NWRI Independent Advisory Panels
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About NWRI Panels
NWRI's Independent Advisory Panels help public agencies review challenging water management and policy issue, leading to informed decisions.
NWRI specializes in facilitating expert panels on behalf of water and wastewater agencies, as well as local, county, and state government agencies.
We have conducted over 20 panels in California, Arizona, and Washington on a number of areas, including water resources, water supply, water and wastewater planning, and recycled water. Click here for a comprehensive list of NWRI panels.
Our panels are used by agencies when a project or regulatory requirement involves challenging issues that would benefit from having a third-party scientific and technical review by leading experts.
The ultimate goal of these panels is to help decision makers make appropriate project decisions and develop good public policy.
The Value of NWRI Panels
The City of San Diego's Panel Subcommittee on Limnology prepares for a helicopter flight over San Vicente Reservoir
NWRI Panels can:
- Validate the project's objectives, approach, and progress
- Assure the public and provide credibility
- Promote sound investment and public policy decisions
- Third-party review and evaluation
- Scientific and technical advice by leading experts
- Help and support with challenging scientific questions and regulatory requirements
- Documented reports of status, progress, findings, and recommendations from each panel meeting
- Assistance with interactions with the public, decision makers, and regulators
- Managed and designed on a case-by-case basis
- Cost effective
- Planning resources and experience
- Scientific and technical expertise from around the world
How Do NWRI Panels Work?
Meeting of the NWRI Panel for the City of Los Angeles' Groundwater Replenishment Project
As part of our efforts to support water research and policy, NWRI developed the NWRI Panels as a service for the water industry.
An NWRI Panel is made up of water/wastewater industry professionals, academics, government representatives, and independent consultants who are experts in their fields.
Panels may vary from five to 12 members. None of the members are associated with the project, ensuring the Panel's independence and integrity.
NWRI organizes and manages the Panel on behalf of a sponsoring agency to address a specific scope or charge. Panel meetings are hands-on and are often held at the project location, allowing the Panel to tour sites and/or pilots in person. Some Panels only require one meeting; others will meet once or twice a year for the duration of the project.
The end-product of each meeting is a written Panel report that provides findings and recommendations on the various technical, scientific, and public health aspects of the project or program. These reports can be used to guide further studies and as background documents for elected officials, regulators, and the general public.
Praise for NWRI Panels
“OCWD relies on two NWRI panels, one to provide ongoing guidance for the monitoring of Santa Ana River water to assure the continued safety of this major source of recharge water for the groundwater basin. The other panel was assembled to offer advice and recommendations during the planning stages for the Groundwater Replenishment System. Panel recommendations have helped guide OCWD monitoring programs and even regulatory requirements. The reliance on NWRI panels has helped to foster public support and enhance credibility for projects like GWRS and agencies like OCWD.” – Michael Wehner, Orange County Water District, CA
Members of the NWRI Panel for the Inland Empire Utilities Agency's Recycled Water Contribution Review examine a monitoring well at the agency's recharge facilities.
“The NWRI Panel has been instrumental in project workshops held over the past 2 years, assisting the City and California Department of Public Health to establish a pathway to defining regulatory requirements for indirect potable reuse through surface water augmentation. The City would like to thank the Panel for their time and technical assistance to this demonstration project.” – Marsi Steirer, City of San Diego Public Utilities Department, CA
"The Orange County Water District benefited significantly from independent review of the District's Santa Ana River Water Quality and Health Study. The NWRI Panel provided insightful recommendations on the scope of the study as it was being developed. The Panel also provided objective, third-party review of the results and assisted the District with placing the study's results into the proper framework. NWRI's current Panels on the Santa Ana River monitoring program and Groundwater Replenishment System are also providing beneficial results to the District." - Greg Woodside, Orange County Water District, CA
"In 2006, the coastal community of Los Osos, California, found itself at a crossroads for the implementation of a controversial and costly wastewater project. Following the preparation of a new facilities plan for the project, the Community Services District commissioned an expert, objective panel review through NWRI. After involving key project stakeholders, the NWRI Panel provided essential and helpful insight into the technical, environmental, and policy components of the project. I strongly recommend the NWRI Panel process for challenging water and wastewater projects." - Robert S. Miller, R.C.E., District Engineer, Los Osos, CA
"NWRI's Panel review of the City of Kennewick's Riverbank Filtration Study was instrumental in the outcome of the project. The Panel's open discussion and support of the study monitoring program and deliverables aided the City in gaining the filtration credit needed to go forward with the improvements at the City's primary groundwater source." - Bruce Beauchene, City of Kennewick, WA
"The NWRI Panel provided an objective viewpoint on the technical and scientific aspects of the SFPUC's Phase 1 Recycled Water Project Alternatives. The highly qualified Panel members conducted a thoughtful and thorough review of the materials, and offered valuable observations and recommendations. SFPUC staff sincerely appreciated the Panel members' time and effort." - Cheryl Munoz, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, CA
Examples of NWRI Panels
Members of the NWRI Panel for the Orange County Water District's Santa Ana River Water Quality Monitoring Study, which has met each year since 2004
NWRI has facilitated and managed expert panels to review issues as wide ranging as:
- Potable reuse
- Permit amendments
- Water quality monitoring
- Master planning
- Constituent management
- Salt balance analysis
- And many others
To view a comprehensive list of NWRI panels from 2003 to the present, please click here.
For questions on organizing an NWRI Independent Advisory Panel, please contact:
Executive Director, NWRI
Phone: (714) 378-3278