WEST Consultants, Inc. specializes in advanced water resources investigations, working toward sustainable solutions that balance the needs of the users with those of the environment.

News & Events

In October, WEST was awarded an Indefinite Delivery Architect-Engineer Contract in the amount of $8 million from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Tulsa District for Engineering, Design, Modeling, and Manual Development Services within the USACE, Southwestern Division.  The Southwestern Division includes portions of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, and Arkansas. The contract includes development of Water Control Manuals and Drought Contingency Plans. Tasks may include the development of hydrologic and hydraulic computer models; development of rating curves, inundation maps, hydrologic data for period-of-record, Probable Maximum Precipitation (PMP), Probable Maximum Flood (PMF), and depth-area-duration curves; analysis and/or design of hydraulic structures related to outlet works, spillways, or other drainage structures; and addressing Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) requirements. The contract also includes design, customization, troubleshooting, and documentation of software to develop solutions for integrating legacy USACE water management decision support applications with modern USACE information systems, including Corps Water Management System (CWMS), and for continued development, updating, and modernizing utility programs to be used for hydrologic and hydraulic analysis, such as enhancements to MetVue and HMS to determine design storm critical size, centering, and orientation.

At the U.S. Committee on Irrigation and Drainage (USCID www.uscid.org) held in Mesa, AZ from October 15-19, 2018, Dr. Jeffrey B. Bradley, Ph.D., P.E., D.WRE, the founder of WEST, was honored with USCID’s Service to the Profession Award.  This Award is made annually to recognize service to the irrigation, drainage, flood control, or water resources management profession by an individual, organization, or agency which has made meritorious contributions to the advancement, understanding, or conduct of irrigation, drainage, flood control, water management, or any combination thereof. The award can be made to an individual, group of individuals, organization, or agency for notable performance, long years of distinguished service, or specific actions that have served to advance the study or implementation of irrigation, drainage, flood control or water resources management.

In December Jerry W. Webb, P.E., D.WRE, a registered professional in the state of Tennessee, joined the WEST team after more than 44 years of working for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE’s) Memphis District, Huntington District, and Headquarters offices, where he served as Principal Hydrologic and Hydraulic Engineer. He was Chief of the Water Resources Engineering Branch in the Huntington District, where he was a key member of the Dam Safety Committee and was responsible for water management activities associated with thirty-five reservoirs and nine navigation locks and dams. As the Hydrology, Hydraulics, and Coastal Community of Practice (HH&C CoP) Leader at the USACE Headquarters in Washington D.C., his duties encompassed all aspects of hydrologic, hydraulic, and coastal engineering. In this position, he was responsible for technical policy concerning design, construction, and maintenance of dams and appurtenant structures. He also served as the Chairman of the Columbia River Treaty’s Permanent Engineering Board Engineering Committee, for which he was responsible for coordinating water control operations in accordance with the Treaty.
Mr. Webb served as an engineering officer for more than 23 years in the Tennessee and West Virginia Air National Guard and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. He also served as the Senior Advisor to Iraq’s Ministry of Water Resources (MoWR). While in this position supporting Iraq reconstruction, he oversaw more than 12,000 personnel operating the world’s oldest water resources system. In addition, he was the interim Senior Advisor to the Ministry of Environment during January-February 2004.
He served several years as the Hydraulics Committee chair and two terms as a U.S. Society of Dams (USSD) Board member. He was a USACE representative for the Advisory Committee on Water Information (ACWI) and the Hydrology and Sedimentation national subcommittees. He served two terms as a Board member and is Past-President (2014) with the AAWRE and acted as a Department of Defense (DOD) representative to the National Dam Safety Review Board.

In November, Mike Gerlach, P.E., Project Manager at WEST, was elected to the position of Central Region Representative of the Arizona Floodplain Management Association (AFMA).  AFMA is a non-commercial, non-profit organization formed in 1982 as the first chapter of the Association of State Floodplain Managers.  AFMA’s mission is to provide an educational forum for technical and regulatory training relative to management of Arizona’s floodplains.  As the Central Region Representative, Mr. Gerlach’s responsibility will be to serve as a liaison between the Board of Directors and the members in the Central Region (Gila, La Paz, Maricopa, Pinal, and Yuma counties).  In this capacity, Mike will serve as a member of the conference committee for conferences in the Central Region and gather information on current issues and challenges that floodplain managers in the Central Region are encountering.  That information will be used to program educational and technical training opportunities for the membership that address those issues and challenges.

Martin J. Teal, P.E., P.H., D.WRE, F.ASCE, WEST Senior Vice President, will be presenting a short course at the 10th International Perspective on Water Resources and the Environment Conference, held in Cartagena, Colombia December 4-7, 2018. The course is intended for professionals with limited or no knowledge of HEC-RAS. HEC-RAS (River Analysis System) is a one-dimensional (1D) and two-dimensional (2D) hydraulic model produced by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. It is freely available, and is used world-wide to generate water surface profiles and to compute hydraulic variables in fluvial systems.

WEST was selected to complete dam failure inundation studies related to new California state requirements for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, Helix Water District, the Santa Fe Irrigation District, the County of Santa Barbara, and others. Newly enacted California state law that became effective in July of 2017 requires dam owners to prepare an Emergency Action Plan (EAP) for their dams and critical appurtenant structures with deadlines depending on the hazard classification of the dam.  Inundation maps will form part of the new EAPs but these must be reviewed and approved by the California Division of Safety of Dams prior to submittal of revised EAPs.  WEST is currently working with multiple dam owners to meet the new state requirements and is preparing dam breach inundation studies and revised EAPs.

Brian Wahlin, Ph.D., P.E., D.WRE, manager of WEST’s Tempe, AZ office, led a committee of global canal automation experts tasked with developing the Canal Automation for Irrigation Systems Manual 131 for the American Society of Civil Engineers. Bert Clemmens, Ph.D., P.E., D.WRE, also of WEST’s Tempe office, authored several chapters of the manual. The manual documents new technological progress in canal automation, as well as practical guidance on more routine aspects of canal automation. “Canal Automation for Irrigation Systems” edited by Brian Wahlin, Ph.D., P.E., D.WRE and Darell Zimbelman, Ph.D., P.E., D.WRE is available on the ASCE website. A book review published in the Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, 2018, 144(4) described the work, “Overall, this is an excellent reference book on irrigation canal automation, and the techniques presented by this manuscript can potentially be expanded for the automation of canals with broader uses and applications such as flood control, water quality enhancement (e.g., stormwater treatment areas), and navigation. The book is recommended to practicing hydraulic/electronic engineers involved with water control systems, as a design guideline. The authors of this MOP have a strong background in this subject and have presented the material in a logical manner, still keeping the presented information engaging and relevant.”

 

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