Summit 2018 

“Manage the Feast, Feed the Famine”

Tuscany Suites & Casino
February 8-9, 2018

View the Summit Program Here 

Summit Registration Here

Presentations from the 2017 National Summit are linked below for your viewing.  Past Summit presentations can be located at this link.

Warning: Some of these files are large, and may take an extended period to download on slow internet connections!


MSSC 2017 Conference

"Less Water, More Salt...The New Reality"
Las Vegas, NV
March 2-3, 2017


Opening Remarks & Preview

  • Ernesto Avila, P.E. Avila & Associates Consulting Engineers, Inc., Program Director, Multi-State Salinity Coalition, Northern California Salinity Coalition

Opening Keynote Presentation

  • Bob Lotts, Water Resources Manager, Arizona Public Service Co., "How Palo Verde NGS Employs Treatment and Air Quality Provisions to Deal with High TDS and Salinity Issues”

Legislative Session

This session is the traditional Summit Kick-Off Session. Federal and legislative representatives will discuss the future prospects of desalination management and water and energy projects and their financing for the future.

Moderator: Jeremy Jungreis, Senior Counsel, Rutan & Tucker, LLP


  • William “Bill” Steele, Consultant, Temecula, CA
  • Michael Gabaldon, Operations Manager Water Business Line, AECOM
  • Paul Kelley, Executive Director, CalDesal 
  • Robert Renner, Chief Executive Officer, Water Research Foundation

Lake Mead Presentation

  • Orestes Morfin, Central Arizona Project “Protecting Lake Mead – Potential Salinity Implications”

Saving the Colorado Session

Last year, The Discovery Channel aired a documentary titled “Killing the Colorado” which blames “short-sighted policies and poor planning” as the major cause of the current shortage on the river.  Contrary to the impression left by recent media coverage, cooperation by the States and water agencies on the Colorado River is at an all-time high now that water levels are near an all-time low.  Hear from four leading experts on their efforts to manage the drought’s impacts and save the Colorado.

Moderator: Warren Teitz, Senior Resource Specialist, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California 


  • Colby Pellegrino, Colorado River Program Manager, Southern Nevada Water Authority, Drought: A Nevada Prospective”
  • Bill Hasencamp, Manager Colorado River Program, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
  • Eric Kuhn, General Manager, Colorado River District, "Drought Contingency Planning in the Upper Colorado Basin - a Paradigm Shift"
  • Deanna Ikeya, Colorado River Programs Manager, Central Arizona Water Conservation District, “Avoiding Shortages in the Lower Basin – CAP’s Investments to Protect Lake Mead” 

Special Recognition & Luncheon

Moderator: Dr. Robert Mace, Deputy Executive Administrator Office of Water Science & Conservation, Texas Water Development Board, President, Multi-State Salinity Coalition

  • Diamond Contributor: Department of Interior, Bureau of Reclamation
  • Bureau of Reclamation Water Challenge - Andrew Tiffenbach, Denver Advance Water Treatment Program
  • Platinum Sponsor: Water Research Foundation
  • Platinum Sponsor: John Shomacher & Associates, Inc.
  • Platinum Sponsor: Eastern Municipal Water District
  • Platinum Sponsor: Water Works Engineers, LLC
  • Platinum Sponsor: El Paso Water
  • "Salt of the Earth Award"

Keynote Speakers - Kathleen Ferris, Producer & Michael Schiffer, Producer, Writer and Director

  • Documentary Movie - Ground Water Management, Groundwater - to Enact a Law for the Common Good”.  This lively documentary tells the true and inspiring story of the contentious battle between the farms, cities and mines that led, against all odds, to the passage of the celebrated 1980 Arizona Groundwater Management Act, a landmark law in the American West.

The Effects of Salinity on Agricultural Session
 - Florentine AB

Increased demands to support the southwest’s growing population centers and recent droughts have placed greater pressure on agriculture to become more efficient with regards to limited water resources.  As a result, agribusiness managers are being compelled to utilize sources of water which were previously considered marginal for crop production.  At the same time, regulatory pressures have heightened the need to employ best management practices to minimize irrigation runoff and reduce the impacts of farm operations on streams, lakes, and groundwater resources.  This session will review the impacts of salinity on today’s agriculture.

Moderator:  Jeff Wall, Assistant General Manager - Operations and Maintenance, Eastern Municipal Water District


  • Kib JacobsonSalinity Control Program Manager, Department of Interior, Bureau of Reclamation, “Impacts on Irrigated Agriculture by the Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Program”
  • Dr. Jeffrey Silvertooth, Associate Dean Director for Extension & Economic Development and Associate Director, Arizona Experiment Station College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS), University of Arizona “Salinity, Sodicity, & Water Management in Desert Crop Production Systems”
  • Josué Medellin-Azuara, Senior Research, Center for Watershed Sciences, University of California - Davis, “Exploring Physical and Behavioral Responses to Salinity in Agriculture: A Case Study from Kern County, California

Watershed Management Session

In the last decade there have been continuous industry and technology advancements in water treatment, water reclamation, desalination, and direct potable reuse of reclaimed water that continue to lower commodity cost margins and stretch water supplies.  However, with the drought, limited and over-stretched water supplies, and new and increasing water supply deficits, and poor-quality water mitigation, there is a new “One-Water” philosophy that has water providers, water users, and environmental stakeholders coming together to better collaborate and manage water from a more holistic philosophy.  This “One-Water” approach attempts to think of all water equally regardless of its characterization as vital and integral to all intended and unintended users.  Some examples of this are the more holistic approach of engaging stakeholders for better water management at the watershed or basin level.  Also, there have been significant shifts at the county or city levels towards better water management through land use planning towards low-impact development (LID), LEED, and more sustainable development.   This Panel of experts and practitioners will share their vision, expertise and real life practical experience on how they have embraced collaborative efforts at the watershed or basin level in solving or addressing challenges.

