Series on Groundwater Management: Collaborative Leadership Workshop

  • by BPC Staff
  • on June 28, 2013

Groundwater Resources Association
Association of California Water Agencies

Present the 2nd Symposium in the Series on Groundwater Management

Collaborative Leadership Workshop
Negotiating Relationships to Improve Water Resources Planning

A Workshop designed to provide attendees with the fundamentals
for collaborative leadership and stakeholder involvement,
a must for professionals working with the public and multiple stakeholder groups
in today’s complex natural resources management environment.

Featuring Experience and Lessons Learned from:
Celeste Cantú, General Manager, Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority
Grant Davis, General Manager, Sonoma County Water Agency
David Orth, General Manager, Kings River Conservation District

Workshop Leaders from the Center for Collaborative Policy, CA State University, Sacramento:
Gina Bartlett, Managing Senior Mediator
Dave Ceppos, Associate Director

November 4, 2013 | 9:00-4:30
Sheraton Grand Hotel, Sacramento, CA

REHS Program Approved
7.3 CEU Hours Available

Draft Agenda in Message Below

Register For This Event —
Sponsorship Opportunities —

Nearly all water resource planning and program implementation activities involve public meetings and stakeholder involvement due to the public nature of water and environmental policy and laws. Many water issues and projects are complex and thorny, causing uncertainty and angst among local stakeholders with a whole set of different perspectives and opinions. Collaborative leadership and policymaking are critical skill sets for public employees, particularly executives, and mid-level managers. Attendees will have an opportunity to learn from several key water industry leaders and the Sacramento State University’s Center for Collaborative Policy – a nationally recognized consensus-building organization working statewide on California’s thorniest conflicts. Attendees will learn how to develop collaborative leadership competencies, and how to apply them by following a collaborative policy making method. You will also learn how to build networks and manage collaborative groups. This event will serve to educate water, groundwater, and planning professionals and elected officials on some of the key tenets of stakeholder involvement, collaborative leadership through a mix of presentations, work groups, and interactive exercises in a one-day event.

Facilitators from the Center for Collaborative Policy, CA State University, Sacramento
• Gina Bartlett, Director, Bay Area Office, and Managing Senior Mediator
• Dave Ceppos, Associate Director and Managing Senior Mediator

Keynote Speakers
• Dave Orth, General Manager, Kings River Conservation District
• Grant Davis, General Manager, Sonoma County Water Agency
• Celeste Cantú, General Manager, Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority (invited)

Who Should Attend
People who have a role and interest in managing water resources and groundwater: Agency Staff | Land Use Planners | Technical Consultants | Elected Officials, Boards of Directors and Boards of Supervisors

Draft Agenda
(as of 5-30-13)


8:00 am


9:00 am

Introductions and Session Purpose

9:10 am

Why Collaborative Leadership and its Impact on Water Resource Management

Dave Orth, General Manager, Kings River Conservation District

9:50 am

Collaborative Framework: Stages of Collaboration

Gina Bartlett, Center for Collaborative Policy
The Center for Collaborative Policy will outline the five stages of collaboration including the assessment phase that determines how collaborative efforts are shaped and who should participate.

10:15 am


10:40 am

Case Study and Working Session: Assessing the Issues and Determining the Appropriate Level of Involvement

  • Case Study – Grant Davis, General Manager, Sonoma County Water Agency
  • Assessing the Stakeholders, Issues, History, Decision-Making, Potential Outcomes, Areas of Potential Agreement, and Conditions Necessary to Engage;
  • Exercise Part 1 – Analyze a Situation in your Region: Who are the stakeholders? What are you asking people to do? Should something move forward? Who should participate?

11:45 am


12:30 pm

Providing Collaborative Leadership – Identifying Essential Skills

  • Insights: Dave Ceppos, Center for Collaborative Policy
  • Exercise Part 2 – Convener Role: What is your role as an agency? How will agreements be used? What resources are needed? What are the potential challenges? What is the role of the General Manager? Board of Directors? Technical consultant?

