March 2017 Print

President's Report

In early February, the threat of the Oroville Dam Spillway failure prompted a 3-day mandatory evacuation of more than 180,000 people.  During a national press conference, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said, “The situation is a textbook example of why we need to pursue a major infrastructure package in Congress. Dams, bridges, roads, and all ports around the country have fallen into disrepair.” The need for infrastructure investment is now at the forefront of the public consciousness. As such, we have a perfect opportunity to share our technical knowledge and expertise with the public and all levels of government. A great way to make our voices heard is by volunteering to develop the Infrastructure Report Card. The report card is ASCE’s avenue to “depict the condition and performance of American infrastructure in the familiar form of a school report card.” Read more online at Please contact Dr. Om Prakash at to get started.

ASCE offers ways to make a difference in our backyard, and ways to make a difference abroad. I attended one of the Engineers Without Borders (EWB) monthly meetings on February 15. As an outsider with no prior knowledge of EWB, I learned a great deal: 1) There are 3 stages to a project Assessment => Implementation => Monitoring, 2) EWB Sacramento Section currently has three active projects (Kenya [Water Supply], Panama [Water Supply], and Belize [Flooding]), 3) New recruits may find the opportunity to travel within just a few months of signing up and are welcome at all stages of a project. Lastly, the general meeting was on schedule and finished a couple minutes earlier than expected. After the meeting, the group broke out into smaller project team meetings to focus on the details. To learn more about the projects, visit If interested in attending a general meeting, please plan to attend the March 15 meeting or email Megan LeRoy at to get started. 

One of the best ways ASCE is helping in our backyard is by supporting the students. I’m proud the Capital Branch recently approved $7,500 in support for the Golze Scholarship Fund, for colleges to support MidPAC, and other student activities. The Capital Branch’s efforts are an example of the support Sacramento Section members give the next generation of engineers.

We’ve extended the deadline to submit projects for Project Awards to Friday, March 3. The awards banquet is scheduled for April 11.  Please chick here to submit online ASAP. Contact Kyle Dushane at with any questions. 


Elias Karam, P.E., M.ASCE
Sacramento Section President 2016-2017 

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Calendar of Events

Sacramento Section Monthly Board Meeting

All Welcome
SAGE Engineers
2251 Douglas Blvd. Ste 200
Roseville, CA

Capital Branch Speaker Lunch

Old Spaghetti Factory
1910 J. Street
Sacramento, CA

Sacramento ASCE-GI & AEG Field Expo 2017

Registration Open
Northern CA Regional Paublic Safety Training Authority
2409 Dean Street
McClellan, CA

Outstanding Project Awards Dinner

Registration Open
Sheraton Grand Sacramento Hotel
1230 J Street
Sacramento, CA

MidPac 2017

Competition Judges Needed
CSU Chico
400 W. First St.
Chico, CA

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Capital Branch Activities


Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Old Spaghetti Factory
1910 J St
Sacramento, CA 95811
11:30 AM Networking
12:00 - 1:00 PM Lunch and Presentation
Registration here

Topic: Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists (BPELSG) Update
Speaker:  Ric Moore, Executive Officer, BPELSG

What is happening at the Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists (BPELSG)? How BPELSG has changed over the last ten years and how it anticipates continuing to evolve towards conducting operations associated with the regulation and licensing of engineers, land surveyors, and geologists in California.The presentation by BPELSG’s Ric Moore will be a discussion about recent legislative, regulatory, and procedural changes at the Board that are serving as foundational components slated to support a new evolution of BPELSG.

About the speaker:
After working in the land surveying profession for more than 30 years, Ric Moore, Executive Officer, began working at BPELSG in 2007 when he contracted as the Land Surveyor Consultant to what was then BPELS. In 2009, he joined the BPELSG staff by assuming the newly formed Senior Registrar Land Surveyor position. After managing the licensing examination operations of the Board, Ric was appointed by the Board to be the BPELSG Executive Officer in July 2011.


The ASCE Capital Branch is pleased to announce an opportunity for Engineering Firms, Contractors and Vendors to sponsor ASCE’s monthly Luncheons. The sponsoring company will have the opportunity to make a brief presentation that is 3 to 5 minutes long and is supported by a few slides in PowerPoint format. This opportunity will provide the sponsoring company a great marketing opportunity to the local engineering community.

JOIN US ON LinkedIn. 

The Capital Branch has started a Group Page to make it easier to post announcements about upcoming events of interest to Civil Engineers in the Sacramento area. To join the group page go to

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Central Valley Branch Activities

We have monthly lunch meetings with various presentations on the third Tuesday of each month. If you are in the Stockton area please join us. For more information about the Central Valley Branch, please contact Rhett Kilgore at

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Feather River Branch Activities

For more information about future meetings and activities, please contact, Jim Richards at, or 530-762-9464.

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Shasta Branch Activities

For more information about the Shasta Branch meetings, please contact Susan Goodwin at

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Sustainability Committee


Last month, the Sacramento Sustainability Committee visited California State University, Sacramento for lunch and a tour of the multiple Stormwater Low Impact Development devices and green street on campus.  The site treats approximately 9 acres of runoff through LID features, such as bioretention and flow-through planters, bioswales, rain gardens, and porous pavement as a demonstration of how they can reduce impacts of urban stormwater to the American River.  We were educated on the successes and failures of the project and future plans to improve the systems.

