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 and Exhibition Information

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 and may register at the reduced USCID Member registration fee.

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Conference Format and Program Summary

A Plenary Session Tuesday afternoon will begin with a Keynote Address by David Palumbo, Deputy Commissioner, Bureau of Reclamation, followed by invited presentations from leading water resources professionals.

A Panel Discussion on Wednesday morning will address Surface Water/Groundwater Interactions. Oral presentations will occur during Wednesday afternoon and Thursday concurrent technical sessions. A full-day Workshop will be an option on Thursday Understanding, Completing, and Implementing State and Federal Water Management Plans: A Workshop for Districts, Agencies and Consultants. Workshop registration is included in the full Conference Registration Fee. Workshop only registration is also offered.

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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 is also available. The Workshop is sponsored by the California Department of Water Resources.

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Exhibition and Sponsorships

An Exhibition will be held Tuesday evening, Wednesday and Thursday. To maximize opportunities for exhibitors to meet with Conference participants, several functions will take place in the exhibition room, including the Tuesday opening reception, and continental breakfasts, lunches and coffee breaks on Wednesday and Thursday.

A Meet the Exhibitors session on Tuesday afternoon will provide an opportunity for exhibitors to give a brief summary of their products and services during the Opening Plenary Session. The welcome reception in the exhibit room will immediately follow.

Several organizations and companies will support USCID by sponsoring Conference activities and products. Exhibition and Sponsorship information.

The Exhibition is sold out! Sponsorships are still available.

Conference Exhibitors are listed below.

Conference Sponsors are listed below. Additional Sponsors will be listed as they are confirmed.

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The Conference will be held at the Lions Gate Hotel and McClellan Conference Center northeast of downtown Sacramento. The address is 3410 Westover Street, McClellan Park, CA 95652.

The rate for Conference participants is $149 single/double, plus tax. Rooms are also available at a Federal per diem rate of $119, plus tax. To make reservations, call the Lions Gate at 916-640-0835, and ask for the special USCID rate. Online room reservations. The room block at this rate is guaranteed only through September 24, 2017. Reservations made after September 24 will be on a space available basis.

Shuttle Service from the Sacramento airport is available from the Lions Gate for $18. Contact the Hotel. Super Shuttle service is also available.

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Guest Program

The Guest Registration Fee of $160 includes the reception on Tuesday evening, continental breakfasts on Wednesday and Thursday, reception and dinner on Wednesday, the Tuesday morning field tour and the Friday field tour with lunch.

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Field Tours

A half-day field tour 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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California Wine Country


In addition to the Conference Technical Sessions, Poster Session and Exhibition, the Participant Registration Fee includes:

  • field tours on Tuesday morning and Friday
  • lunches on Tuesday through Friday
  • reception on Tuesday
  • reception and dinner on Wednesday
  • continental breakfasts on Wednesday and Thursday
  • Water Management Plans Workshop Thursday
  • Conference Proceedings

Note that a reduced registration fee for Young Professionals is available. The $500 YP fee is available for people age 35 and younger.

USCID members, and members of the Conference Cooperating Organization, Groundwater Resources Association of California, may register at the Member fee. A reduced registration fee for authors and co-authors is also available.

To receive the Member Early Registration Rate of $775, register by October 13. The Late Registration Fee applies to registrations received after October 13 and on-site registrations. The Registration Fee can be pre-paid by check or credit card (VISA, MasterCard or Discover) or purchase order.

Registration for the Thursday Workshop is included in the Conference registration fee. For those attending only the Workshop, the registration fee is $195, and includes continental breakfast Thursday morning, morning and afternoon coffee breaks and lunch.

Online Registration Form.

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Continuing Education Units

CEUs offered through Colorado State University will be available for Conference and Workshop participants. Information will be available at the Conference.

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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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