Lower Santa Clara River Salt and Nutrient Management Plan — Ventura County Watershed Protection District and Lower Santa Clara River

LWA led a team of consultants in developing the Lower Santa Clara River (LSCR) Salt and Nutrient Management Plan (SNMP) to meet the requirements of California’s Recycled Water Policy.  Development occurred through a stakeholder process that included a Technical Advisory Group (TAG), the Regional Water Board, and the Santa Clara River Watershed Stakeholder Committee.  The SNMP development was unique in the Los Angeles Region because stakeholders were in the early stages of recycled water project planning.  As a result, LWA had to work with the Regional Water Board to develop an approvable SNMP that was flexible enough to allow future recycled water project implementation without having to rewrite the SNMP.  LWA accomplished this goal by leading the following tasks:

Tasks included:

  • Developed the conceptual approach for the SNMP as a flexible planning document to guide management and regulation of discharges of salts and nutrients as recycled water projects are implemented in the future.
  • Led the stakeholder process, holding regular meetings with the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to review deliverables and solicit input, held meetings with Regional Board staff, and provided briefings to the stakeholder committee.
  • Developed a groundwater monitoring program, identifying an approach that relies on a network of existing wells to provide a cost-effective means of characterizing salt and nutrient concentrations in the basin and targeted monitoring for constituents of emerging concern for future projects.
  • Managed the consultant team by providing direction on the technical approach to conducting data analysis, source assessment, modeling, fate and transport analysis, and calculating assimilative capacity. Reviewed all technical work products and guided the development of responses to Regional Water Board comments on the document. Coordinated deliverables, held project meetings, and created a SharePoint site for the team to share draft work products. The SharePoint site was also used to communicate and provide work products to the TAG. LWA provided regular reports to meet grant reporting requirements.
  • Completed the anti-degradation analysis for the basin. This effort involved the estimation of existing groundwater quality and available assimilative capacity, paired with the characterization of planned recycled water projects, to determine how such future projects will impact groundwater quality. The analysis was utilized to evaluate compliance with provisions of the Recycled Water Policy and state and federal antidegradation policies.
  • Developed the final SNMP and identified portions to incorporate into a Basin Plan Amendment.