1:15 pm

Implementing Collaborative Outcomes

  • Case Study – Implementing Collaborative Outcomes – Celeste Cantu, General Manager, Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority
  • Methods needed to keep a collaborative process going after key decisions have been made. What happens when the impartial facilitator leaves and the group must be self-sufficient. Maintaining collaborative groups. Governance of decision and decision-making. Negotiation strategies / methods.

2:15 pm


2:40 pm

Taking it to Leadership: Overcoming Board and Manager Hesitation to Support Collaboration

  • Role Play Exercise: Participants will “present” to leadership a proposed stakeholder involvement project to achieve a specific goal.
  • Debrief – Lessons Learned, How to “sell” the concept of working collaboratively with management, boards, and elected officials? When collaboration is a no-go.

4:15 pm

Wrap Up and Insights

4:30-5:30 pm



Gina Bartlett is a managing senior mediator with the Center for Collaborative Policy and Director of the Bay Area Office. Her public policy mediation practice is primarily concentrated in applying consensus building to natural resource issues. She conducts situation assessments, facilitates effective meetings and mediates challenging issues. Bartlett’s specialty is multi-party negotiation and problem solving. She has extensive experience in water resources, public lands management, natural resources planning and education. She is adept at working with scientific information in collaborative efforts. Ms. Bartlett received her Master’s degree from the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University in 1994 and has worked in the field since 1991. She has been on the roster of the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution since its inception.

Ms. Bartlett is currently facilitating development of the Owens Lakebed Master Plan in the Eastern Sierras. The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power has convened a 30-member collaborative to develop a collective lakebed vision to address public trust, dust control, habitat and wildlife, water conservation and potential renewable energy. Ms. Bartlett is also facilitating the Sierra Cascades Dialog. With approximately 150 people attending, the intent is to hold regular conversations to enhance understanding and trust on forest management issues in the Sierra Nevada and Cascades. Following a successful mediation for the Sierra National Forest in an area that has been subject to lawsuits and conflict for 11 years, Ms. Bartlett is now providing strategic guidance to the collaborative group. It has expanded its effort to encompass 135,000 acres and received a decade of substantial federal funding. Ms. Bartlett also works with the Sonoma County Water Agency that is convening a broad based stakeholder group to develop a groundwater management plan for the Santa Rosa Plain, an area with five cities and large numbers of rural residential well owners. She recently facilitated a long-range planning effort for the Piedmont Unified School District defining excellence in the face of financial constraints. Other projects of interest are the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area Scientific Review Committee, California Water Plan, the California Urban Water Conservation Council, the Cosumnes, American, Bear and Yuba Rivers’ (CABY) Integrated Regional Water Management Plan, Forest Service National Planning Rule Regional Roundtable, the San Francisco Bay Water Trail, and Sonoma Valley Groundwater Management Plan.

Celeste Cantú joined the Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority (SAWPA) five years ago and has been working on the crest-to-coast, corner-to corner Integrated Regional Watershed Management Plan called, One Water One Watershed (OWOW) that addresses all water-related issues, joins all entities and hundreds of stakeholders seeking to create a new vision of sustainability for the Santa Ana River Watershed. SAWPA owns the Inland Empire Brine Line, a utility that collects salt from the upper watershed groundwater to improve water quality in the Santa Ana River and benefits the lower watershed.

Celeste served as the Executive Director for the California State Water Resources Control Board, which is responsible for water rights and water quality for the State. During the Clinton Administration, Celeste served as the USDA Rural Development State Director for California.

Celeste was born and raised in the Imperial Valley to a pioneer family. There she served first as Planning Director for her hometown, Calexico, and later as Executive Director for the Imperial Valley Housing Authority. Celeste has a BA from Yale in Urban Planning and Policy and a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. She lives in Temecula with her husband, Dr. Barry Stampfl, an English Professor at SDSU, Imperial Valley Campus. They have two sons.

Dave Ceppos is an Associate Director and Managing Senior Mediator with the Center for Collaborative Policy (CCP), a program of California State University Sacramento. Dave has a comprehensive background developing consensus based, stakeholder-driven, resource management processes. He has considerable management and field experience in watershed planning, ecological assessment, hydrology, hazardous waste management, habitat restoration, and landscape architecture and design.