For more information or to take a self-guided walking tour, visit:  If you are interested in sustainability, please join our committee to be a part of future events, connect with fellow professionals, and help promote sustainability in our community.  Check out our website at: and contact Jennifer Buchanan at

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Geo Institute (GI)


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Younger Members Forum (YMF)


On February 23rd, Sacramento YMF held a local premiere event of Macgillivray Freeman’s new educational documentary, Dream Big: Engineering Our World.  The film – which is the culmination of nearly ten years of efforts to bring engineering appreciation to the public – has been hosted by YMF and section groups across the nation.  Sacramento YMF was proud to hold their own event for local students who could, one day, choose to pursue engineering themselves.

The event, which was held at the Esquire IMAX in the heart of downtown Sacramento, began with a table event involving fun games, learning opportunities, and exposure to engineering principles.  ASCE YMF members and non-member professionals helped foster appreciation for engineering among young students.  Kids were able to have fun building toothpick-&-marshmallow structures, watershed demonstrations, and Lego creations.  Kids and adults also were able to interact with professional engineers and gain some experienced insight.

The main event was the film’s local premiere.   The 1-hour documentary was screened to a sold-out audience of children, educators, and the public.  Narrated by Jeff Bridges and filmed specifically for IMAX screens, the documentary entertained the audience with its stunning shots of engineering marvels and its moving retellings of several engineers’ successes in overcoming obstacles.

Sacramento YMF was honored to host this event for the public.  The fantastic turnout and enthusiasm witnessed that night suggests that the event did its part in inspiring some young students to dream big and aspire to engineer tomorrow’s world.



Spring 2017 8 HR, Survey, and Seismic Exam Classes
Sacramento State University
Signup here:
If you have any questions please email:

8 HR Classes - January 25th thru March 15th
Survey Review Classes - Weekends of February 11th and 12th
Seismic Review Classes - Saturdays starting February 25th thru March 18th



California State University, Chico is hosting the 2017 Mid-Pacific Regional ASCE Student Conference on April 20th-22nd, 2017.  Chico State is currently seeking volunteers to be judges at the conference for these various competitions such as water treatment, water research, concrete canoe, steel bridge, transportation, MEAD Paper and Geo Wall. If you are interested in being a judge, please contact Lauren Pitcher at 916.955.7662 or Chico State appreciates your consideration and support. 

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Environmental Water Resources Institute (EWRI)


Environment, water resources, and climate are frontline topics for ASCE’s 2017 EWRI World Environmental and Water Resources Congress coming to Sacramento May 21 - 25, 2017. Interest in the international event is running high. More than 300 technical sessions were proposed which was nearly twice the available capacity. The sessions, designed to highlight the Congress theme, Creative Solutions for a Changing Environment, are organized to cover broad areas of professional practice and development. There are topics of interest for every career stage from students, to new professionals, to history and heritage.  REGISTER HERE  

TECHNICAL TOURS showcasing solutions to California’s most significant and challenging water resources issues are planned (subject to change): 

• Folsom Dam

• EchoWater Project

• State-Federal Joint Operations Center

• Yolo Bypass Flood Structures

• Freeport Regional Water Project Intake Facilities 

A MAJOR NETWORKING EVENT is scheduled for the California State Railroad Museum. We’ll have this world-renowned museum to ourselves for an entire evening. You and your colleagues will enjoy refreshments while exploring railroading history and wandering through amazing displays of vintage railcars and “big iron.”

Preparation for the 2017 Congress is in high gear. The Steering Committee of local professionals, led by Congress Chair, David Curtis, WEST Consultants, is hard at work creating a stellar conference experience for attendees. Chris Dunn, USACE HEC, and Brian Van Weele (Ret.) are the Technical Program Co-Chairs. David Ford, David Ford Consulting Engineers, is leading the Sponsorship/Exhibitors effort. The Workshop Chair is Mike Anderson, CA DWR. Our Local Arrangements Chair is Rich Juricich, CA DWR. Om Prakash, WEST Consultants, is ASCE Chapter Coordinator, and University Coordination is led by Colleen Bronner of UC Davis.

For more information about the 2017 Congress and program, check out the website at: It’s great opportunity for students to volunteer in 2017 EWRI Congress and meet the potential employer so if any students are interested then please contact to ASCE Chapter Coordinator and President of ASCE Sacramento Capital Branch, Om Prakash ( 



Ziad Mazboudi, P.E., F. ASCE, D. WRE
Los Angeles Section Secretary

The Environmental and Water Resources Institute (EWRI) is an organization whose membership is comprised of professionals engaged in multi-disciplinary water resources and environmental engineering and science and who volunteer to advance the objective of EWRI.  It is one of nine technical institutes within the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). EWRI's vision is to be a recognized leader in the environmental and water resources professions and to integrate technical expertise and public policy into the planning, design, construction and operation of environmentally sound and sustainable infrastructure impacting air, land, and water resources.

