Panel Sessions

This year, our Symposium schedule includes three panel sessions. Descriptions below.

Panel 4B: A Focus on the Future of Stormwater Management

Tuesday, May 9, 2017 | 4:30-5:10
Panel Moderator: Karen Dinicola

Managing stormwater in Washington is an evolving field. Not long ago, managing stormwater meant getting the water off the pavement and into the receiving waters as quickly and efficiently as possible. Our state now fully embraces a collective responsibility to manage stormwater differently to reduce its environmental impacts.

Much of the credit for our progress is owed to the local governments and Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) who are required to implement broadly scoped stormwater management programs. The Clean Water Act National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) municipal stormwater permitting program and Underground Injection Control (UIC) rules have driven a lot of the positive changes over the past two decades.

But those regulatory programs are largely reactive to land use changes.
What should stormwater management be like in the future? In the Puget Sound region alone, the current population of about 4 million is expected to double by 2070. Despite the progress Washington has made toward better stormwater management practices and understanding of the impacts, we still are not on track to handle the water quality and habitat problems that will likely follow the land development needed to accommodate those projected population increases.

The panelists will be asked to share their thoughts on the following questions:

  • What are the biggest differences among stormwater management approaches around the state?
  • How do we balance the need to manage stormwater on site, across systems, and within watersheds?
  • Where should we focus our efforts: retrofits to fix impacted areas, or protection of good-quality habitat?
  • What scientific information are we missing to manage stormwater effectively?
  • What changes or emphasis in regulatory approaches would make the biggest impact?
  • What kind of education should stormwater managers of the future be getting?

Panelists will underscore the successes and lessons learned in stormwater management over the past two decades and frame the challenges that remain. As time allows, the audience will have a chance to ask more questions about continuing to improve stormwater management.

Panel Members

Abby Barnes, WA Dept of Natural Resources: Abby Barnes has worked for the Washington State Department of Natural Resources Aquatic Lands Division since 2013 and oversees the Aquatics Sediment Quality Unit and Outfall Program. Abby has been actively involved in Washington State stormwater management issues for the last 10 years, particularly in both industrial and municipal NPDES permits. Abby is Vice Chair of the Puget Sound Ecosystem Monitoring Program (PSEMP) Stormwater Work Group.

Dana de Leon, City of Tacoma: Dana de Leon is a Professional Engineer at the City of Tacoma, Environmental Services, Science and Engineering. Dana has 28 years of experience in stormwater studies related to NPDES regulatory issues, source evaluations, treatment technologies, cleanup, capital improvement projects, and tracking publically-owned stormwater treatment facilities. Dana chairs the PSEMP Stormwater Work Group and is a member of the Stormwater Strategic Initiative Technical Team.

Dan Gariepy, WA Dept of Ecology: Dan Gariepy is a Professional Engineer in the Municipal Stormwater Unit of the Water Quality Program at the Washington State Department of Ecology, where he has worked since 2011. Dan has been in environmental and stormwater engineering for more than 20 years and previously worked as a consultant to NPDES permitted municipalities. Dan now leads the Stormwater Technical Team that oversees updates to the Stormwater Management Manuals for Eastern and Western Washington.

John Lenth, Herrera Inc: John Lenth has over 20 years of experience in water resource science, management, and planning. As the Water Practice Director for Herrera, John has designed and implemented numerous studies to characterize stormwater pollutant concentrations from various land uses and the effectiveness of related control measures including low impact development. John holds a B.A. in English from Seattle University and a M.S. in Environmental Science from Western Washington University.

Jana Ratcliff, WA Dept of Transportation: Jana Ratcliff is the NPDES Municipal Stormwater Permit Coordinator for WSDOT. Jana has worked for WSDOT since 2004, previously as the Statewide Erosion Control Coordinator and Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Lead. Jana is a graduate of the Evergreen State College and has a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies.

Wednesday Lunch Panel: Hirst Decision–Growth Management Act requirement to protect water resources

Wednesday, May 10, 2017 | 12:00-1:00 PM

In October 2016, the Washington State Supreme Court issued a decision in the Case of Whatcom County vs. Hirst, Futurewise, et al. The court ruled that the county had failed to comply with Growth Management Act requirements to protect water resources. The ruling requires counties to make an independent decision about legal water availability when making land use decisions.

This panel brings together experts who have been actively engaged and impacted by the Hirst Decision. Representatives from the Department of Ecology will summarize the implications of the Hirst Decision and the proposed legislative fixes. Representatives from Thurston and Spokane Counties will discuss physical groundwater availability in their respective counties.

Carrie Sessions, Policy and Legislative Coordinator, Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology): Carrie joined Ecology in November 2015 and works as the Policy and Legislative lead for the Water Resources Program. Prior to working at Ecology, Carrie was a consultant on environmental economics and spent several years teaching applied leadership. She is a graduate of Colorado College and holds a MPA and MS from the University of Washington in environmental policy and economics, with an emphasis in water resource management

Rob Lindsay, Water Programs Manager, Spokane County Environmental Services, Spokane County Water Resources: Rob Lindsay is the Water Programs Manager for Spokane County Environmental Services. He is a registered hydrogeologist in the State of Washington, and has a B.S. degree in Environmental Geology from Western Washington University. Rob’s responsibilities include oversight of Spokane County’s Water Resource planning activities, the Regional Water Reclamation Facility and the Water Resource Education Center. Prior to serving Spokane County, Rob spent over 20 years as an environmental engineering consultant.

