Understanding the Bay Delta Conservation Plan

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Speaker Bios: Understanding The Bay Delta Conservation Plan

MARCH 1, 2014 • SATURDAY • 1:00 PM- 3:30 PM
Martin Luther King Jr. Library  • 150 E San Fernando St. • San Jose, CA 95112

Deidre Des Jardins, Sierra Club of California Water Committee, California Water Research Institute

Deidre Des JardinsDeirdre Des Jardins has worked with world class research groups at the Santa Fe Institute for Complex Systems, the Center for Nonlinear Studies at Los Alamos National Lab, and the Advanced Computing Laboratory at NASA Ames. Deirdre’s recent work focused on the extreme drought in the Southwest and Texas, and predicted that the drought could move to California. She has identified significant flaws in the climate change modeling for the Bay Delta Conservation Plan which could greatly underestimate the risk of increased frequency and severity of droughts in California and overestimate future water supply from the project.   Deirdre has worked with the Sierra Club California Water Committee on a portfolio of alternatives to BDCP which are more drought-resistant and cost-effective, including increased urban and agricultural water use efficiency, water recycling, and groundwater remediation and brackish groundwater desalination.

Joan Maher, Deputy Operating Officer for Water Supply
Santa Clara Valley Water District

Joan MaherJoan Maher, Deputy Operating Officer for Water Supply, Santa Clara Valley Water District, currently serves as a Deputy Operating Officer for the Santa Clara Valley Water District, providin g reliable water supply for the 1.8 million residents of Santa Clara County.  As Water Supply Division manager, her responsibilities include local reservoir operations, groundwater recharge and protection programs, water use efficiency and recycled water, state and federal imported water contracts, water transfers and banking.  In addition to representing the District in ongoing State-wide planning to restore the Delta, she serves on the boards of the San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority and the State Water Contractors.  Ms. Maher’s education includes a B.S. in Civil Engineering from U.C. Davis and an MBA from Santa Clara University

Doug Obegi, Staff Attorney, Water Program,
Natural Resources Defense Council

Doug Obegi

Doug Obeigi is a Staff Attorney* with the Natural Resources Defense Council, where he has worked since 2009. His areas of focus include Water policy, San Joaquin River restoration, Bay-Delta, Endangered Species Act, agricultural water measurement and efficiency, California water rights, Public Trust and Reasonable Use doctrine. For the past several years he has represented NRDC in federal court litigation over protections for endangered species in the Bay-Delta estuary, as well as working on implementation of the San Joaquin River Restoration Program, development of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, the update of the Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan, and regulatory and planning processes regarding improvements in urban and agricultural water efficiency. In 2006, Mr. Obegi graduated magna cum laude from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.

Richard Roos-Collins, Principal
Water and Power Law Group

headshot image of Roos-CollinsRichard Roos-Collins is Principal in the WATER AND POWER LAW GROUP PC.  He specializes in settlements in complex cases involving multiple parties, interests, and laws.   He has drafted and negotiated more than 50 such settlements.  These include: Klamath Basin Restoration and Hydropower Agreements, Mono Lake Cases, and the Land Conservation Commitment Stipulation for the bankruptcy reorganization of Pacific Gas and Electric Company. Adjunct Professor at the University of San Francisco Law School (2010), he is also General Counsel to the Hydropower Reform Coalition (Washington, D.C.), Chairman of the Board of Directors (2001-) for the Low Impact Hydropower Institute (Portland, ME), and Chairman of the Board of Directors (1999-) the Agricultural Water Management Council (Sacramento, CA), which has a program for agricultural water supply for more than 5 million acres of land in California. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School (J.D., honors, 1986) and Princeton University (B.A., high honors, 1975). 

Curt Schmutte, Civil Engineer
Water Resources and Environmental Engineering Consultant

Headshot image of Curt SchmutteMr. Schmutte is a civil engineer and manager specializing in water resources and environmental planning. He is currently a consultant to the State and Federal water contractors. Prior to his association with the water contractors that began in 2006, he worked for the California Department of Water Resources for 21 years.  Mr. Schmutte has led multiple programs and projects involving the Sacramento – San Joaquin River Delta and Suisun Marsh, including levee improvement programs, land subsidence research, economic risk analyses, dredged material reuse projects, water quality studies and environmental restoration projects.  Since 2006, he has been managing large scale ecosystem restoration projects, analyzing and implementing seismic flood risk mitigation strategies, planning emergency actions to protect Delta smelt and advancing policies to achieve a sustainable Delta for both water supplies and the ecosystem.

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