EWRI is a specialty organization with approximately 26,000 members strong within ASCE.  EWRI membership is open to both engineers and non-engineers, inviting a diverse group of environmental and water resource professionals to get their feet wet with EWRI. 

Membership comprises:

  •        Hydrologists
  •        Biologists
  •        Academicians
  •        Researchers
  •        Attorneys
  •        Other professionals involved in "wet and environmental" projects and research.

ASCE/EWRI Membership

Membership in EWRI is open to all ASCE members.  New ASCE members can opt to name EWRI as their primary institute during their ASCE membership enrollment period and will receive membership at no added cost.  An additional annual fee of $30.00 will be charged if EWRI membership is selected at a level other than first choice.

Members include professionals whose focus areas are:

  •        Environment
  •        Groundwater
  •        Surface Water
  •        Hydraulics and Waterways
  •        Irrigation and Drainage
  •        Planning and Management
  •        Urban Water Resources
  •        Water Supply, Wastewater, and Storm Water
  •        Watershed
  •        Domestic and International Interdisciplinary Issues

Student membership is open to full-time students with an expressed interest in the environmental or water resources field of practice.  Organizational membership is available for associations, government agencies, educational institutions, or corporations whose activities impact the environment and water resources fields of practice.

The objectives of EWRI are to provide for the technical, educational and professional needs of its members, and to serve the public in the use, conservation, and protection of natural resources and in the enhancement of human well-being by:

  • Advancing the knowledge and improving the practice of engineering and the related sciences;
  • Lending expertise to the development of public policy, and;
  • Partnering with governmental, industrial, educational and other organizations.

The responsibility to provide leadership to accomplish these goals and to ensure the professional quality of EWRI products rests with the technical and operations councils and committees.

Your Career with EWRI

Early Career:
Whether you are a student eager to start your engineering career, or a new professional who wants to expand your knowledge and leadership skills, your EWRI Membership provides you with network opportunities as well as access to technical information.

  • Enroll in the ASCE P.E. Exam Review course to help you earn your first career milestone through       expert-led webinars (also available for download at no additional cost).
  • Join your local EWRI chapter to build your professional network.
  • Submit a paper to the EWRI student competition

Your EWRI Membership can help you further you career in any stage. As a mid-career professional, you can:

Late Career:
Showcase your expertise by earning certifications from allied organizations such as the American Academy of Water Resources Engineers (AAWRE) and the American Academy of Environmental Engineers (AAEE). Stand out and be recognized for your accomplishments with EWRI honors and awards.

Stay involved through:

For more information, please visit

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Engineers Without Borders


Wednesdsay, March 15, 2017, 6 pm
Hoppy Brewing Company
6300 Folsom Blvd. 
Sacramento, CA 95819
All Welcome


The UC Davis EWB chapter is looking for technical mentors for two of their project teams. Please see the information below from the UC Davis chapter.

Indonesia Project 

The Indonesia Project is working on an alternative water distribution system to give the community of Dusun Sogra in Bali, Indonesia a reliable access to clean water during the dry seasons. It is a newly started project that may travel on an assessment trip as soon as the summer of 2017. Currently, our application for this new program is being reviewed by the nationals and the team is already planning ahead in preparation for the assessment trip next year. Feel free to reach Anindito Wibowoputro at

Bolivia Project

The community we will be working with is named Choquecoa- Parque Colani, located in southeast Bolivia and approximately 150 km from the capital, La Paz.

We knew about this project via an NGO, Engineers In Action and our student chapter is very keen about pursuing this project. The community wants to have sanitary latrines accessible to every home in order to increase their access to basic sanitation. The type of latrines proposed by the community are ecological latrines. Ecological latrines use a minimum amount of water to prevent pollution by separating the urine and the feces, recycling untreated urine for agricultural purposes, and treating the feces underground for compost. They allow for the reuse of waste as resources for agriculture in the local community. Feel free to reach Manesha Thiyaga Rajan at

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ASCE America’s Infrastructure Report Card

America's 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure grades are a comprehensive assessment of infrastructure conditions across America, but what does D+ infrastructure mean to America's economy?

Every four years, the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Report Card for America’s Infrastructure depicts the condition and performance of American infrastructure in the familiar form of a school report card—assigning letter grades based on the physical condition and needed investments for improvement. 2017 America’s Infrastructure Report Card will be releasing nationwide on March 9, 2017 (Thursday)! []

If you are interested to know more about infrastructure report card then please contact Dr. Om Prakash, Ph.D., P.E., QSD, M.ASCE, Chair of ASCE Sacramento Section Infrastructure Report Card and President of ASCE Sacramento Capital Branch at

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Continuing Education



ASCE announces new asynchronous online instructor-led programs in which you move through a 6 or 12-week learning experience with your peers. The Guided Online Course content includes recorded video lectures, interactive exercises, case studies, live webinars and weekly discussions to help you master the course material. Gain unlimited, 24/7 accessibility to weekly modules. Complete coursework at the time and pace that is most convenient for you, using your own devices. Click here to see full list of courses.

