Important note: The following recommendation was approved by the Board of Supervisors on April 12, 2016:

To:              Honorable Board of Supervisors

From:          Jim Eggemeyer, Director, Office of Sustainability; Heather Forshey, Director, Environmental Health, San Mateo County Health

Subject:      Measure A: Agreement with Erler & Kalinowski, Inc. to complete a groundwater basin assessment in the San Mateo Plain sub-basin.


Adopt a resolution authorizing an agreement with Erler & Kalinowski, Inc to complete a groundwater basin assessment in the San Mateo Plain sub-basin in an amount not to exceed $676,100.


San Mateo County has nine groundwater basins and sub-basins within its borders. The San Mateo Plain sub-basin underlies the bayside of San Mateo County from approximately Burlingame to the Santa Clara – San Mateo County boundary at San Francisquito Creek. The adjacent basins and sub-basin to the north, sou h and east are being actively managed. However, there is no entity actively managing the San Mateo Plain sub-basin in this time of changing climate and potentially increasing needs to access to local water supplies.

In 2014, California enacted the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. The legislation provides a framework for sustainable management of groundwater supplies by local authorities. Concurrent to the enactment of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, in 2014 the County became aware of a potential increase in   extraction of groundwater from the San Mateo Plain sub-basin. These two factors, along with many years of severe drought conditions prompted the Office of Sustainability (OOS) and Environmental Health Services division (EH) to develop a regional approach towards assessing the state of the San Mateo Plain groundwater sub-basin.

In Spring 2015, OOS and EH engaged technical stakeholders to identify the information available on the state of the San Mateo Plain sub-basin. While some data collection and assessment had previously been undertaken in specific areas of the sub-basin, OOS and EH determined that additional technical information was needed to develop a truly comprehensive assessment of the San Mateo Plain sub-basin. A Revised Groundwater Assessment Plan (Plan) outlining a proposed approach to completing a comprehensive assessment of current usage and conditions of the sub-basin was completed in September 2015 by EH. The Plan identified four objectives that needed to be addressed as well as called for the identification of potential, long-term strategies to sustainably manage groundwater resources through policies and cooperative relationships.

These points were summarized in a request for proposals (RFP) in order to find a qualified contractor that could develop a groundwater assessment for the San Mateo Plain sub-basin.


On October 16, 2015 the OOS and EH released a Request for Proposals (RFP) to identify a qualified contractor to conduct a comprehensive groundwater sub-basin assessment and identify potential groundwater management strategies for the San Mateo Plain. The four primary objectives of the assessment are:

·         Evaluate the hydrogeologic and groundwater conditions of the entire sub-basin;

·         Evaluate surface water and groundwater interactions in the sub-basin;

·         Evaluate threats to the sub-basin quality and quantity; and

·         Assess areas for groundwater recharge

The results of the groundwater assessment will be compiled into a final project report; new and existing data gathered for the purposes of the assessment will be consolidated and maintained by the County, for use by all interested parties. In addition, the contractor will use the results of the assessment to identify potential management strategies and uses for this groundwater resource. The assessment and description of potential management strategies will be used to inform future efforts by all stakeholders in the San Mateo Plain as regional discussions are initiated regarding the use and management of this shared resource.

OOS and EH received four responses to the RFP. After evaluation of all proposals received and in-person interviews with the finalist by a review committee, Erler & Kalinowski, Inc. (EKI) was selected as the preferred consultant with Todd Groundwater and Hydrofocus Inc. (Hydrofocus) acting as the exclusive sub-consultant. This determination was made on the basis of, among other factors, their extensive experience performing water projects with similar scope to that of the assessment in the San Mateo Plain region; the depth of their knowledge and expertise in the areas of assessment and development of groundwater supplies, groundwater modeling, water resource planning, support for SGMA compliance, collecting hydrologic data and developing groundwater management plans; and the cost-effectiveness of their proposal.

OOS and EH have negotiated a contract agreement with EKI to complete the tasks outlined in the Scope of Work of the RFP within two years, starting April 12, 2016 at a cost not to exceed $676,100. Hydrofocus and Todd Groundwater are authorized to work under EKI as the sole subcontractors on the project.The Board is being asked to authorize the Director of the Office of Sustainability or his/her designee to execute subsequent amendments which do not to exceed an aggregate of $25,000. EKI has assured compliance with the County’s Contractor Employee Jury Service Ordinance, as well as all other contract provisions that are required by County ordinance and administrative memoranda, including but not limited to insurance, hold harmless, non-discrimination, and equal benefits.

Peformance Measures: 



FY 2015-16


FY 2016-17


FY 2017-18


Percent of Completion of the Groundwater Basin Assessment of the San Mateo Plain Sub-Basin







County Counsel has reviewed and approved the Agreement and Resolution as to form.

Shared Vision 2025:

This groundwater basin assessment contributes to the County’s Shared Vision 2025 outcome of an Environmental Conscious Community through ensuring the efficient use of the County’s water as well as through the environmental stewardship of natural resources.

This project also contributes to the Shared Vision 2025 outcome of a Collaborative Community by fostering partnerships with the stakeholders in the San Mateo Plain as well as working with agencies in adjoining basin and sub-basins to ensure collaborative and regional management of San Mateo County’s groundwater resources.

Fiscal Impact:

The term of this Agreement is April 12, 2016 through April 1, 2018. The amount of the agreement is not to exceed $676,100. The agreement costs of $676,100 are included in the Office of Sustainability’s FY 2015-16 Adopted Budget and FY 2016-17 Tentatively Adopted Budget. Similar arrangements will be made for future budget years. This agreement is fully funded by Measure A, a ten-year half-cent general sales tax approved by the voters in November 2012.