By Brandon HENSLEY
Richard Atwater, a former Crescenta Valley Water District board member, has been appointed as the new executive director of the Southern California Water Committee.
In its press release sent Monday, the committee said Atwater was chosen after an extensive search. He replaces interim director Ron Gastelum, who will still be active in the coming year for the committee.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to help out everybody in Southern California get a more reliable water supply from Northern California,” said Atwater on Tuesday.
Indeed, Atwater acknowledged the work that he and his collaborators have ahead of them, including expanding local area water resources and passing a statewide water bond in 2012.
Atwater has over 35 years of experience on the matter. He has been a member of the California Water Commission and has served on several task forces on water recycling and desalination. This past year, he stepped down as general manager of the Inland Empire Utilities Agency. He is still a board member for the Foothill Municipal Water District. Atwater simply called his new job “a continuation of what I’ve been doing.”
In the release, SCWC Chariman Charles Wilson said, “Rich will provide a strategic vision and strong voice for Southern California and our members.”
Having a former board member for CVWD could prove to be beneficial for Foothill residents, Atwater said, a voice for a region with less population than that of other areas.
“I’ve talked to a couple [current CV board members] already and they’re thrilled that I got the appointment,” Atwater said. “It’s very prestigious. To have a local person here who has been working on something that affects 20 million people, but it’s just as important to people here in La Crescenta or La Cañada as it is in San Diego or Anaheim.”
The SCWC was founded in 1984, and is an organization dedicated to informing Southern California about water needs and resources.