Mr. White has extensive experience in the evaluation of hydrologic and hydraulic conditions associated with surface water systems. This experience includes work in wildland and developed landscapes where his designs have been implemented to restore natural conditions, mitigate past environmental impacts, and prevent future impacts. Representative projects are summarized below.


Runoff and Wastewater from Multiple Industries and Treatment Plants in Northern Utah

Conducted and managed the performance of detailed hydrologic and hydraulic evaluations of a drainage canal used for several decades to dispose of runoff and wastewater from multiple industries and treatment plants in northern Utah. The purpose of this project was to assess the effects on water-surface profiles during removal of hydrocarbon-impacted sediments from the canal, thereby addressing concerns of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Utah Department of Environmental Quality. Determined the magnitude of design precipitation events, developed a site-specific rainfall hyetograph, assessed land-use and environmental conditions in the 12,300-acre watershed to portray rainfall-runoff relations, and modeled hydrographs of design runoff events. To meet project needs, estimates were made of peak flows at various locations within the canal for return periods ranging from 2 to 100 years. Seasonal peak flows were also estimated for storms with 2-year return periods to assist in planning sediment removal efforts. Managed hydraulic modeling efforts to determine the elevation of the water surface at various locations in the canal during all storm events.

Aquifer Impacts of Coal Mines

Supervised modeling efforts to determine groundwater impacts associated with two adjacent surface coal mines in eastern Wyoming. The need for accuracy was increased by the fact that the coal seam being mined also served as a regional aquifer. Supervised the performance of field tests on existing monitoring wells to assess local groundwater hydraulic conditions. Evaluated data from several monitoring wells and private water-supply wells to determine the shape of the potentiometric surface in the overburden, coal, and underburden for an area of approximately 400 square miles around the mines. The impacts of mining were then determined three-dimensionally using a finite-difference numerical model. Sensitivity analyses were performed to assess the effects of varying model parameters on model output. The time required for water levels to recover following mining was also estimated using the model. Based on the model data and regional studies, the cumulative hydrologic impacts of mining in the region were estimated.

Great Salt Lake Level Controls’ Impact on Groundwater

Modeled potential groundwater impacts due to various alternatives for control of the level of the Great Salt Lake. Modeled regional impacts of well-field operation in southwestern Michigan to determine the influence of groundwater withdrawals on the shape of a contaminant plume originating from a Superfund site. Supervised flow and contaminant transport modeling of groundwater at a petroleum refinery and two chemical manufacturing facilities in Utah.


Development of Storm Water Runoff Conveyance System

Developed storm water runoff conveyance system master plans for two rural communities in south-central Utah. Several years previously, the towns had converted to a pressurized irrigation system, thus removing the irrigation ditches that had previously also served to control runoff in the area. Prepared master plans and conceptual design information for upgrading the towns’ storm water runoff control system. Conducted hydrologic analyses to determine the capacity of the existing storm water runoff conveyance system to convey the design precipitation event. Further hydrologic analyses were then conducted to assist in designing the recommended improvements that would meet the capacity of the design precipitation event. Included in the recommendations for improvements was a site improvement cost estimate. Assisted the client with funding research and submitted successful applications for financial assistance to funding agencies.

Compliance of Jordan River Surplus Canal Levees

Served as lead engineer to assist Salt Lake County in bringing the Jordan River Surplus Canal levees into compliance with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (“USACE”) standards and the canal’s operation and maintenance manual. The Surplus Canal provides flood protection for Salt Lake County by diverting excess water from the Jordan River and conveying this water to the Great Salt Lake. USACE identified over 500 deficiencies in over 18 miles of levees during a 2012 inspection. These deficiencies included unauthorized encroachments into the canal right-of-way (e.g., fences, structures, pipelines, culverts, etc.), deep-rooted vegetation that could weaken the levee embankments, depressions that could collect water, vegetative growth that precluded proper visual inspection, etc.). As long as the levees were out of compliance with USACE standards, the County would not be eligible for federal rehabilitation assistance in the event of damage to the canal caused by a flood. The project included a review of existing engineering design drawings; discussing potential improvement projects with the USACE; performing records searches to identify permits that match features identified in the USACE inspection report; updating the GIS database to show which features have been permitted; assisting the County in obtaining proper permits from responsible parties where non-permitted features exist along the canal; identifying common features along the canal that need mitigation; designing retrofits that may be needed along the canal; performing right-of-way surveys; interacting with the District Attorney’s office; and providing construction management services. Mr. White also served as senior writer of a Programmatic Environmental Assessment to address resolution of the existing deficiencies and provide a framework for decision-making as future actions are proposed.