West Yost Selected to Develop the Coachella Valley Salt and Nutrient Management Plan

Coachella valley Salt and Nutrient Management Planning site photo by drone

West Yost is proud to announce that our team has been selected by eight water and wastewater agencies to develop the regional Coachella Valley Salt and Nutrient Management Plan.

The Coachella Valley is a large and growing region in arid southern California. Its water supply primarily comprises the underlying groundwater basin, surface water imported from the Colorado River, and recycled water. These water supplies are facing threats and challenges from climate change, groundwater overdraft, and water-quality degradation.

In 2020/21, the water and wastewater agencies in the Coachella Valley (CV-SNMP Agencies) that are responsible for developing an SNMP for the groundwater basin, hired West Yost to lead a multi-stakeholder effort, including the Regional Board staff, in the development of the CV-SNMP Workplan. The Workplan included a Groundwater Monitoring Program Workplan and was approved by the Regional Board in October 2021.

The forthcoming work with the CV-SNMP Agencies to implement the CV-SNMP Workplan and develop the CV-SNMP will be a multi-year, multi-stakeholder project that is being conducted pursuant to the State’s Recycled Water Policy. We are teaming with the foremost professionals in California in SNMP law and policy (Tess Dunham of Kahn, Soares & Conway, LLP) and stakeholder engagement and outreach (Meagan Wylie of Zephyr Collaboration).

The project is extremely important to the stakeholders and ratepayers in the Coachella Valley.  The CV-SNMP must have co-equal objectives to maximize the beneficial use of the groundwater basin, Colorado River water, and recycled water, while also protecting groundwater quality pursuant to State law and the Antidegradation Policy. It must balance regulatory, social, environmental, and economic interests and must be developed through technically defensible methods to ensure approval by the Regional Board along with acceptance/participation of all stakeholders in the Coachella Valley.

The Groundwater Sector at West Yost was chosen to lead this work amongst stiff competition. The decision was based on our long history of leading the development and implementation of innovative technical and policy solutions that balance the water-supply challenges of water/wastewater agencies and State mandates to protect water quality, including our successful experience in salt-and-nutrient management planning, our preeminent skills in computer-simulation modeling of water quality, and our track record in leading multi-stakeholder groups and technical committees.

We look forward to working with the CV-SNMP Agencies and the Regional Board staff in developing an SNMP that helps achieve water-supply and water-quality sustainability to benefit all stakeholders in the Coachella Valley. The West Yost team and the CV-SNMP Agencies have partnered and now embark on this important and meaningful work. The CV-SNMP Agencies include:

The project manager for this effort is Andy Malone, PG, Principal Geologist in the West Yost Groundwater Sector.