James C. Dalton serves as the Director of Civil Works, Headquarters, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) in Washington, D.C. He leads, manages and directs the policy development, programming, planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance activities of the Army Civil Works Program, a $6 billion annual program of water and related land resources of the United States. He also represents the USACE in the United Nation’s Advisory Board High-Level Experts and Leaders Panel on Water and Disasters, and serves in several national and international water resources Committees. James Dalton received the U.S. Government’s Meritorious Presidential Rank Award in 2009 and the Distinguished Presidential Rank Award in 2014.
Speaker 1: Leveraging Geospatial Data to Inform Landscape Level Agricultural BMP Implementation
Sam Sarkar is an expert in water resources and watershed management at Tetra Tech. Sam will discuss several projects he has led that cover how shifting land use patterns pose challenges to downstream waterways, in terms of both water quality and quantity. He will discuss different ways his group has modeled surface and shallow-subsurface pathways to estimate downstream impacts, and how these impacts are being addressed at both the field scale (BMPs) and the larger scale via policy and management measures.
Caimee Schoenbaechler (MEM ‘09)
Speaker 2: Environmental Flows: Lessons Learned from the Texas Experience
Caimee Schoenbaechler (MEM ‘09) manages the Bays & Estuaries Program for the Texas Water Development Board. Her presentation will provide an overview of the Texas Senate Bill 3 process for developing environmental flow regime standards for healthy rivers and bays across the state. Currently, the Senate Bill 3 process is in the adaptive management phase, in which monitoring and research studies are being conducted to validate or refine the standards. Certain lessons were learned regarding complex management issues, such as simultaneous development of environmental flow science with flow recommendations, limited funding, accelerated deadlines, and multiple approaches to interpretation and implementation of the flow standards. These lessons learned can serve as discussion points to guide others who are considering implementing similar environmental flow processes.
Speaker 3: The Use of Natural Attenuation for the Remediation of Groundwater Contamination and its Potential Impacts on Water Quality
Rick Bolich is a hydrogeologist at North Carolina DEQ. He will discuss the challenges facing remediation projects for groundwater contamination. Financial constraints have led to the development of “risk-based” corrective actions that can allow groundwater pollution to remain in place, as long is it can be demonstrated that there is no current or potential threat to receptors, such as water supply wells and surface water bodies. Rick’s presentation will address the question, “as the number of contaminated sites utilizing risk-based corrective action in lieu of “active” remediation increases, what will be the net potential impact on groundwater and surface water quality in the years to come?”
ReNae Nowicki is president of EcoHydrologix LLC, a Florida-based consulting firm specializing in water management. Her presentation will focus on a unique type of geographically isolated wetland (GIW). The hydrology of these wetlands is controlled by groundwater from large regional sources. ReNae will discuss how the Upper Floridan aquifer influences local wetlands, in contrast to GIWs with hydrology influenced by surface water inputs, shallow groundwater inflows, or both (e.g., Carolina bays, Alaskan kettle ponds, prairie potholes, etc.). She will discuss the geophysical methodology used to develop conceptual models to classify GIWs. In addition, she will discuss methodology that pairs wetland/pond ecological indicators with geologic features. This methodology has the dual purpose of 1) classifying GIW ecohydrogeology from the surface (i.e., without geophysical techniques and in lieu of long-term hydrologic data); and 2) developing a wetland health assessment suited to the GIW conceptual models (versus a one-size fits all method, as currently applied).
Speaker 5: Improving Drought Depiction and Achieving Water Supply Sustainability in North Carolina
Nat Wilson is a groundwater management expert at North Carolina DEQ. He will discuss the natural and human made interconnections between surface and groundwater. His presentation will focus on improving North Carolina drought depiction by combining data from estimated baseflow and groundwater levels, and achieving sustainable water supplies in the North Carolina coastal plain through administrative rules and conjunctive use.
Speaker 6: The Nitrate Goes In, But When Will it Come Out? Groundwater Transit Times in the NC Coastal Plain
David Genereaux is a professor of Hydrogeology at NC State University. His talk will address what we’ve learned about groundwater transit times and contaminant nitrogen fate and flux through the surficial (unconfined) aquifer, to streams in the NC coastal plain. Novel groundwater sampling at the groundwater – stream interface (i.e., the streambed) has created new options and insights for quantifying (1) the rate of discharge of non-point-source contaminants (like nitrate) from the groundwater system to streams, (2) the distribution of water and contaminant transit times through the unconfined aquifer, from recharge to discharge, and (3) the future contaminant discharge from aquifer to streams in coming decades. Progress on these three issues was made using combined measurements of groundwater flux and the concentrations of contaminants and age-dating tracers in groundwater. All necessary measurements were made in or below streambeds, without the need for long-term groundwater monitoring, complex numerical models of groundwater flow, or even wells.
Nancy Scott (MEM ‘11)
Nancy Scott (MEM ‘11) is an Environmental Scientist at Three Oaks Engineering, where she focuses on environmental compliance permitting and analysis. She has extensive experience with monitoring and analysis of freshwater riverine systems, as well as stream and wetland delineation.
Peter Raabe is the Conservation Director for American Rivers’ work in Southern Appalachia & the Carolinas. He focuses on state level policy in the areas of water quality and quantity and restoring natural function to rivers. His work advocates for integrating more natural solutions into our landscape to manage polluted stormwater runoff, and using the limited clean water available in the state in the most efficient way practicable.