CalGeo E Newsletter

September 1, 2015

Will El Niño End The Drought?

By: Judd King, Yeh and Associates


Mike Laney presents new president Larry Taylor with gavel
Map of Average Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies in Eastern Pacific
Source: NOAA – Climate Prediction Center
Will El Nino End The Drought »
Annual Conference-Spring 2016 »
Outstanding Project Award »
Like Us On Facebook »
Regional Meetings Coming Soon! »
Free Webinar To Help HR »
Dues Renewal »
Member News »
Safety First »
Find us on Facebook

It seems every news agency has reported on the forecasted El Niño, which is due to hit in the late fall and winter of 2015/16. In a similar practice of naming hurricanes, NOAA forecasters ( have coined this upcoming event “Bruce Lee” or “Godzilla.”

As of August 13, 2015, NOAA’s status update indicates there is a 90% chance the winter of 2015/16 will be impacted by the predicted El Niño event. Comparatively, the upcoming season could rival the 1997 El Niño, which resulted in torrential rains and caused significant damage throughout California. However there are some differences: This year there are unusually warm water conditions in the Eastern Pacific from Alaska to California. Some forecasters indicate that this could cause the jet stream to meander more to the north and result in milder conditions in the Golden State. While forecasters indicate strong potential for a wet season, the chances of a single wet season lifting California and the remainder of the West out of the severe drought conditions is highly unlikely.

Significant rain events fill up reservoirs and replenish dwindling aquifers; however, scientists indicate that several seasons of normal to above-normal rainfall are needed to replenish our water resources. Furthermore, the West heavily relies upon snowpack to serve as a “metered reservoir.” According to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), snowfall supplies 70% of California’s annual precipitation. In April 2015, JPL reported that the snowpack level in the Tuolumne River Basin was 40% of the worst year on record, which was in 2014. Forecasters agree that one wet season will not lift the west out of one of the worst droughts in recorded history—but it’ll certainly help.

California residents are crossing their fingers for a good soaking. Disaster preparedness, emergency contacts, and preventive maintenance are all instrumental in planning for the predicted El Niño. Regardless of how much precipitation falls, continuing water conservation measures is an integral part of living in the Golden State.


Annual Conference — Spring 2016

Pasadena Is The Spot!


We’re excited to announce that next year’s Annual Conference will be in picturesque Pasadena. We’ll escape to the elegant Langham Huntington Hotel with 23 acres of lush gardens, historic ballrooms, and spacious guest rooms, all nestled at the base of the majestic San Gabriel Mountains. And oh, yes-it is a pet friendly environment!

Conference dates are April 14 through April 16, 2016. Our Conference Committee is working diligently to bring you the best program yet! More information will be available in December. So, mark your calendars and “Save The Date”.


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Outstanding Project Award

Honorable Mention Winner — ENGEO

By: Janet Kan/ENGEO
The Gallery at Central Park-Santa Clara, CA

Garage Foundation under Construction

The Gallery at Central Park project is a balanced high-density housing project that provides affordable housing in Santa Clara with close proximity to jobs and recreational areas. The project faced design challenges due to variable subsurface conditions and different structural demands of the interconnected buildings. The project involves construction of an innovative wrap-style residential complex, recycling of site materials and installation of rammed aggregate piers to allow a cost efficient shallow foundation system. The project provides much-needed housing in Santa Clara.

Click here for full article.

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Like Us On Facebook!

CalGeo has a new Facebook page! Like us here Like us on Facebook and let others know in your organization too!

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Regional Meetings Coming Soon! 

We’ll have two Regional Dinner Meetings in early October. Check back on our website for Upcoming Events for full information coming soon.

The meeting in Southern California will be held in the Carlsbad/San Diego area. Dr. Reinhard Flick will present “Sea Level & San Diego’s Coastal Future”.

Sea level rise will likely be the greatest challenge facing the world’s coasts as the planet warms. Ron Flick will discuss the range of sea level rise scenarios we can expect over the next decades and centuries, how San Diego’s coastal setting and development history influence sea level rise impacts, and our options for adaptation.

Northern California’s meeting will be in Dublin, CA . “Deep Soil Mixing Applications” will be presented by Paul Bray of Raito, Inc.

Soil stabilization is defined as a technique to improve the engineering characteristics in order to improve the parameters such as shear strength, compressibility, density, hydraulic conductivity.

Deep soil has many applications. This presentation focuses on three different types of application in the California region: Excavation Support (CalPERS), Cutoff Wall (Marysville); and Liquefaction Mitigation (San Pablo Dam).

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Annual Enrollment In The Era of Healthcare Reform

Free Webinar To Help HR Professionals

Each year at annual enrollment HR professional must communicate with a large number of employees and complete a variety of administrative activities in a very short period of time.

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. (a CalGeo Affiliate member) is offering a free webinar designed to help HR professionals with this year’s annual enrollment process, focusing on the following:


What’s New for 2016 under PPACA
Same-Sex Marriage (updated status)
Enrollment Rules
Additional Resources


This recorded 75-minute webinar will be available from August 20, 2015 through December 31, 2015. To register to listen to the webinar, please click on this link.

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Dues Renewal

By: Marsha Myers/Executive Director


Invoices for membership renewals have been mailed to the primary rep designee of the member firm, and are due September 15th. CalGeo appreciates your continued support and relies on your dues to keep the organization moving along! So, if you tossed the invoice in a pile on your desk, how about digging it out and getting it to accounting to process? Contact CalGeo if you have any questions.


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Member News

Welcome New Members

We welcome our newest members and appreciate the support.

Active Members:

1243 Alpine Rd., Ste. 108
Walnut Creek, CA 94596
Contact: Mike Wilson
(925) 941-0017

Affiliate Members:

Foundation Repair of California
1813 Rutan Drive, Ste. A
Livermore, CA 94551
Contact: Mat Phelps
(925) 961-9012

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Safety First

Preparing For El Niño

What El Niño Is:

El Niño is the warming of ocean currents in the tropical Pacific Ocean. This warmer water increases air moisture and affects weather. When El Niño is active, there is a greater than normal probability of monsoon like rains along the Pacific coast of California. These rains, if they develop, can result in small urban streams and washes overrunning their banks as well as regional and large scale flooding.

While we needn’t get hysterical about El Niño, we should be aware of its possible impacts and plan accordingly.

What You Can Do:

Prepare your home and contents. Open drains and keep ditches and other water collection ways clear of leaves and debris.

Prepare emergency provisions. Since electric power may be affected, store up plenty of flashlight batteries and if you are on a well or booster pump, store several gallons of bottled water. Also store some “long life” non- refrigerated provisions. Localized flooding, mud slides and downed trees may prevent you from moving about the community by automobile until local public works and emergency services workers can mobilize and get roadways cleared.

If your home is subject to seepage problems during heavy rains, it would be wise to consider purchasing a portable electric submersible pump to which a garden hose can be attached. Around 1000 gallons per hour capacity should be adequate supplied by a durable, water resistant extension cord. These pumps tend to get hard to find once the rains get heavy!

If your property is low lying or is impacted by high runoff volumes, know where to find sandbags and other emergency provisions. Check with local emergency service agencies before you have an emergency and know where to tune for emergency broadcasts and official information.

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