Water Policy & Planning

Planning that builds water supply security


M&A professionals have expertise in water policy and regulations, environmental economics, water demand forecasting and analysis, and water conservation planning. We work with clients to develop reliable, affordable water resource portfolios that are aligned with their needs. To develop acquisition strategies, we consider both current and expected water costs and regulations, as well as the physical availability of supplies. Our planning services typically entail quantifying use, assessing trends, and developing forecasts of future demand; this information can also help identify the most cost-effective water conservation programs. To support planning decisions, we design interactive “dashboards” that allow users to project water demands and supplies under various scenarios and user-defined inputs. These and other tools support decision-making for a variety of audiences — the public, elected officials, and watershed planning groups.

With the acquisition of Hydrometrics WRI in 2018, M&A is now one of California’s most qualified consultants for helping clients understand and meet the requirements of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA).  Our staff has been working with SGMA in some of California’s most challenging groundwater basins.  Our experience includes every aspect of SGMA implementation, from Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) formation to basin boundary modifications.  No firm has a longer history with the SGMA legislation, and no firm brings a deeper and clearer understanding of SGMA’s regulations and how to implement them. 


  • Interpreting and implementing California SGMA requirements, including Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs)
  • Developing water supply portfolios on the basis of future reliability and cost
  • Assessing the impacts of drought and climate conditions on the availability and reliability of water supplies (including Colorado River supplies)
  • Assessing the impacts of current and proposed regulations, statutes, and policy trends
  • Conducting market research using qualitative and quantitative techniques such as content analysis, focus groups, interviews, and surveys