Michael J. Gallagher, Section Manager, Southwest Regional Water Resources, Washington State Department of Ecology: Mike has been with Ecology for over 32 years. For the past nine years, Mike has worked for the Water Resources Program in the Southwest Regional Office in Olympia, first as a unit supervisor/hydrogeologist and for the past six years as the section manager for the SWRO Water Resources Section. Mike holds a BS in Geology from the University of Puget Sound, a MS in Geology from Western Michigan University, and a Masters in Public Administration from The Evergreen State College.

Kevin Hansen, County Hydrogeologist, Thurston County Water Resources: Kevin Hansen is County Hydrogeologist for Thurston County, Washington. He has 35 years’ experience with hydrogeology, groundwater modeling, environmental remediation and water resource evaluations at hundreds of sites in the U.S., Taiwan, and Mexico. He holds a Master’s Degree, multiple professional certificates, and one U.S. Patent. Mr. Hansen is licensed as a Hydrogeologist in Washington, and as a geologist in Pennsylvania and Delaware.

Panel 8B: Climate Change

Wednesday, May 10, 2017 | 4:30-5:30
Panel Moderator: Xingtuan Chen

This panel discussion will focus on the interactions between climate and surface and groundwater, as well as regional implications to the Pacific Northwest. Panelists will have open discussions on the emerging research and management needs in assessing and mitigating the impacts of climate change on water resources given the known uncertainty in long-term climate projections. Important debates about climate change require understanding the costs of mitigating and adapting to these changes, relative to the costs of not mitigating and adapting to the important changes expected to impact water resources at both local and regional scales.

List of questions:

  • What are the projected impacts of climate change to groundwater resources in Washington State in the coming decades or longer?
  • How shall our state prepare for, and adapt to, the climate-related changes predicted for groundwater? Is groundwater a sustainable source for mitigating drought, particularly for supplying water for irrigation?
  • What is the predicted climate impacts on infrastructure resiliency?
  • How much can we believe in climate model projections?

Dr. David Judi has been a senior research engineer at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory since January, 2015. His research focus at PNNL has been research and development of modeling and simulation tools to evaluate impacts from non-stationary extreme events, including natural (e.g., weather) and manmade (e.g., cyber) events. Prior to joining PNNL he was a technical staff member in the Energy and Infrastructure Analysis group at Los Alamos National Laboratory, starting in 2006. During this time, he developed capabilities for the National Infrastructure Simulation and Analysis Center (NISAC) in two primary areas: (1) high resolution modeling and simulation of coastal and fluvial flood hazards; and (2) modeling and simulation tools to quantify urban water and wastewater system resilience. These capabilities use high-performance computing techniques to alleviate big data challenges and meet event-based time constraints. These tools have been and continue to be used to support infrastructure resilience studies across multiple DHS programs. Dr. Judi completed a Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Utah in 2009.

Charles Pitz recently retired from the Washington State Department of Ecology, where he was the lead groundwater hydrologist for the Environmental Assessment Program. The final year of Charles’s career was focused largely on developing an improved understanding of the potential impacts of climate change on the groundwater resources of Washington State (a summary of this work was published in March 2016). Over the course of the past 38 years, Charles has worked in technical positions in industry, academia, private consulting, and government. Charles earned a Master’s Degree from Washington State University in 1985, and is a licensed hydrogeologist.

Dr. Sasha Richey is an Assistant Research Professor at Washington State University. Her research focuses on integrating diverse datasets to assess large-scale hydrologic systems. Dr. Richey received her Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the University of California, Irvine in 2014, where she used satellite remote sensing to quantify groundwater stress in the world’s largest aquifer systems. Her overarching research goal is to understand where, how, and to what extent different sectors are using water and how the volumes of use compare to available supplies, with an emphasis on groundwater systems. She enjoys working at the interface of research and water resources management and has contributed to multiple “science diplomacy” efforts in the United States and internationally to advance the role of scientific research in decision making. Currently, Dr. Richey’s research combines satellite and in situ observations of hydrologic systems into modeling and decision support frameworks over large regional scales, including in the Columbia Plateau Aquifer in the Pacific Northwest (USA) and in Central Asia.

Dr. Nathalie Voisin is a research engineer at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Nathalie’s expertise is hydro-meteorology modeling, in particular the implementation of water resources management into integrated climate change impact assessments and coupling with Earth Systems, socio-economic, land surface hydrology, estuary and electric grid models. Lately, she successfully led an interdisciplinary project focusing on transferring extreme climate events (droughts, heat waves) representation into an electricity grid model, and demonstrating the operational intricacies between water and grid managements. Dr. Voisin holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering, an M.Sc. in Atmospheric Sciences and a Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering.