RMC Water and Environment
Award-Winning Hydrologic Engineering Firm
About RMC Water and Environment
A multifaceted environmental and hydrologic engineering firm, RMC
Water and Environment offers significant hydrology expertise and an
array of solutions for local and regional water projects, including
initiatives involving stormwater and wastewater treatment and
management, water recycling, and flood protection. RMC Water and
Environment focuses on developing and implementing unconventional,
big-picture solutions for clients and on promoting environmental
stewardship. With locations throughout California, the company also
maintains active involvement in the communities it serves through
individual office outreach and volunteerism programs. For example, RMC
participated in National River Cleanup Day on May 18, 2013, working with
several other local firms to pick up trash on the West Little Llagas
The award-winning RMC Water and Environment ranks as a top environmental engineering firm in California. Since 2007, the company has made Engineering News-Record’s Top 200 Environmental Firms and Top 500 Design Firms listings on a yearly basis. Furthermore, the company helped build Malibu Legacy Park, a project that received multiple accolades, including Region 9 2011 Project of the Year from the American Society of Civil Engineers, Southern California Chapter Project of the Year from the American Public Works Association, and the Engineering Achievement Award for the Los Angeles Basin Section from the California Water Environment Association. RMC also engineered a water-recycling project in Watsonville, California, that received an Award of Merit from the WateReuse Association in 2009.
Early Goals of the 1970 Clean Air Act
For the last seven years RMC Water and Environment has been named a Top 500 design firm with Engineering News Records. Regulatory compliance is just one area of construction in which the firm operates, emphasizing the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts.
Launched in 1970, the Clean Air Act (CAA) was primarily established to monitor and regulate certain types of air emissions from both stationary and mobile sources. An extremely comprehensive piece of legislation, the CAA targeted a number of pollutants that were known to pose threats to public health and welfare.
The CAA continues to play a critical role in the United States' efforts to combat global warming and heightened levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. However, one of the earliest goals of the act was actually to make municipalities across the country aware of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) and to implement these standards in all states by 1975. This task was overseen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Vice President of RMC Co-Authoring AWWA Manual M71
RMC Water and Environment vice president Enrique Lopezcalva is co-authoring an American Water Works Association (AWWA) manual (M71), which will be utilized to create CAPS (Climate Action Plans) for its Climate Change Committee. Mr. Lopezcalva is also water resources practice leader at RMC Water and Environment.
Developing, adopting, and implementing a CAP is the main thrust of the manual. The manual will go beyond mitigation which is the scope of traditional CAPs, but this version will include adaptation as well. In developing and adopting of the CAP, the manual will also explain how to work with internal and external stakeholders. Background and reference information regarding the science and regulatory environment behind climate change will also be included in the manual.
Committed to the management and treatment of water, AWWA was founded in 1881 and has around 50,000 members. The nonprofit is the largest educational and scientific association of its kind, offering solutions to protect the environment, improve the quality of life, and elevate public health.
Experiencing Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve
RMC Water and Environment is a California-based environmental engineering company that specializes in water resources and related civil engineering and environmental planning. Founded in 1998, the company works from multiple locations throughout California to offer optimum responsiveness and expertise in local water issues. RMC Water and Environment stays active in the community, with teams of employees from each location frequently volunteering on ecological projects throughout the state.
Recently, the Walnut Creek office worked to remove invasive species and restore grassland during a day-long project at Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve in Oakland. Visitors to the park are treated to panoramic views and fascinating volcanic geology. The park’s most prominent feature is Round Top, one of the highest peaks in the area at an elevation of 1,763 feet. Round Top was formed by massive tectonic forces over 10 million years ago along faults in the Berkeley Hills. Interpretive centers at several points in the park offer signs and self-guided brochures that take visitors on geological tours through the park’s extensive trail system.
For seasonal park hours and more information, visit www.ebparks.org/parks/sibley.
The Role of Models and Data in Implementing SGMA Seminar
RMC Water and Environment is comprised of employees who educate the community through various publications and workshops. At the beginning of 2016, RMC Water and Environment was represented by a senior water resource engineer and company principal at Groundwater Resources Association of California’s Role of Models and Data in Implementing Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) seminar.
Role of Models and Data in Implementing SGMA took place at the University of California at Davis on February 8th. Sponsored by the California Department of Water Resources, UC Water, and Robert M. Hagan Endowed Chair of University of California at Davis, the two-day workshop covered topics related to SGMA’s Groundwater Sustainability Plans. The plan went into effect in January 2016, and requires local participation by January 31, 2020.
The workshop highlighted the importance of models and data in meeting SGMA requirements. It included topics such as water budgets and post-audits, as well as the use of model results in GSP implementation and challenges involving limited resources to developing a sound plan. Additionally, case studies were presented regarding basin management and existing approaches that resulted in undesirable outcomes.
