Woodard & Curran (#80 on the Engineering News-Record Top 500 Design Firms list) has acquired RMC Water and Environment (ENR #456), a 125-person, California-based, environmental engineering company focused on developing solutions to the complex challenges of using and protecting water. The acquisition of RMC expands Woodard & Curran’s national footprint to 26 offices in 12 states, and 48 clean water facilities across the country. The combined firm represents 1,000 engineers, scientists, planners, treatment facility operators, and support staff who expect to deliver more than $200 million in projects this year, strengthening its position as one of the top wastewater firms in the country and elevating it into the top 20 for water resources and supply.
“This marks an important milestone in Woodard & Curran’s history,” explained Woodard & Curran CEO, Douglas McKeown. “We have grown steadily since the firm was founded, maintaining our focus on supporting and empowering our people, working side-by-side with our municipal and private sector clients on some of the most important water and environmental challenges. We are thrilled to be able to bring the people of RMC into the Woodard & Curran team, and to be able to leverage their expertise and experience to benefit our employees and clients.”
“We were at a critical point in our growth,” said RMC President Alyson Watson. “Joining forces with Woodard & Curran allows us to expand our capabilities and offer more to our existing clients, and it gives us a national platform to deliver our expertise in water resources to many new clients.”
RMC was founded in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1998. With an impressive portfolio of large-scale projects, industry leadership in water recycling, and a strong reputation, RMC works for some of the largest cities in California on crucial water resource planning. The firm also provides water and wastewater design services to mid-size communities. Recent projects include preliminary design of the Santa Clara Valley Water District's potable reuse program and design of wastewater treatment plant upgrades for the Cities of Brentwood and Yuba City. Earlier this year, RMC engaged Matheson Financial Advisors to initiate a comprehensive nationwide search for a merger partner that would provide the greatest benefit to both firms. Woodard & Curran was the clear choice, both in terms of service offerings and cultural fit.
Woodard & Curran was founded in Maine in 1979 to help clients address the needs arising out of the Clean Water Act. It has grown steadily since that time with a focus on water and environmental services. Today, the firm works with municipalities, companies, and institutions across a wide range of market sectors to anticipate and solve some of the most important water and environmental challenges in the United States. Recent projects include sewer collection system improvements for the City of Lawrence, MA, design of a wastewater treatment plant for Upper Montgomery Joint Authority in Pennsylvania, and contract operations of the South Sangamon Water District’s water treatment plant in Illinois.
“We have always been a values-driven organization,” said McKeown. “Our mission statement puts our people first, and our growth and success are a direct result of our focus on hiring exceptional people and empowering them to do what they do best. RMC’s history and approach are strikingly similar to our own. The match in values is easily as important as the overlapping set of skills and services across the two firms, and those shared values, expertise, and experience make for a very powerful combination.”
“We made a careful and conscious decision about who to partner with for this process,” added Watson. “Finding a firm that shared our values and had complementary strengths was very important to us. And we found that firm in Woodard & Curran.”
The firms will integrate capabilities beginning immediately, but in the near-term, RMC will retain its focus on serving its clients in California. RMC will operate under a co-branded identity through 2017 and then transition to operating as Woodard & Curran in 2018.
Woodard & Curran (www.woodardcurran.com) has offices in Enfield and Middletown, CT; Duluth, GA; Bangor and Portland, ME; Andover and Dedham, MA; St. Charles, MO; Bozeman, Butte, and Great Falls, MT; Cherry Hill and East Windsor, NJ; Elmira and White Plains, NY; Pittsburgh and Tunkhannock, PA; Providence, RI; and Casper, WY. RMC has offices in Irvine, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, and Walnut Creek, CA.
Napa Sanitation District’s recent Recycled Water Expansion project was awarded the Agricultural Project of the Year Award from the national WateReuse Association. This award is given to an organization whose project demonstrates that recycled water usage increases agricultural sustainability, helps to conserve energy, and can also provide valuable nutrients to crops. RMC played a part in this important expansion project by designing five miles of distribution pipeline (Milliken-Sarco-Tulocay) which is used to deliver recycled water to agricultural and commercial customers in the Napa Valley.