Buy 2 Registrations and get the 3rd Free!
To receive this discount, email contact information for all registrants and a registration confirmation email will be sent to each attendee. Or call 1-800-548-2723 to register, and mention the code GOCFREE. To inquire about larger group discounts, write to


Pumping Systems Design for Civil Engineers
August 18, 2017, Sacramento, CA
Click here for more information


You've asked for it and we listened!  Pay 1 low rate, and gain unlimited access to your choice of 10 on-demand webinars from ASCE's complete catalog, during a 365-day subscription period. Order your on-demand webinar subscription today!  For individual use only, not to be used for groups.

  • Save up to 63%
  • Earn up to 15 CEUs/PDHs
  • Pay one low fee 
  • 10 on-demand webinars of your choice
  • State-of-the-practice programs taught by leading practitioners
  • A convenient, effective, affordable way to earn CEUs/PDHs for P.E. license renewal


Webinars are convenient, low-cost, and an efficient training option. Login anywhere and interact with the instructor and other participants. Live webinars cover practical, targeted topics taught by experts in their field. Gain knowledge and earn PDHs. Plus, as a Sacramento Section member, a portion of the webinar fee will go back to support our local chapter. For more details, go to: Use Promo Code WEBSACSEC to secure your preferred rate.


On-demand learning is a convenient and effective method for engineers to earn PDHs/CEUs and gain practical, real-world knowledge.  ASCE's programs are developed by industry experts and available for a variety of technical areas and in your choice of format to meet the demands facing today's engineers. Plus, as a Sacramento Section member, a portion of the webinar fee will go back to support our local chapter. For more details, go to: Use Promo Code WEBSACSEC to secure your preferred rate.

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Region 9


 David M. Schwegel, P.E.,
Region 9 Transportation Committee Chair

The ASCE Region 9 Transportation Committee has been collaborating with agencies and consultants statewide in connection with organizing the 2017 California Infrastructure Symposium & Region 9 Awards Dinner event to be held on March 31, 2017 at the California Science Center in Los Angeles,  Based on this collaboration, the following 10 hot topics were identified and will be highlighted at the event: 

  1. Autonomous Vehicles:  These vehicles are able to perceive their surroundings and navigate without human aid.
  2. Connected Vehicles:  This refers to the Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) infrastructure enabling vehicle-to-vehicle communication.
  3. Driverless Vehicles:  Former US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and Google CEO Eric Schmidt drove in such a vehicle between the San Jose International Airport (SJC) and Google Corporate Headquarters for a Town Hall Meeting on Transportation in 2014.  Lauren Isaac of WSP/Parsons Brinckerhoff will be presenting on this topic at the Symposium.
  4. Marketing the Transportation Profession:  The “Dream Big” IMAX movie will be shown at the Symposium to promote the Civil Engineering profession. Look for those elements that are specific to Transportation Engineering.
  5. Public Outreach:  As Radio Show Commentator David Ross explained at a Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS) Gala in Seattle in 2003, “you transportation professionals design the systems that my listeners complain about” underscoring the importance of clearly communicating to the public the challenging tradeoffs we face in our daily decision making.
  6. Connected Mass Transit Corridors:  Providing near-term conventional rail improvements to transport passengers to the Initial Operating Section (IOS) (Central Valley to Silicon Valley) of the High-Speed Rail Project ( are essential for generating the ridership revenue necessary to construct High-Speed Rail over the Tehachapi Mountains into the Los Angeles Basin.  Metrolink CEO Art Leahy will discuss the latest efforts on Southern California’s premier commuter rail system to get the region ready to connect to High-Speed Rail (   
  7. Rail/Airport Integration:  Bringing rail to airports allows airline passengers to access city centers without having to fight traffic congestion. Jacob Adams of the Los Angeles World Airports will provide an update on the latest efforts to run Metro Light Rail to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
  8. Fixing Our Roads:  Greater Sacramento Area Economic Council ( CEO Barry Broome explained at a Fix Our Roads Rally in Sacramento on January 18, that deteriorating roadways communicates to prospective out of town companies that “we can’t even take care of our most basic infrastructure”, making marketing and economic stimulation efforts especially challenging.
  9. Goods Movement:  As California High Speed Rail Authority ( Board Chairman Dan Richard explained at the US High Speed Rail ( Conference in San Francisco in May 2012, advances in the Panama Canal continue to put California Ports at a competitive disadvantage primarily due to inland traffic congestion. The Symposium will feature an entire session on Southern California Ports.
  10. Transportation Funding:  Transportation Committee Chair and Assembly Member Jim Frazier will discuss the latest efforts to get the Legislature to pass a long-term Transportation Funding Package. Los Angeles County Metro CEO Phil Washington and Former Los Angeles City Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will discuss the success of the recent Los Angeles County Half-Cent Sales Tax Measure at the Symposium.

ASCE Members statewide are always encouraged to collaborate with like-minded professionals both within and beyond the Civil Engineering profession.  Specifically, members are encouraged to explore these hot topics more deeply at the 2017 California Infrastructure Symposium on March 31 where subject matter experts will be addressing each one in depth. To learn more about the activities of the Region 9 Transportation & Development Committee, please contact me at 

Connected and Automated Vehicle Definitions, by Greg Larson, Chief, Caltrans Office of Traffic Operations Research

As a follow-up to the articles on Transportation Hot Topics and the research that Caltrans is doing in the areas of Connected, Automated, and Autonomous Vehicles, the Caltrans Office of Traffic Operations research is providing definitions on these three topics:

  • Connected Vehicles:  Connected vehicles use vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications to enable applications that improve the safety and mobility of vehicle travel while reducing adverse environmental impacts.  The best examples of these communications technologies are Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC), and the existing cellular telephone network.  Using a combination of either or both or these technologies, data related to road and traffic conditions can be collected from vehicles as they travel through the transportation system, processed into useful information, and used by operating agencies to more efficiently manage the system and to inform drivers so that they can make better decisions pertaining to their safety and mobility.  Drivers are still always in responsible control of the safe operation of their vehicle, but receive enhanced information, alerts, and if necessary, warnings to improve their safety and mobility.
  • Automated Vehicles:  Automated vehicles use sensors, computers, and actuators to control the steering and speed (throttle and brakes) of the vehicle in a manner that ensures a combination of both safety and mobility.  Such vehicles may also be connected (see above) or autonomous (see below).  The concept of vehicle automation builds upon emerging driver assistance systems (e.g., Lane Keeping Assist, Cooperative Adaptive Cruise Control, and Automated Emergency Braking Systems), which help drivers perform their driving task better, and envisions a time when machines will be primarily responsible for safely controlling the vehicle operation, perhaps with still some level of driver “attention” under well-defined conditions.
  • Autonomous Vehicles:  These are automated vehicles that are self-contained, meaning that they gather all the knowledge of the environment around them from their own sensors, and are not dependent upon receiving data from other vehicles or the infrastructure.  Many use a priori knowledge of roadway engineering, such as standard lane widths and markings, to enhance their performance.  Performance may be degraded if their sensors are occluded from “seeing” objects around them by other nearby vehicles, darkness, bad weather, or fixed objects such as buildings or foliage.

For more information on the Caltrans Division of Traffic Operations, go to

ASCE Region 9 Legislative Day

Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Department of Water Resouces
1416 9th Street, Legal Conference Room
Sacramento, CA  95814

Highlights Include:

  • 9 am - noon: A half-day training session on the political process including briefing from the ASCE Region 9 Legislative Advocate
  • Noon - 1 pm: Lunch, Networking and Group Photo
  • 1 pm - 5 pm: Walk to State Capitol to meet with State Legislators
  • 5 pm - 7 pm: Recap of the day at the Hyatt Regency Hotel lobby

Be on the lookout for an email link to registration for this event in April. Please contact Anne Ettley, Region 9 Administrator, aettley@gmail.comThere is no registration fee to attend. Participants are responsible for their own travel expenses and must register so that legislative appointments may be scheduled.

Suggested Hotel
Holiday Inn Sacramento Downtown-Arena, 300 J St., Sacramento, CA 95814, 855-239-9227.


ASCE Region 9 invites nominations for one Region 9 Governor At-Large position for a three-year term beginning October 1, 2017. To be considered for this position, you must be a Society member in good standing and have an Address of Record within the Region being represented. It is encouraged that nominees also have prior service as a Branch, Section or Technical Group officer, member of a Section or Branch committee, or a member of a Society-level Committee and has demonstrated leadership skills. This is an appointed position.

A Letter of Intent to apply for this elected office must be submitted not later than June 1, 2017, to the Region 9 Nominating Committee Chair: Kenneth Rosenfield, at, (949) 707-2655. Please contact Kenneth Rosenfield for any questions. In addition, the following documents are also requested:

  • Signed Governor Commitment document (attached)
  • Biographical Statement, not to exceed 200 words
  • Vision Statement, not to exceed 200 words
  • Any endorsements
  • Head shot color photograph

Nominees will be requested to attend an interview before the Region 9 Board of Governors on June 9, 2017, in Tustin, CA. Time and specific location to be confirmed.

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2017 CA Infrastructure Symposium & Region 9 Awards Dinner


Matt Kennedy
Region 9 Governor and Awards Committee Chair

The 2017 California Infrastructure Symposium and Awards Dinner will be held at the California Science Center in Los Angeles on Friday March 31, 2017. The event is a partnership between the Los Angeles Section and ASCE Region 9. The Symposium will be an all-day event that is typically attended by engineers, educators, elected officials, professionals and the general public. The Symposium will be primarily comprised of two infrastructure tracks with the following topics: 

Transportation Track

  • Rail and Transit – Bringing High Speed Rail to Southern California, Los Angeles Metro and Metrolink
  • Sustainable Ports – Overview of Southern California’s Ports and their Sustainable Development Programs
  • Transportation Funding – Sales Tax Measures and Perspectives from Caltrans, the CTC, the State Assembly and Senate
  • Hot Topics in Transportation – Self Driving Cars, Los Angeles Transportation Challenges, andTransportation and the NFL LA Rams Stadium

