Water Resources Planning and Engineering

Related Experience 


Facilitator – Mr. Herda teamed up with Laurie Reinhart of the Genysys Group, Inc. to facilitate visioning and strategic planning for the SAWCo Water Master Plan.  Facilitation involved proprietary methods for diagnosing the organizational capacity of the water company in terms of leadership, vision, planning, opportunity, partnering and energy.  Participants included shareholders and representatives from management, engineering and operations.


City of Arcadia

The City of Arcadia 2015 Water Master Plan focused on the synergy between hydraulic capacity and asset performance culminated in a multi-phased capital improvement and replacement program. The water system was evaluated against design criteria (i.e. criteria focused on hydraulic requirements and preferences) to identify areas where greater capacity was needed. The water system was also evaluated against planning criteria (i.e. criteria used in asset management to determine the benefits of replacement due to age and condition) to identify areas of vulnerability, inefficiency and waste. Prioritization for improvements and replacements incorporated the conclusions of both the capacity and performance evaluations. One chapter of the master plan was devoted to water conservation and featured (1) modeling of conservation efficiency and (2) development of a cost-effective conservation program. The evaluation of conservation efficiency resulted in publication by AWWA of a case study and white paper entitled Normalization of External Factors Impacting Water Conservation Monitoring. The study of cost-effective conservation resulted in development of a genetic algorithm in Visual Basic for cost optimization at varying levels of target water use efficiency. The genetic algorithm considered the cost of implementation, revenue impacts, and practical limitations of each conservation project. This water master plan serves as the blueprint for water system budgeting, water conservation coordination, asset management reporting and supply portfolio management.


## City of Monrovia

Preparation of the City of Monrovia 2015 Water Master Plan was requested by new City Manager, Oliver Chi, as part of his ongoing efforts to restructure and modernize city government with a focus on revitalizing essential services and responding to community outreach goals. The water plan was closely coordinated with the sewer plan and the street resurfacing plan through the Public Works Department to take advantage of economies of scope and economies of scale; this was a highly collaborative process involving City management and operations as well as multiple engineering consultants. The water master plan paid special attention to securing groundwater supply independence including recommendations for sufficiency of well capacity, flexibility and redundancy of treatment capacity, and improvements to transmission efficiency between the wellfield and City’s primary storage facilities. Additional facility recommendations focused on maximizing existing storage and booster pumping infrastructure and efficient utilization of City property for necessary upgrades. As a mature distribution system with pipelines ranging in age from 10 to 120 years old, recommended pipeline projects focused on identifying and replacing obsolete and undersized mains in alignments critical to the integrity of each pressure zone. Upon completion of the water master plan and in coordination with other responsibilities of the Public Works Department, implementation of the water system capital improvement program was funded in its entirety by the city council.


## Santa Clarita Water Division of CLWA

The SCWD 2013 Water Master Plan culminated in a $54 million capital improvement program and implementation strategy. It also provided technical guidance for the implementation and monitoring of a comprehensive water conservation program, an operational efficiency program, a development impact evaluation process, and long-range supply acquisition requirements. The master plan was coordinated with established local and regional planning documents. The basis for recommending capital improvements was the application of a series of predictive models developed specifically for this effort, including a population growth model, a water demand model, a demographic demand model, a development impact model, a project cost estimating model and a computer hydraulic model. Ongoing preparation of this master plan featured regular executive meetings included top management (retail, engineering, operations, finance and compliance), members of the board’s subcommittee on capital expenditures, and consulting. 


## SCWD, City of Santa Clarita

The 3.75-MG Mesa Tank and 24-inch Pipeline project was initiated in response to current demand requirements in the largest pressure zone in Santa Clarita Water Division’s distribution system. In addition, the project would provide a redundant water supply to Castaic Lake Water Agency’s Rio Vista Water Treatment Plant for industrial and operational purposes. During the Initial Study, the project was found to present several environmental challenges including proximity to sensitive noise receptors during construction, disturbance of undeveloped land designated as open space for installation of an inlet/outlet pipeline, aesthetic concerns, and proximity to a stretch of the Upper Santa Clara River designated as an Area of Critical Environmental Concern. Most mitigation measures involved adopting standard construction techniques for urban areas. A drab color was chosen for the tank to help it blend into the natural setting. Existing swales were found provide adequate protection from the small increase in storm water run-off. The primary mitigation measure that resulted from the report was the implementation of a secondary access road to the construction site. This mitigation measure meant that construction materials, equipment and personnel arrived via an alignment designated for industrial purposes with no sensitive receptors for noise and no significant impact to traffic circulation during construction of operation of the new facility. The IS & MND generated no public comments that required additional response, investigation or mitigation.