The North Valley Regional Recycled Water Program EIR/EIS received the 2016 Outstanding Environmental Analysis Document Award from the California Association of Environmental Professionals (AEP). The EIR/EIS was prepared by RMC Water and Environment in cooperation with Horizon Water and Environment, working with the North Valley Regional Recycled Water Program project partners, which include the Del Puerto Water District; City of Modesto and City of Turlock; and the Bureau of Reclamation. The program will deliver up to 59,000 acre-feet per year of recycled water for agricultural use and for state and federal wildlife refuges in the San Joaquin Valley.
AEP is a non-profit association of public and private sector professionals with a common interest in serving the principles underling the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
RMC was recently recognized by the Irvine Chamber of Commerce as a “Green Certified Business”. In order to be certified, RMC was required to demonstrate green business practices in the following categories: waste reduction and recycling, green purchasing, energy efficiency and conservation, staff training and awareness, and alternative transportation.
Enrique Lopezcalva, RMC’s water resources practice leader and a company vice president, is co-authoring an American Water Works Association manual (M71) for its Climate Change Committee for the development of Climate Action Plans (CAP). The manual will provide information for water utilities about how to develop, adopt and implement a CAP involving not only mitigation, which is the traditional scope of CAPs, but also adaptation. The manual will include background and reference information on the science and regulatory environment in climate change, and information on how to scope a CAP, how to develop it, and how to engage internal and external stakeholders in the development and adoption of the CAP.
Leslie Dumas, P.E., D.WRE, a senior water resources engineer and principal with RMC, is co-authoring an American Water Works Association (AWWA) manual tentatively entitled Sustainably Managing Groundwater (M73) for the associations’ Groundwater Resources Committee. This manual will complement AWWA’s existing manual Groundwater (M21) and will include information for water utilities and groundwater basin managers on how to characterize and manage groundwater. The manual will include information on groundwater management tools and models, and will provide case studies demonstrating how the tools and models were implemented for successful basin management.
Ali Taghavi, Ph.D., P.E., senior water resource engineer and company principal, is co-chair of the committee organizing the Groundwater Resources Association of California’s workshop “Role of Models and Data in Implementing SGMA” taking place February 8-9, 2016 at U.C. Davis. The workshop will provide information on the role that models and data play in meeting Sustainable Groundwater Management Act requirements and enabling well-informed management decisions. To learn more click here.
RMC was recently awarded a 2015 Planning Honor Award by the American Academy of Environmental Engineers & Scientists (AAEES) for our work on the North Valley Regional Recycled Water Program (Phase 3) in Patterson, California. The annual award program is open to all areas of environmental engineering and science practice in nine separate categories (research, planning, design, operations/management, university research, small projects, small firms, environmental sustainability, industrial waste practice) and is to recognize and promote quality in environmental engineering and science. The award will be officially presented to RMC at the Academy’s annual awards luncheon in Washington, D.C. on April 23, 2015.
Effective January 1, 2015, Alyson Watson will become the new president of RMC Water and Environment, replacing long-time president Randy Raines who will focus on leading strategic initiatives for the company in his role as senior vice president and chairman of the board. Alyson, a senior water resources engineer, has been with RMC Water and Environment for seven years serving as a project manager, operations manager, and business development director.
Effective succession planning has been a key element of RMC’s strategic planning, ensuring the company is able to effectively serve public sector clients into the future. Chairman Randy Raines states “Alyson is a steady, energetic leader committed to superior client service. We are confident she can lead RMC, continue to grow the firm, and help our clients address complex issues such as climate change and failing infrastructure.”
A chemical engineer with bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Stanford University, Alyson has managed multi-disciplinary teams on a wide variety of water resources projects throughout the United States. She has been an active member of the American Water Works Association, serving on the Climate Change Committee, Water Resources Planning and Management Committee, and the Candidate Contaminant List Technical Advisory Workgroup.
RMC Water and Environment—in partnership with the Bechtel Foundation, the Nature Conservancy, UC Davis, CH2MHill, and Anthony Saracino—has completed a study of integrated water storage opportunities in California. The goal of the study was to evaluate the power of a paradigm shift in the use of surface water and groundwater storage opportunities to meet future water supply needs in the state. The new perspective of integration of surface water and groundwater storage opportunities was analyzed against the traditional view to use each storage option individually in the context of California’s water supply landscape. The study results show that integration of surface and groundwater storage increases the water supply yield significantly when designed and operated optimally and in a coordinated manner.