Healthy, sustainable water benefits both people and the environment.
At SWCA, our water resources services are divided into two main categories: water resources permitting and water as a natural resource.
Driven primarily by the Clean Water Act, our water resources permitting services focus on hydrological phenomena such as the movement and distribution of surface and groundwater. Our experts bring an interdisciplinary approach to help clients navigate water laws at all levels of government.
Approaching water as a natural resource, our scientists conduct thorough investigations of aquatic species and habitats to develop comprehensive management plans, ranging from riparian enhancement and restoration to the recovery of threatened, endangered, and sensitive species.
- Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 401/402 and 404
- National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)
- Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans (SWPPP)
- Special Area Management Plans (SAMP)
- Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Assessments and Monitoring
- Turbidity Monitoring
- Water Supply Analysis and Alternative Development
- Water Resource Management and Planning
- Water Resources Data Management and Storage
- Water Quality Assessments and Modeling
- Water Quality/Quantity Monitoring
- Drinking Water Source Protection Plans
- Stormwater Inspection Services
- Aquifer Tests
- Public Drinking Supply Water Well Design/Installation
- Groundwater Impact Assessment and Mitigation
- Groundwater and Surface Water Modeling
- Stream-gaging and Weir Design
- Recharge, Reuse, and Mitigation Design
- Hydrologic Modeling Services
- Groundwater Hydrology
- Sediment Quality Testing
- Expert Witness Services and Water Rights Negotiations
- Wetland Design, Restoration, and Development
- Wetland Delineation, Enhancement, Mitigation, and Monitoring
- Aquatic and Riparian Community Assessments
- Stream and Riparian Habitat Assessments
- Threatened and Endangered Species Surveys
- Watershed Analysis
- Limiting Factors Analysis
- Habitat Enhancement and Restoration Design, Implementation, and Monitoring
- Stream Restoration
- Non-native Predator Removal
- Regulatory Compliance and Permitting
- Hydrographic and Geomorphic Surveys
- California Rapid Assessment Method (CRAM)
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.