Dave is the managing mediator and process designer of the Department of Water Resources Water Use Efficiency Program, overseeing comprehensive Urban and Agricultural Stakeholder Committees and Subcommittees implementing the SBX7-7 Water Conservation Act, as well as the legislatively mandated Commercial, Industrial, and Institutional Task Force. He is the Program Manager for stakeholder and mediation efforts on numerous water quality efforts including several Total Maximum Daily Load cases, Numeric Nutrient Endpoint projects, and Irrigated Lands Regulatory Programs for the Central Valley, San Francisco Bay, and North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Boards. He has been the program manager for strategic planning and public process for the California Landscape Conservation Cooperative, sponsored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Dave has been a senior strategic advisor to the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG), and the U.S. Forest Service on the Lake Davis Northern Pike Eradication Project in Portola, CA. Historically, his work includes being the project manager, and senior mediator, for the Upper Klamath Basin Working Group Restoration Planning Project, during the Klamath Basin water use crisis in 2001 – 2003. He has similarly been the senior facilitator / mediator and process designer for the Headwaters Forest Reserve Management Plan for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and California Department of Fish and Game.

Dave received a B.LA. in landscape architecture from the University of Florida (UF) in 1985. He conducted post-graduate studies at the UF Department of Sociology in environmentally related behavior. He has completed additional graduate level studies in mediation, facilitation, and risk communication through Emory University; Columbia University; and Pepperdine University. He is a member of the International Association of Public Participation, the Society of Ecological Restoration, and the Association for Conflict Resolution. He is recognized by the US Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution (USIECR) as an Approved Dispute Resolution and Consensus Building Professional on their national practitioner roster. He has been published numerous times and is a regular speaker at professional conferences and universities.

Grant Davis, as the General Manager of the Sonoma County Water Agency, is responsible for management activities related to the Water Agency’s core functions of water delivery, wastewater management, flood protection, and environmental sustainability. Prior to joining the Agency, Mr. Davis was Executive Director of The Bay Institute, a science-based nonprofit, dedicated to protecting the San Francisco Bay-Delta Watershed and improving water management in California. Mr. Davis also worked for Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey from 1993-1997. Grant covered energy and water-related legislation. He was also an aide to State Senator Milton Marks of San Francisco and to Assemblywoman Lucy Killea of San Diego. Davis also operated a successful small business, specializing in strategic planning, public relations and campaign management.

Mr. Davis currently serves on the University of California President’s Advisory Commission, for the Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. He is a member of the Governor of California’s Water Plan Advisory Commission and previously Vice Chair of the Bay Area Water Forum. In addition, Mr. Davis is a founding board member of the California Utility Executives and Managers Foundation and previous Chair of the San Francisco Bay Joint Venture. Mr. Davis received his BA in political science from the University of California at Berkeley.

Dave Orth KRCD’s general manager in February 2002. Before coming to KRCD, Orth served for two years as Vice President of Resource Management for Woolf Enterprises, a diversified San Joaquin Valley farming operation and from 1995-2000 as General Manager of Westlands Water District. Prior to becoming Westland’s manager, Orth served as the district’s director of finance for nine years and was responsible for the district’s financial management and the $40-$50 million annual operating budget. Previously, he was a deputy Fresno County treasurer.

Orth is deeply involved in the development of sustainable policies for local groundwater management and water quality protection. He serves on the board of directors and the federal affairs and groundwater committees of the Association of the California Water Agencies. Orth also serves on Fresno County’s Water Advisory Committee and the Board of the Water Education Foundation. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from California State University, Fresno.

Registration Form —

Sheraton Grand Hotel
1230 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

Additional Information
Contact Gina Bartlett (415) 255-6085, Dave Ceppos (916) 445-2079, Tim Parker (916) 596-9163 or Danielle Blacet (916) 441-4545.

Sponsorship Opportunities
If you are interested in being an event sponsor, please contact Mary Megarry at or 916-446-3626.

Sponsorship Information —