been actively changing and updating their WMP regulations. The Workshop will include presentations on the regulations, examples of successful WMPs, and tools that water agencies can use develop WMPs in a cost effective manner.

USCID will partner with DWR and Reclamation to develop the framework for the Workshop. Water agencies in the process of developing plans or now having to develop new plans are encouraged to attend. The content will be aimed at managers, engineers, and consultants who are actively engaged in the development of WMPs.

Participation in the Workshop will be included in the Conference Registration Fee. A Workshop only Registration Fee will also be offered.


An Exhibition will feature companies providing products and services related to water resources. The latest technologies and products will be showcased.

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Field Tours

The half-day field tour on Tuesday morning will visit the Yolo County Flood Control and Water Conservation District's new canal automation project on the Winters Canal, a 100-year-old, 16-mile-long canal that has recently been retrofitted with 25 automatic level/flow control gates. The tour will include a review of the District's SCADA System and visits to several canal sites, including Aqua System 2000 LOPAC and Langemann gates, and a Watch Technologies slide gate.

The day-long tour on Friday provides an opportunity to visit the irrigated agricultural area north of Sacramento. First will be a review of the Sacramento Valley Salmon Recovery Program, including visits to Wallace Weir, the River Garden Farms Salmon Rearing Habitat Structures and the Nigiri Fish Food Program. Then, the tour will go to the Bullock Bend Bank and to the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge. A break for lunch will include an overview of the Pacific Flyway Habitat. The final stop will feature a visit to the proposed Sites Dam, which would create a 1,800,000 acre-foot reservoir.

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  • Draft Papers Due — June 16, 2017
  • Comments to Authors — August 1, 2017
  • Final Papers Due — September 1, 2017
  • Conference — October 24-27, 2017

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California Wine Country

Conference Planning Committee

Charles M. Burt, Co-Chair, Irrigation Training and Research Center, San Luis Obispo, CA

Thaddeus L. Bettner, Co-Chair, Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District, Willows, CA

Brad J. Arnold, California Department of Water Resources, West Sacramento, CA

James E. Ayars, Agricultural Research Service, USDA, Parlier, CA

Khaled Bali, University of California, Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center, Parlier, CA

David E. Bradshaw, Imperial Irrigation District, Imperial, CA

David Buras, Stantec Consulting Services, Inc., Phoenix, AZ

Michael Davidson, Eagle-Spec Sales Group, Altadena, CA

Guy Fipps, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX

Gerald A. Gibbens, Northern Water, Berthoud, CO

Sara Harper, Dewberry, Sacramento, CA

Todd L. Hillaire, California Department of Water Resources, Red Bluff, CA

Randy Hopkins, Provost & Pritchard Consulting Group, Clovis, CA

Joel Kimmelshue, Land, IQ LLC, Sacramento, CA

Steve Knell, Oakdale Irrigation District, Oakdale, CA

Steve Macaulay, Geosyntec Consultants, Snohomish, WA

Reed R. Murray, U.S. Department of the Interior, Provo, UT

David Phelps, Stantec Consulting Services, Inc., Phoenix, AZ

W. Martin Roche, Consulting Engineer, Grass Valley, CA

Maurice Roos, California Department of Water Resources, Sacramento, CA

George V. Sabol, Stantec Consulting Services, Inc., Phoenix, AZ

Samuel W. Schaefer, GEI Consultants, Inc., Santa Barbara, CA

Neil W. Schild, MWH now a part of Stantec, Sacramento, CA

Laura A. Schroeder, Schroeder Law Offices, PC, Portland, OR

Jeff Shaw, Stantec Consulting Services, Inc., Rocklin, CA

Jason Smesrud, CH2M, Portland, OR

Delbert M. Smith, Bureau of Reclamation, Denver, CO

Blair L. Stringam, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM

David K. Thaemert, Oregon Institute of Technology, Klamath Falls, OR

Bryan P. Thoreson, Davids Engineering, Inc., Davis, CA

Ian C. Tod, Ian Tod Associates, Aliso Viejo, CA

Brian T. Wahlin, WEST Consultants, Inc., Tempe, AZ

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