## San Antonio Water Company, Upland

An UWMP is a planning document projecting a water purveyor’s supply and demand for 25 years for state-level and regional planning purposes pursuant to the Urban Water Management Planning Act, the California Water Conservation Act of 2009, SB 610 (Water Supply Assessment) and SB 221 (Water Supply Verification). An UWMP accounts for water supply and demand from the perspectives of availability, sustainability and water use efficiency. This project focused on the diverse range of responsibilities that the SAWCo must account for in its strategic planning efforts, including accommodating the needs of retail customers, wholesale customers, shareholders and stakeholders. The project began with a thorough investigation of the legal and corporate standing of the company, its natural resource rights, and relationships and agreements with stakeholders and regulatory entities. This planning effort involved multi-agency coordination, recommendations for strategic implementation of best management practices, and analysis of legal standing with respect to regulatory requirements. The final report presentation was part of a public forum hosted by the SAWCo board of directors where public inquiries were elicited prior to the formal adoption of the UWMP.


## Pepperdine University, Malibu

A Water Supply Availability Study was prepared in support of the water resources aspect of the of Pepperdine University’s Campus Life Project Environmental Impact Report. The project proposed doubling the area of Pepperdine University through the construction of on campus housing and athletic facilities, and expansion of several existing structures. The study traced water supply from its sources to the university distribution system, estimated the increase in onsite water demand, and described infrastructure improvements necessary to meet health and emergency preparedness requirements. The status of all existing intermediary water agencies at the state, regional and local levels was identified in terms of agreements, supply availability and reliability, and integrated management planning. Water resources is a sensitive topic in the Malibu area due to scarcity of natural resources, protection of the coastline from urban run-off and treated wastewater effluent, and slope instability. These topics as well as well as a general water resources engineering discussion of the configuration of the university’s distribution system were covered in detail. Mr. Herda met several times with the legal team overseeing preparation of the EIR to respond to comments and provide clarification on any foreseeable impacts implied in the report.


## SCWD, City of Santa Clarita

A valuation assessment of fixed assets owned by the Adams Ranch Mutual Water Company (ARMWC). Mr. Herda was brought on as an impartial third party to estimate the value of the ARMWC water distribution system infrastructure for review by the Public Utility Commission (PUC) on behalf of California American Water in support of an acquisition and merger. The assessment included photos and descriptions of all distribution and treatment facilities, a map of all substructure, and an engineering opinion of the remaining value of each system component. The valuation methodology was based on the concept of Replacement Cost New Less Depreciation (RCNLD). Mr. also prepared a comprehensive report for submittal to the PUC including an appraisal of ARMWC property (prepared by others) and an appraisal of ARMWC groundwater rights in the Main San Gabriel Groundwater Basin (prepared by others). 


## Fontana Water Company

Mr. Herda was brought on as an impartial third party to determine the surface water treatment capacity of the Fontana Water Company’s primary production facility. Company estimates for capital recovery of the construction costs of the Plant had been challenged through the Public Utility Commission (PUC) who was seeking independent review of the Plant’s capacity to assist with making a determination on the case. The Plant was originally designed to treat local surface water from Lytle Creek via diatomaceous earth filtration; it was later expanded to receive surface water from multiple sources and to treat the additional supply capacity via a parallel conventional process utilizing flocculation, sedimentation and sand filtration. Mr. Herda conducted field research of each element in the treatment process, reviewed available as-built drawings, reviewed operating permits, collected computer generated and observed operational data, constructed a hydraulic model of the Plant, determined the typical and maximum production capacities, and prepared a report on his findings. The report was used to support professional witness testimony related to technical claims made by Fontana Water Company.