Healthy, sustainable water benefits people and the environment. Yet, in many places, we face too little water or too much. Future development depends on the ability to sustainably manage water – to store and distribute clean water and to manage water rights, stormwater, water quality, aquatic habitats, and wetlands.
Our scientists bring an interdisciplinary and holistic approach to water management and conflict resolution.
Our team helps clients navigate water laws at all levels of government, from local and state water rights, conservation requirements, well drilling, and protection of potable water supply to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which regulates the impact of projects on watersheds, water quality, and aquatic habitat at the federal level.
SWCA works closely with clients to provide an array of services and regulatory solutions related to water resources. We can help move your project forward.
• Friends of the Chicago River
• Texas Water Resources Conservation Association (TWCA)
• Society for Ecological Restoration (SER)
• Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA)
- National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and State Compliance
- Endangered Species Act (ESA)
- Clean Water Act 401 and 404
- Stormwater Management
- Drinking Water
- Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) and National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)
- Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)
ASSESSMENT, MANAGEMENT, AND RESTORATION
- Field Investigations
- Planning and Design
- Aquatic and Riparian Ecology
- Stream and Habitat Restoration
- Ecosystem Studies
INTEGRATED WATER PLANNING
- Habitat Management and Conservation Plans
- Multi-Species Conservation Plans
- Endangered Species Recovery Plans
- Special Area Management Plans
- Surface Water Modeling
- Water Quality Studies and Modeling
- Master Planning
- Stakeholder Engagement and Strategic Communications
- Geospatial Analysis
- Regional Water Supply
- Expert Witness
- Water Rights
When San Diego was facing a historic drought in 1915, the city council turned to an unlikely character to solve their crisis: Charles Hatfield, a 40-year-old sewing machine salesman and “rainmaker.”
“What followed in January and early February of 1916 was a downpour — 30 inches of rain by some estimates. Mission Valley flooded. The San Diego River jumped its banks. Farms, homes, bridges and businesses were swept away. Estimates of the deaths range from a dozen to 50.”
Shaped by rivers, sounds, and the Atlantic Ocean, the coastal regions of North Carolina offer thousands of miles of scenic waterfront. Yet, due to the increasing impacts of climate change, these very waterways threaten the livelihood of a coastline dotted with historic towns and millions of residents. Coastal communities are facing intensifying storms, rising sea levels, and high flood risk.
Twenty-six communities participated in the first phase of North Carolina's Resilient Coastal Communities Program (RCCP) in 2021 as a framework for counties and municipalities to prepare for coastal hazards through technical and financial support.
An afternoon thunderstorm rolls across the plains of northern Texas and on the banks of the Red River, the former cattle pastures and agricultural fields at Riverby Ranch slowly begin to fill with water. But there is no cause for concern; in fact, everything is going according to plan. As the North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD) creates the area’s first major reservoir in nearly 30 years only a few miles from the Ranch, SWCA’s stream and wetland restoration plans will offset habitat lost to the new lake’s rising waters with a flood of its own – creating protected waterways and wetlands where cattle once grazed.
Rivers are the arteries of our earth’s landscape. Nothing matches a river’s abilities to connect our places and spaces and sustain life in, alongside, and even miles away from its course. A river will travel along the path of least resistance, beginning at a high point known as the headwater and ending at its mouth. Depending on its elevation, age, geology, and other factors, a river can make a mad dash through the landscape leaving behind canyons and waterfalls, or it may saunter across the land creating wide floodplains and marshes along its edges.
How do we manage rivers as functioning, sustainable ecosystems while still supporting human needs? It’s a complicated question without easy answers.
Scattered across the western Great Plains exist an unprotected, yet vital geological feature: playas.
Playas are shallow, depressional, and ephemeral wetlands that provide important ecological benefits to the landscape, such as floodwater retention and water filtration, as well as critical habitat for wildlife. There are over 80,000 playas in the Great Plains region alone, making them the most numerous type of wetland in the region. Serving as the primary water level recharge points for the underlying Ogallala Aquifer, the main water source for the public and for irrigation within the Great Plains, the presence of these playas is essential.