Proposed Water Storage Solutions for California
A firm that works closely with California in developing effective environmental plans, RMC Water and Environment has earned recognition from Engineering News Record as one of the Top Design Firms in its field. In 2014, RMC Water and Environment coauthored a study on water storage solutions that may mitigate drought damage and thus benefit the state.
Persistent drought has challenged California in recent times, leading to research into how the state can go about combating dry conditions while maintaining its lucrative agricultural economy. The RMC study, also authored by experts from the University of California, the Nature Conservancy, and other organizations, suggests that California is capable of absorbing about 5 to 6 million acre-feet in new surface and groundwater storage facilities. In all, such an expansion would grow the state’s water supply by up to 5 percent. Just as important, the changes would improve water supply reliability both for farmers and citizens living in urban areas, as well as for wildlife refuges like wetlands.
Interested parties can download and read the report in full at Watershed.UCDavis.edu.
WateReuse Conducts Research into Direct Potable Water Reuse
With expertise in local water, wastewater, and storm water issues, RMC Water and Environment prioritizes environmental stewardship in every aspect of its work. The company offers its understanding of complex water issues to serve clients and community organizations. RMC Water and Environment supports the efforts of WateReuse to expand the possibilities of direct potable reuse.
A trade association focused on increasing water reuse through policy, funding, and laws, WateReuse works to create a world where every community has a safe, sustainable, locally controlled water supply. The association sponsors research projects in water reuse, including the Direct Potable Reuse Initiative.
In 2010, California enacted a law requiring the Department of Public Health to look into the possibility of developing standards for direct potable reuse. The Direct Potable Reuse Initiative aims to make this a reality by providing the science needed to support regulations ensuring safe water from treatment facilities that recycle water for human consumption.
South County Outreach Holds Empty Bowls Fundraiser
Combining technical expertise with big-picture thinking, the team at RMC Water and Environment participates in water-related projects across California. RMC Water and Environment operates collaboratively from multiple offices, and employees at each branch contribute to their local communities in many ways. Recently, the Irvine office helped out at the food pantry run by South County Outreach.
South County Outreach has provided services to people who are hungry and homeless since 1989. Today, it furnishes almost 52,000 services annually. To serve the community at this scale, the organization relies on the help of donors large and small, and organizes fundraising events to support its work.
On March 24, 2016, South County Outreach held a fundraiser called Empty Bowls. Attendees enjoyed a meal of soups made by local chefs, and each went home with a handmade ceramic bowl to serve as a reminder of those who do not have sufficient food. Ninety cents on the dollar raised at the event went directly to hunger and homelessness prevention services.
EIR/EIS Receives 2016 AEP Award
RMC Water and Environment provides long term strategy and technical expertise to a variety of sustainability projects throughout the state of California. In recent years, RMC Water and Environment has received a number of honors and awards, including a decade on both the Engineering News Records' Top 500 Design Firms list and the Engineering News Records' Top 200 Environmental Firms list.
The North Valley Regional Recycled Water Program EIR/EIS, an RMC Water and Environment project, was recently honored by the California Association of Environmental Professionals (AEP) with the 2016 Outstanding Environmental Analysis Document Award. The project was a result of RMC’s collaboration with Horizon Water and Environment, a client services specialist in the field of watershed science, as well as the local Del Puerto Water District, the Bureau of Reclamation, and the cities of Modesto and Turlock.
AEP was established as a not-for-profit program comprised of professionals in both the public and private sectors working in support of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The organization recognized the EIR/EIS program for its ability to provide farmlands and wildlife reserves throughout San Joaquin Valley with nearly 60,000 acre-feet per year of recycled water.
RMC Leads California Water Supply Study
California-based engineering organization RMC Water and Environment has been recognized by a number of engineering organizations and publications, including Engineering News-Record. RMC Water and Environment recently completed a study of integrated water storage possibilities throughout California.
The study, which brought together leading minds from the Bechtel Foundation, the Nature Conservancy, the University of California Davis, and additional institutions, emphasized the potential for new surface water and groundwater storage locations. Specifically, the study examined how the state could seize on present water storage opportunities in anticipation of future demands on California’s water supply.
Over the course of the study, experts examined how the state could benefit from locations that integrate both surface and groundwater storage, a feature absent from the current water supply position. The study found that with careful planning and effective maintenance of integrated water supply locations, water supply yield could be increased by a considerable margin.
Urban Water Management - Question and Answer
For almost two decades, RMC Water and Environment has specialized in civil engineering, water resources engineering, and environmental planning. RMC Water and Environment is involved in many wastewater management projects, including urban water management and conservation.
