ANR Employees
University of California
ANR Employees

2014 New Call for Positions

2014 URS Call for Positions

This proposal has been formally submitted for the 2014 cycle.

Position Details

088 Groundwater Quality Specialist

Proposed Location/Housing

Department of Land, Air and Water Resources, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, UC Davis

Proposed Area of Coverage

California - statewide


Associated Documents



I am extremely pleased to learn of the proposal for an extension specialist position at UC Davis focusing on groundwater quality. At no point has the need for clear expert guidance and solid applied research on groundwater quality been more urgent than now in California. With the possibilities of new improvements in groundwater management on the horizon in California, well-placed thought leadership on groundwater quality will be doubly impactful. With the established credibility of the UC Cooperative Extension program, this new position will be well positioned to shape the understanding and practice of improved groundwater management that can address the perplexing water quality problems in California. I urge you to give priority to this proposed position.
Posted Jul 18, 2014 5:19 PM by Maurice Hall, Ph.D., P.E.
I am glad to see UC Davis looking closely at a groundwater quality extension specialist position. UC Davis leadership in this area critical to establish good science to ensure good policy and the right outcomes and opportunities for industry and innovation. It is also a critical component of near term supply discussions. This position should be looked in a high priority manner.
Posted Jul 20, 2014 4:00 PM by Dennis Donohue, President Royal Rose, Chair Steinbeck Innovation, past Chair Central California Grower-Shipper Association, former Salinas, Ca Mayor (2005-2012)
I was pleased to learn about the groundwater quality extension position proposed for UC Davis. Better science and data is needed on groundwater to provide perspective and help regions develop solutions to the problem of nitrate contamination and accumulation of salts. There are now opportunities to work with agriculture and other local entities to address these problems at a local level. Finding local solutions will be essential to ensure the future sustainability of the state's agricultural economy and the well-being of many rural residents. On behalf of Sustainable Conservation, I urge you to give priority to this position.
Posted Jul 20, 2014 9:44 PM by Kathy Viatella
I am encouraged to learn that UC Davis may be hiring a Groundwater Quality Specialist as part of the UC Cooperative Extension faculty. The State Water Resources Control Board has worked closely with UC Davis in investigating groundwater quality issues throughout the state, and has come to recognize the expertise of the UC Cooperative Extension, and some of the science generated by Extension faculty has been important in establishing policy and regulatory guidelines for groundwater management. The addition of faculty would come at a key time, when California is facing unprecedented drought and increasing reliance on groundwater. With increasing population and pressure on a limited resource, there is great need for additional scientific resources to help protect and ensure groundwater's availability and quality.
Posted Jul 20, 2014 10:13 PM by Erik Ekdahl, Ph.D., P.G., Groundwater Management Program Manager, SWRCB
In a year where legislative efforts and climatic conditions are highlighting the critical importance of California’s water resources, the proposed position for a Groundwater Quality extension specialist is extremely timely and prudent. California’s future groundwater availability, including both quantity and quality, is not well understood. Decadal urban, agricultural and other land uses that have contributed to cumulative impacts of salinity and nitrate and the broad spread occurrence of synthetic organic chemicals and other constituents, along with elevated concentrations of naturally occurring physical and chemical constituents, place added stresses on the available supply. To fully address groundwater resource planning and management needs on local to regional scales, there is an urgent need for the continuance and expansion of groundwater quality research and other efforts that lead to a more comprehensive understanding of groundwater quality conditions and can be used to develop sustainable management approaches. A key role for such a position would include facilitating public awareness of the importance of groundwater quality protection that is supported by regional collaboration and crosscutting efforts to reuse/reduce waste and approaches that consider ecologic, energy, and other effects (beneficial or detrimental) related to air, land, surface water, and groundwater. The proposed position deserves a high priority.