Water Track

  • Strengthening Local Drought Resilience – Urban Water Conservation, Statewide Water Use Efficiency Guidelines, and Los Angeles Water Challenges
  • Indirect and Direct Potable Water Use – Metropolitan Water District’s Long-Term Vision, Indirect and Direct reuse in San Diego and Large Scale Indirect Reuse in Orange County
  • Safe and Reliable Water Supply – Water Supplies for Disadvantaged Communities and Small Scale Assistance Programs
  • Innovative Approaches for Sustainable Water Supply Infrastructure in the 22nd Century

Speakers from many agencies across California will be involved, including the California High Speed Rail Authority, Metrolink, Port of Los Angeles, City of Los Angeles, State Regional Water Quality Control Board, Google, and the State Legislature.  I hope that many of you reading this will save the date and plan to attend this event.

The Symposium will be immediately followed by a networking reception and a very special IMAX theater showing of the new ASCE movie “Dream Big: Engineering Wonders of the World”. 

The Annual Region 9 Awards Dinner Banquet and Ceremony will be held in the Samuel Oschin Pavilion in Los Angeles, home of the space shuttle Endeavour!  Outstanding projects and individuals in Region 9 will be presented with awards in this amazing venue.  Several past Region 9 Project Award nominees have gone on to be considered for, and win, the ASCE Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement (OCEA) award at the National level OPAL awards ceremony.  For the third year in a row, one of the five projects being considered at OCEA is from Region 9: The Emergency & Carryover Storage Project in San Diego.  Well done Region 9 and San Diego Section!  And good luck to all the nominees on March 16, 2017 when the 2017 OCEA Award winner will selected in Arlington, Virginia. 

Each year, the many members and individuals who form the foundation of the ASCE Sections, Branches, Institutes, Younger Member and Student chapter groups in Region 9, take the time to recognize the outstanding projects and the selfless efforts of their peers, who contribute to the growth and evolution of the civil engineering profession, and the improvement of the infrastructure we all depend upon.  Each group’s annual awards program nominates and recognizes praiseworthy individuals and projects within their geographic areas.  Each Section’s award winners (San Francisco, Sacramento, San Diego and Los Angeles) are then nominated up to Region 9, in October each year.  Region 9 then recognizes about 21 outstanding projects and 15 exceptional individuals from across the State of California the following March, during the annual Awards Dinner Ceremony following the California Infrastructure Symposium. 

Last year, which was my first year as the Region 9 Awards Committee Chair, I described how very fortunate I have been to be involved in the recognition of so many outstanding individuals and projects at the many levels.  It is a heart-warming experience, and one the recipients never forget.  Now in my second year as the Awards Committee Chair, and first year as a Region 9 Governor, I am excited once more to continue the mission of raising awareness of our nation’s infrastructure issues, and recognizing individual member efforts through the Region 9 Awards Program.  An important milestone achieved in 2016 was the alignment of the Sections’ and Region’s awards programs, and for the first time in 2017 all award nominations will be made through a new online submission system established for each Section.  I am very proud of the tremendous progress the Sections and Region 9 have made in improving and modernizing the awards programs; they have become a shining example to the other ASCE sections and regions. This year, Region 9 received 115 noteworthy nominations for projects and individuals from civil engineering professionals, agencies and companies!  Your 2017 nominations are welcome and encouraged!  You will find a web link to access each Section’s online nomination form on their respective section websites as their awards programs roll out in 2017. 

For more information and to register for the 2017 California Infrastructure Symposium and Awards Dinner Banquet and Ceremony, please bookmark the California Infrastructure Symposium website at, the Los Angeles Section website at, or the NEW Region 9 web site at  For a complete list of sponsors, click here. We look forward to seeing all of you in Los Angeles on March 31st!

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Legislative Update


Richard Markuson
Region 9 Legislative Advocate 

The Legislature is back to work as the bill introduction deadline (February 17) approaches.

ASCE is supporting AB 28 (Frazier D) – an urgency measure – that would reinstate California’s participation in the Surface Transportation Project Delivery Pilot Program (later called the NEPA Assignment). This pilot program designated California as one of five states eligible to participate in a multi-year program that delegates responsibilities of U.S. DOT and the United States Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) under NEPA to the states. States participating in the program would be subject to the same procedural and substantive requirements as if the NEPA requirement were carried out by U.S. DOT. The delegation of this authority to the state made Caltrans the lead agency for environmental reviews for projects subject to NEPA. To participate in NEPA Assignment, states were required to accept the financial costs associated with the delegated authority, as well as full liability for lawsuits filed under NEPA in federal court. Therefore, in order to participate, states were required to obtain a limited waiver of their 11th Amendment sovereign immunity, thereby allowing them to be sued in federal court and providing them the ability to defend against claims that may be brought against the NEPA document. The purpose of NEPA Assignment was to streamline the environmental review process and get projects delivered more quickly to the traveling public. The Assembly Transportation Committee passed the bill on a 13-0 vote. It now goes to Appropriations and hopefully to Governor Brown by March to preclude a lengthy reapplication process for California. You can watch the video here.