Common questions about urban water management follow.
Q: What is urban water?
A: All water that exists in an urban environment is urban water. This includes natural surface water, groundwater, potable water, sewage water, and storm water.
Q: What is the purpose of urban water management?
A: The goal of urban water management is to create productive and sustainable communities. For this to succeed, the water cycle must be considered and water factors must be determined early in the land-planning process. Additionally, government and industry need to implement economic water management practices that benefit the community and environment.
Q: What are the benefits of urban water management?
A: With successful urban water management and conservation, cities can gain water security from diverse water sources. Also, waterways and wetlands are restored and protected, flood risk is reduced, and urban livability is improved.
Managing Groundwater Resources to Increase Available Water Supply
RMC Water and Environment works with municipalities to provide information and planning guidance regarding long-term water management strategies. The firm promotes sustainable and environmentally responsible water resource management.
Groundwater is an important water resource for the residents of California. In the state, 30 million people are dependent upon groundwater for augmenting the drinking water supply. California communities vary in the usage of groundwater from 40 percent in some areas to 100 percent in others.
The City of Oceanside retrieves 15 percent of its water through desalination of groundwater from the Mission Basin. The Mission Basin Groundwater Purification Facility can process 6.4 million gallons of water per day, removing the high concentrations of salt, iron, and magnesium. The City of Oceanside provided its residents 749 millions of gallons of water in August 2016. This created a deficit of 550.6 million gallons of water that could not be obtained through groundwater desalination.
RMC Water and Environment provides technical and planning support to the City of Oceanside to implement the policies and procedure for groundwater sustainability. When groundwater is not managed efficiently, water quality is threatened and resources go dry.
WateReuse to Hold Upcoming Annual Conference in San Diego
A Top 200 Environmental Firm every year for the past decade, RMC Water and Environment offers expertise in a variety of water-management areas, including water resources, wastewater treatment, and water recycling. Recently, WateReuse bestowed the Agricultural Project of the Year Award on Napa Sanitation District and RMC Water and Environment’s joint recycled water expansion project.
WateReuse is an acclaimed advocacy organization committed to ensuring quality water and increasing water supplies in the US. Each year the organization hosts several conferences and events throughout the country, one of which is the WateReuse California Annual Conference. Taking place March 19-21, 2017, in San Diego, the annual conference is the largest statewide conference of its type, and will focus on water policy and technology as well as regulatory issues and financial considerations. Conference attendees come from a wide variety of fields and backgrounds, such as education, government, and manufacturing. More than 450 water-industry leaders are expected to be in attendance at the 2017 conference.
To learn more about the WateReuse California Annual Conference, go to www.WateReuse.org.
Study Shows Benefits of Integrating California’s Water Storage
Headquartered in Walnut Creek, California, RMC Water and Environment is an environmental engineering firm focused on providing solutions for the efficient management of water resources. In partnership with the Nature Conservancy, the Bechtel Foundation, CH2M Hill, UC Davis, and Anthony Saracino, RMC Water and Environment conducted a study on the opportunities integrated water can offer California. The study was conducted to gauge the viability of an alternative system of water storage to meet the state’s future water needs.
California’s current water storage system makes use of both surface water and groundwater storage facilities, albeit operating separately. Surface water storage captures water in the abundant wet winter and stores it in reservoirs for use in the dry summer and spring. Groundwater storage, on the other hand, provides a larger storage capacity to meet longer term needs such as prolonged droughts. Each is operated in isolation.
The study evaluated an integrated approach to groundwater and surface water storage and then compared it with the current method of individual storage. The study's results showed that integrated water storage systems could significantly increase water supply yield, if designed and run optimally.
Comparing IPR and DPR Potable Water Reuse Methods
With its main office in Walnut Creek, California, RMC Water and Environment provides a host of regional water management solutions that are designed for sustainability in the face of persistent water shortages. Over the years, RMC Water and Environment has pursued numerous infrastructure planning and design projects across the state.
RMC has extensive experience in indirect potable reuse (IPR) initiatives, through which wastewater is treated before being released into surface and ground water reservoirs. It is then reclaimed and treated once more on the pathway toward being used as drinking water.
A current area of focus is on developing direct potable reuse (DPR) projects that involve wastewater undergoing a purification process and then being directly released into the municipality’s water supply.
While both IPR and DPR have a similar mission of making wastewater potable again, their methods diverge significantly. DPR’s advantages include more compact transmission systems of clean water, which in turn reduces wear-related infrastructure risks. In addition, the environmental footprint is smaller and the environmental impact reduced. IPR primarily offers the benefit that it is widely accepted by the public as safe and effective, as the system has been around for decades.