Iris Priestaf


Photo of Iris


Dr. Priestaf has more than 30 years of experience in groundwater consulting on a variety of issues. A doctoral student of Dr. David Keith Todd, she was Todd Groundwater's first employee and worked with Dr. Todd for 28 years, becoming Vice President in 1989 and President in 2003.

She has worked with numerous water agencies, cities, counties, and private organizations in groundwater resource planning, including preparation of groundwater management plans, urban water management plans, salt nutrient management plans, and groundwater sustainability plans (GSPs) in compliance with the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA).

Her experience with California groundwater management planning begins with one of the first AB 3030 plans in 1994. Through the Groundwater Committee of the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA), she participated actively with staff of State agencies (DWR and SWRCB) in planning for SGMA on behalf of water agencies and land use planning agencies. She has assisted diverse agencies with SGMA, including formation of Groundwater Sustainability Agencies, requests for basin boundary modifications, and successful applications for grant funding. She is currently contributing to preparation of GSPs across California.

She has considerable experience with CEQA, focusing on groundwater issues and having assisted in the preparation of more than 90 environmental documents. These have addressed issues including groundwater supply availability, potential impacts of groundwater pumping on nearby wells and streams, and impacts on groundwater of mining and recycled water projects. She has led numerous SB 610 water supply assessments, addressing a variety of planned developments including residential, commercial, office, and industrial land uses.

Iris is an experienced public speaker-having presented to numerous public agency policy makers, stakeholder groups, and professional organizations — with specific skills in the effective presentation of complex groundwater issues to audiences with a wide range of backgrounds. She has shared her expertise on SGMA at numerous seminars and conferences for groundwater professionals, attorneys, and planners in Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Diego County, Stanford University, and elsewhere.

Academic Background:

PhD, Geography, University of California at Berkeley, 1983
MA, Geography, University of California at Berkeley, 1976
BA, Geography, University of California at Santa Barbara, 1974