AB 161 (Levine D) would authorize the Department of Finance to identify infrastructure projects in the state for which the department will guarantee a rate of return on investment for an investment made in that infrastructure project by the Public Employees’ Retirement System. The bill would create the Reinvesting in California Special Fund as a continuously appropriated fund and would require the moneys in the fund to be used to pay the rate of return on investment. 

SB 193 (Cannella R) is a spot bill to modify the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, which requires all groundwater basins designated as high- or medium-priority basins by the Department of Water Resources that are designated as basins subject to critical conditions of overdraft to be managed under a groundwater sustainability plan or coordinated groundwater sustainability plans by January 31, 2020, and requires all other groundwater basins designated as high- or medium-priority basins to be managed under a groundwater sustainability plan or coordinated groundwater sustainability plans by January 31, 2022.

Governor’s Appointments

Christine Inouye, of Sacramento, has been appointed deputy secretary for project management and implementation at the California State Transportation Agency. Inouye has served as capital contracts procurement manager at the California High-Speed Rail Authority since 2016. She was a project manager at the California State Transportation Agency from 2014 to 2016. Inouye served in several positions at the California Department of Transportation from 1989 to 2014, including high-speed rail coordinator, management liaison to the chief engineer, project manager and supervising transportation engineer.

Recent Reports

Brookings published Growth, Carbon, and Trump: State Progress and Drift on Economic Growth and Emissions ‘Decoupling’. “In all, 33 states and the District of Columbia achieved reductions in emissions while expanding their economies between 2000 and 2014…. Nine of 12 [states with the largest emissions reductions] still recorded real GDP gains exceeding 15%. Another 22 states also managed to cut emissions between 2000 and 2014 but did so at a slower rate. Cutting emissions did not appear to hinder steady economic growth. Over the 14-year period, all but two states—Michigan and Maine—recorded real GDP gains exceeding 10%…. [G]iven the policy reversal at the federal level, states will play an increasingly important role in combating climate change.”

Pacific Institute released Drought and Equity in California. “The report finds that during the state’s ongoing drought, water shortages and price hikes affected access to safe, affordable water for Californians, with substantial impacts on low-income families and communities burdened with environmental pollution. The report also examines the effects of a rapidly declining salmon population on commercial and tribal fishermen and finds that the decline and variability of salmon populations during droughts has impacted those dependent on the fish for income, food, and cultural traditions.”

The Legislative Analyst’s Office has released a series of posts on federal spending in California, estimates “total federal expenditures in California are around $368 billion,” corresponding to federal payments of “approximately $9,500 per person in the state,” also notes the state “receives $0.99 in federal expenditures per dollar of federal taxes paid,” which is “somewhat below the national average of $1.22.” 

The Legislative Analyst’s Office has released its report, “The 2017-18 Budget: Overview of the Governor’s Budget,” says “the Governor’s estimate of personal income tax growth in 2017-18 is probably too low,” and “as a result, by the May Revision, the state could have more General Fund revenue than the Governor now projects, but much of that revenue would be required to go to schools and Proposition 2 reserves and debt payments;” also says while facing uncertainties about the future of the economy and federal policy, it recommends that the Legislature “set a target for total state reserves at—or preferably above—the level the Governor now proposes.”

CA Dept. of Water Resources has released report, “Water Available for Replenishment,” analyzing available water resources to bring local groundwater basins “into sustainable balance” under the Water Action Plan, finds “water scarce to recharge groundwater basins,” but also that “water may be available through conservation, recycling, desalination water transfers and other water management strategies.”

CA Natural Resources Agency, Dept. of Food and Agriculture and Cal/EPA have released their report on California Water Action Plan’s progress in 2016, say achievements include “the investment of hundreds of millions of dollars of Proposition 1 funds in local projects that recycle water, improve farm irrigation water efficiency, capture stormwater and otherwise stretch and safeguard supplies,” launching “dozens of habitat restoration projects around the state” and “creation of a five-agency framework for moving California beyond emergency, one-size-fits-all drought restrictions on water to permanent water-use efficiency standards.” 

Central Valley Flood Protection Board has released a draft of its 2017 update of the Central Valley Flood Protection Plan, a blueprint to improve flood risk management in the Central Valley prepared in conjunction with the Dept. of Water Resources; it lists the state’s investments in flood management since 2012 when the first plan was approved by the board, with updates required every five years;  this one includes strategies to  integrate flood management with ecosystem restoration per the Governor’s California Water Action Plan; public hearings on the plan begin Feb. 9 in Marysville and the board is expected to consider final draft in June. 

State Water Resources Control Board has released its report on water conservation by urban districts during the month of November, finds districts used 18.8 percent less water compared to November of 2013, also says, “since June 2015, 2.35 million acre-feet of water has been saved – enough to supply more than 11 million people, or more than one-quarter of the state’s population for a year.”  

Legislative Analyst’s Office has released an update on spending related to bonds approved by voters in 2006 that allocated $42 billion for transportation, housing, K-12 and higher education, flood control and natural resources, “the biggest single approval of bonds in state history;” says 10 years later, agencies have expended “about $36 billion – 84 percent – of the total amount authorized,” notes “variety of reasons” for expenditure lag including “coordination with other entities,” complexity of projects funded and multiple funding allocations. 