Moderator: Mark Holmes, Water Resources Manager City of Goodyear, AZ


  • Mark Holmes, Water Resources Manager, City of Goodyear, AZ, “From Brine to Beautiful" A One-Water Watershed Approach to R/O Brine Disposal”
  • Lee Ester, Manager, SRP Water Measurement, Salt River Project, “SRP Flowtography® Evaluating Steamflow Responses Utilizing Time Lapse Photography”
  • KayLee Nelson, Planner (Water Resources), Engineering Services Office, Lower Colorado Region, Bureau of Reclamation, “Basin Study Program, Successes of this Program from a Watershed Basin Wide Management Approach”
  • Roger Peery, CEO/Principal Hydrogeologist, John Shomaker Associates, Inc., “Impacts on Water Resources Subsequent to Wildfires in the Lincoln National Forest, New Mexico

International Session

Droughts, global warming, salinity control have no boarders. Many countries around the globe are facing similar challenges that we are facing in the US. To allow learning how salinity challenges are addressed in the different parts of the world, the group of internationally recognized experts will share their global experience.

Moderator: Gilbert Trejo, Chief Technical Officer, El Paso Water 


  • Jennifer McCloskey, Deputy Regional Director, Bureau of Reclamation, “Partnering with Mexico on the Colorado River”
  • Mike Mickley, President, Mickley & Associates “Permitting Practices for Seawater Concentrate Disposal"
  • Brock McEwenWater Technology Director, CH2M, “Potable Reuse Emergence in Brazil
  • Val Frenkel, VP Process Engineering, Greeley and Hansen, LLC, “Controlling Salinity: Reverse Complimented by Forward Osmosis”

Breakfast with the MSSC Board Member Round Table

  • Updates from Arizona, California, New Mexico, Nevada, Texas

Deep Well Injection Session - A Tool in the Tool Box

Deep well injection is a technically viable approach to managing the concentrate that is produced from an inland desalting process.  This session will provide an overview of case studies from El Paso and San Antonio where deep well injection is being used for concentrate disposal.  Panelists will discuss an assortment of topics related to deep well injection including; geology necessary for successful injection, regulatory requirements, and overview of the costs and construction requirements for injection wells.

Moderator: Scott Reinert, Hydrogeologist, Water Resources Manager, El Paso Water


  • Scott Reinert, Hydrogeologist, Water Resources Manager, El Paso Water, “An Overview of Deep Well Injection for the City of El Paso”
  • Brad Cross, Associate Vice President/Hydrogeologist, LBG Guyton Associates, “San Antonio Water System, Deep Well Injection for Concentrate Disposal”
  • Steve Finch Jr., V.P., Principal Hydrogeologist-Geochemist, John Shomaker & Associates, Inc., “Deep Well Injection in the State of New Mexico”
  • Don Barnett, Executive Director, Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Forum, “The Paradox Valley Unit:  20 Years - 2.2 Million Tons”

Innovative Salinity Management Strategies Session
 - Florentine AB

This session focuses on the evolving regulatory challenges of salinity management and opportunities and technologies available to address these challenges.  As the regulatory environment evolves, so too must our strategies to successfully manage salinity while maximizing the production of high quality water.

Moderator: Chris Hassert, Planning & Engineering Director, City of Scottsdale


  • Karl Longley, Professor Emeritus, California Water Institute, California State University, Fresno, “Salinity Management and Regulatory Issues” 
  • Paul Kelley, Executive Director, CalDesal, “Regulatory Issues and Opportunities in Desalinization”
  • Melissa Meeker, Chief Executive Officer, Water Environment & Reuse Foundation (WE&RF), “Discuss New Research Opportunities and Innovative Strategies Employed by WE&RF” 
  • Charlie He, Associate Vice President, & Pei Xu, Assistant Professor, Civil Engineering, Carollo Engineers Inc., “EDR Pilot Work and Results, New Mexico State University and Carollo, Scottsdale Water Campus Project”
  • J. Hubble Hausman, CEO, Enviro Water Minerals Company, EWM, “Update on El Paso’s Enhanced Recovery / Concentrate Processing Plant"

Closing Remarks, Summary & Adjourn


Opening Keynote Presentation: Thursday, March 2, 2017 
Bob Lotts 

Water Resources Manager, Arizona Public Service Co.
"How Palo Verde NGS Employs Treatment and Air Quality Provisions to Deal with High TDS and Salinity Issues"

Bob joined APS at the Palo Verde Water Reclamation Facility (WRF) in June 1982. During the next two years the WRF completed the facility’s start-up activities and went operational, producing 90 million gallons per day of cooling water for the nation’s largest nuclear power plant. During his more than 26 years at the Palo Verde WRF, Bob held various positions including serving as   Plant Manager from 2002 to early 2009. In light of the continuing issues within the electric utility industry regarding water needs and power generation, APS created Water Resource Management Department. Lotts assumed the role as the manager of this department in March 2009.