Environmental Working Group

Mission Statement

The role of the Environmental Working Group (EWG) is to advise and further the mission of the Borrego Springs Watermaster to implement the Stipulated Judgment and comply with Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) by focusing on the protection of human health and the environment. The activities of the EWG shall be approved by the Watermaster Board and will always include a nexus between environmental issues and the sustainable use of groundwater in the Borrego Springs Subbasin. Activities of the EWG could include, but are not limited to:

  • Environmental assessment, monitoring, and habitat restoration or enhancement associated with groundwater dependent ecosystems
  • Management of fallowed lands and the potential for participating in biological mitigation projects
  • Addressing improperly abandoned wells
  • Management of non-native (invasive) species for water conservation purposes
  • Air quality monitoring
  • Pursuit of funding opportunities

EWG Member Bios

Jim Bennett, PG, CHG (County of San Diego) – Mr. Bennett has 23 years of experience in hydrogeology. Mr. Bennett was the manager of the development of the GSP for the Borrego Springs Groundwater Subbasin. He sits on the Borrego Springs Watermaster Board, representing the County of San Diego.

Mark Jorgensen (Community Representative) – Mr. Jorgensen is a retired Park Superintendent for Anza Borrego State Park, and worked for California State Parks for 30 years. He sits on the Borrego Springs Watermaster Board representing the community of Borrego Springs.

Jim Dice, Reserve Manager at the Steele/Burnand Anza-Borrego Desert Research Center. Mr. Dice has been Reserve Manager since the Steele/Burnand Anza-Borrego Desert Research Center opened in 2012.  He retired in 2012 from California State Parks after 25 years of service with the State of California. He served as manager for San Diego State University’s Santa Margarita Ecological Reserve from 1987-88 and Curator of the Desert Garden at Huntington Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California from 1981-1985.

Danny McCamish, Senior Environmental Scientist for the Colorado Desert District of California State Parks. Mr. McCamish is a supervisory scientist overseeing Natural Resources Management for Colorado Desert District at California State Parks. He has 15 years of experience working in natural resources management and experience in climate change research.

John Peterson, retired County Groundwater Geologist, California Professional Geologist and Certified Hydrogeologist. Mr. Peterson is a long-time resident of Borrego Springs with 40 years of experience in hydrogeology. He joined the County of San Diego as County Groundwater Geologist in 1981 and retired from the County in 2003. He also serves as Anza-Borrego Foundation Board Member.

Dr. Michael Wells, retired District Superintendent, Colorado Desert District, California Department of Parks and Recreation. Dr. Wells has over three decades of experience in natural resources management and a 34-year career with California State Parks. Dr. Wells has a PhD in physical geography from a joint program between San Diego State University and the University of California, Santa Barbara. He and his wife recently wrote a book on the natural history of the Anza-Borrego Region.

EWG Projects

Biological Restoration of Fallowed Lands

The main goal of this Project is to develop data, information, and criteria to guide the use of biological restoration as a technique to mitigate the potential adverse impacts associated with the fallowing of lands that is expected to occur within the Subbasin. This project is being funded by a Sustainable Groundwater Management Grant through Proposition 68. Links to project-related documents and reports are listed below. This list will be updated as the project progresses:

EWG Recommendations to the Watermaster Board

  • No recommendations to-date.

EWG Meetings

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