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The Law & Civil Engineering


Gene Bass

A County owned a drainage system in a subdivision upslope from a neighboring property that contained a drainage channel. The County system connected to the channel which conveyed the flow out to a river. Flooding had occurred in the subdivision that the County contended was caused by the downstream owners failure to maintain the channel. The downstream owner took the position that it had no responsibility to protect the channel.

Drainage law in California has evolved over the years. The early rules were that the upper property owner was entitled to discharge surface water from his land as the water naturally flowed but was liable for any damage caused to adjacent property by the discharge of water in an unnatural manner. Essentially, each property owner was required to leave the natural flow of surface water undisturbed. This rule, while somewhat applicable to rural areas, was inappropriate for urban land. 

In time, more reasonable but imprecise rules developed to accommodate the realities of urban development and the increased runoff that resulted. A reasonableness test evolved. The test was whether, under all the circumstances, the upper landowner's conduct was reasonable. The rule of reasonableness applied to both private and public landowners and it required reasonable conduct on the part of downstream owners as well.

Over time, 5 factors were identified involving public projects, to determine if the parties actions were reasonable. They were (1) The overall public purpose being served by the improvement project; (2) the degree to which the loss to the party damaged (the plaintiff) was offset by reciprocal benefits; (3) the availability to the public entity of feasible alternatives with lower risks; (4) the severity of the plaintiff's damage in relation to risk-bearing capabilities; (5) the extent to which damage of the kind the plaintiff sustained is generally considered as a normal risk of land ownership; and (6) the degree to which similar damage is distributed at large over other beneficiaries of the project or is peculiar only to the plaintiff."

In the case of the subdivision drainage system that discharged into the channel through the downhill neighboring property, the owner of the channel had failed to maintain and clear the channel over the 30 year period that it had owned the land. As a consequence, the channel became obstructed with large trees, bushes, debris, and sediment and upstream flooding resulted. The channel had been improved and maintained over the 20 year period prior to the purchase by the current owner and it's existence was open and obvious to the buyer.

The County sued the property owner for damages arising from having to deal with flooding of the upstream property. The court determined that the drainage channel is a natural watercourse, that the County's conduct with respect to its property had been reasonable, and that the downstream property owner's failure to maintain the drainage channel had been "entirely unreasonable" in light of its actual or constructive knowledge when purchasing the property of the existence of the drainage channel and the need to keep it clear of debris to prevent flooding to the adjacent homeowners. The court awarded damages to the County and ordered the downstream owner to clear and maintain the obstructed drainage channel.

The assessment of liability in cases involving the flooding of upstream or downstream properties arising from actions on those properties can involve complex legal and factual issues that can vary on a case by case basis and should be approached with the advise and assistance of experienced legal counsel.

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Officer Contacts

(Those listed in blue are considered Section Board Members with voting authority. Everyone else on this list is invited to our meetings to give an update on their subsidiary organization)


President   Elias Karam 209-481-6857
President Elect   Adam Killinger 951-265-5289
Senior Director  Kyle Dushane 916-677-4782
Junior Director Tony Quintrall 916-993-7616
Secretary Dr. Ben Fell 916-278-8139
Treasurer Jafar Faghih 916-679-8864
Past President Louay Owaidat  916-462-6420
Executive Director Marie Silveira   916-296-9856
YMF Board Rep Guy Hopes 707-685-3015
Region 9 Chair Jay Higgins  818-406-4896
Region 9 Governor Thor Larsen  916-973-0356
Egrs. w/o Borders Megan LeRoy 707-291-5629
Ladies Auxiliary Marlene Tobia 916-492-2181
EOG/Webmaster Michelle Zeiss 916-961-2723
Capital Branch Dr. Om Prakash  916-802-6140
Central Valley Branch Rhett Kilgore 209-943-2021
Feather River Branch  Jim Richards 530-762-9464
Shasta Branch Susan Goodwin 530-223-2585 


Coasts, Oceans Ports & Rivers Inst. Zia Zafir 916-366-1701
Construction Inst.    Brad Quon 916-871-2080
Environ. & Water Resources Inst.  Rich Juricich 916-492-2181 
Geo-Institute Kartk Atyam 916-679-2005
Structural Engineering Inst. Ahilan Selladurai 916-349-4266
Transportation & Development Inst.   Vacant     


College Accreditation Joan Al-Kazily  530-756-9530
Disaster Preparedness John Andrew 916-651-9657
Education & Awards Thor Larsen  916-973-0356
Government Relations Craig Copelan 530-908-4790
History & Heritage Thor Larsen  916-973-0356
Membership-Life Mem. Thor Larsen  916-973-0356
Scholarship Eric Polson  916-801-6290
Sustainability Jennifer Buchanan 916-240-7010


California State University, Sacramento Vince Anicich  
University of the Pacific Joey McElhany  
University of California, Davis Abdulla Alishaq  
California State University, Chico Grant Rose  


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Event Flyers

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