Posted Jul 21, 2014 6:50 AM by Vicki Kretsinger, President and Principal Hydrologist Luhdorff & Scalmanini, Consulting Engineers
I believe it is critical we have a groundwater quality specialist in the University system. California has very large groundwater systems but much of the supply is of marginal use because of quality, especially salinity. We don't know enough about where and how such water can be used. The highest quality groundwater will likely to continue to go to human uses therefore the greatest challenge is to figure out how to use the lesser quality sources by agriculture if agriculture is to continue to survive in California. The University must provide an active role in understanding groundwater quality so that California can thrive in an increasingly challenging global environment. I wholeheartedly support the position being proposed at UC Davis.
Posted Jul 21, 2014 9:03 AM by Sarge Green, Project Director, California Water Institute at Fresno State
General comment on 2014 ANR call for water positions

043 Area Water Management Advisor (UCCE Tulare Co., ANR)
091 Irrigation Water Management Specialist (KARE, ANR)
103 Plant Water Relations Specialist (KARE, UC Riverside)
114 Soil-plant-water relations and Irrigation Management Specialist (LAWR, UC Davis)
090 Irrigation Engineer Specialist (LAWR, UC Davis)
088 Ground Water Quality Specialist (LAWR, UC Davis)

The California Tree Nut & Extension Planning Group, representing the almond, pistachio and walnut industries support the continued and increased presence of ANR in the area of water and irrigation management. Surface and ground water quantity and quality issues and more precision in irrigation are critical now and certainly will be more so in the future. This is submitted to encourage ANR, UC Davis and UC Riverside to coordinate water positions with the following comments for consideration.

Positions 043, 091,103, 114, and 090 – With the retirements of Dave Goldhamer, Terry Prichard and Larry Schwankl, there is a critical need to fill water and irrigation management positions to at least address these vacancies. But beyond just replacing the “status quo”, there is even a wider array of skill sets and coordination needed to respond to the challenges. In coordinating positions, a number of important principles should be considered. These include: 1) There needs to be complimentary skillsets and expertise across the plant, soil, water continuum in concert with system engineering/precision agriculture; 2) There needs to be coordination across both the skillsets and UC entities involved; and 3) Geographic placement and engagement with stakeholders will be important – for instance, given the acuity of surface and groundwater problems in the Southern San Joaquin Valley, there should be a presence at KARE.

Position 088 – Certainly groundwater quality issues are and will continue to be critical. In reading this position proposal, we are unclear on: 1) How much would this position duplicate the expertise already at UCD; and 2) How much will this position be policy/regulatory oriented vs. hands-on problem solving - in our view, problem solving has a higher priority than policy/regulatory. With the current Irrigated Land Regulatory Program there is a requirement to the grower coalitions to research which management practices reduce the potential for crop inputs, in particular nitrogen, to leach into ground water. The regulators are also trying to figure out how to limit salt leaching, which is critical to maintaining the health of the agronomic soils. Thus there is a need for the practical problem solving aspect as to how best to minimize leaching within the current Central Valley agronomic systems.

Posted Jul 21, 2014 6:05 PM by Bob Curtis
On behalf of the Dairy Quality Assurance Workgroup the following comments are provided:
The workgroup identifies the Groundwater Quality Cooperative Extension Specialist as a high priority position. Groundwater resources are diminishing at alarming rates. Natural minerals in soil are entering water resources. Nitrate leaching results in exceedances of drinking water standards. UC is uniquely qualified to provide science-based research to water policy makers. Although the target for water quality concerns is nitrate (there is a maximum contaminant level for this) the bigger issue for California is salt contamination of soils and underlying groundwater (not merely NaCl). Hiring a Specialist in Cooperative Extension with research abilities in aqueous geochemistry, analytical chemistry, subsurface contaminant fate, transport, and remediation, and ideally some experience with hydrogeochemical modeling of subsurface environments would allow UC ANR to provide better breadth and depth of information to policy makers. Central Valley Salts (CV Salts) is a stakeholder group (including staff from Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board and State Water Resources Control Board) that has worked diligently to identify research and funding opportunities to address our water quality issues. Salt sequestration will occur in much of our climate where evaporation is greater than annual precipitation. Management of salts in the root zone of plants is essential to maintain vital and vibrant agricultural and environmental industries. It is also important to manage leaching to better manage salts leaving the root zone (destined for underlying groundwater). A Groundwater Specialist would have numerous individuals with whom to work (nutrient management, irrigation management, manure management, other hydrologists, staff at numerous agencies, and many of our County/Area based Advisors.

Someone with boots on the ground research capabilities is essential to improve the likelihood of California agriculture maintaining its vitality.
Posted Jul 21, 2014 10:50 PM by Deanne Meyer

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