San Francisco Section Environmental and Water Resources Institute SF Chapter
by Fred Blickle, P.E., F. ASCE, President, San Francisco Section, ASCE
The San Francisco Chapter of EWRI has been in existence since 2009. Currently, it has a strong and active Board which comprises Chair/President Rupeet Malhotra, Treasurer Annette Tardiff, Secretary Hugo Velasquez, Marketing Chair Juan Alejandre, Past Chair/Board Member Fred Blickle and Board Member Walter Grayman. See the attached Zoom picture from the last Board Meeting.
Since its inception, the Chapter has engaged with the San Francisco Bay Area water resources and environmental sciences professionals through dinner meetings and presentations hosted in Oakland, San Francisco or Walnut Creek, and tours such as the Silicon Valley Second Stage Water Recycling Plant. Previous dinner meeting have included presentations by experts on topics such as Lead in Water by Richard Sakaji and Susan Teefy, EBMUD; Biodiesel production; CA Water issues by ACWA Executive Director Tim Quinn; Water and the California Dream by author David Carle; Water, More or Less by author Rita Schmidt Sudman and artist Stephanie Taylor; Engineers Without Boarders presentations by the Honduras Team, Nicaragua Team and the Kenya Team; Hydraulic fracturing by Earl Hagstrom, Esq.; Challenges & Trends In Meeting Water Demands by James Brezack; Micro-Plastic Pollution by Kevin Prochnow, to name a few. Presentations were always followed by specific questions and spirited discussions on the important, contemporary topics.
Due to restrictions on in-person meetings that are imposed on us by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Chapter has been hosting Zoom webinars of interest regarding environmental and water issues in California and sometimes nationally. For example, last year the SF Chapter organized a national presentation on recently changed rules on Waters of the US (WOTUS) presented by Drew Silton, Esq. of Beveridge & Diamond, and is hosting an upcoming presentation on Asset Management for Water Infrastructure.
Other upcoming meetings include water pressure in our homes by Gary Klein and a presentation on CECorps, the latest Engineers Without Boarders project presented by Jim Quinn and Mathew Bamm.
The SF Chapter is one of 32 current EWRI chapters nationally. It was originally started by Rune Storesund (current Region 9 Governor!), Rob Stevens and Sadie McEvoy. Current Chapter Chair Rupeet Malhotra became involved in 2010 and took a hiatus around 2012 to focus on family and rejoined in around 2018 as President. An early very active member was Amy Fowler, who has retired. Treasurer Annette Tardiff is another long-time member, starting with the group in 2012. The SF Chapter is always looking for more involvement and participation by ASCE member. If you are interested please contact Rupeet at firstname.lastname@example.org