Sonoma County, CA

07/19/2017 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 07/19/2017 13:51

Water Agency General Manager Grant Davis Appointed to Head California Department of Water Resources

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July 19, 2017 - For Immediate Release

CONTACT: Ann DuBay: 707.524.8378 (office), 707.322.8185 (cell), [email protected] or Brad Sherwood: 707.547.1927 (office), 707.322.8192 (cell), [email protected]

(Santa Rosa, CA) - Sonoma County Water Agency General Manager Grant Davis today was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown to become the Director of the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) effective August 1, 2017. Acting DWR Director William R. Croyle retired on July 1, 2017.

DWR plays an important role in sustaining California's economy, environment and quality of life. DWR operates and maintains the California State Water Project (SWP), which provides drinking water and water to farms. Other programs work to preserve the natural environment and wildlife, monitor dam safety, manage floodwaters, conserve water use, and provide technical assistance and funding for projects for local water needs. DWR's major responsibilities include overseeing the statewide process of developing and updating the California Water Plan (Bulletin 160 series); protecting and restoring the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta; regulating dams, providing flood protection, and assisting in emergency management; educating the public about the importance of water and its proper use; providing technical assistance to service local water needs; and planning, designing, constructing, operating and maintaining California's State Water Project.

'The Water Agency is known around the world for its innovative water supply initiatives and state-of-the-art sustainability programs,' said Sonoma County Water Agency Board of Directors Chairwoman Shirlee Zane. 'Grant Davis provided the leadership and tenacity necessary to make these and other accomplishments happen at the Water Agency. Our community benefited from his ability to work with all stakeholders to ensure our region continues to provide affordable, clean drinking water while meeting critical environmental enhancement projects. The State of California is gaining a true water professional who can think outside of the box while working with everyone in the room.' The Water Agency's Board of Directors, which also serves as the County's Board of Supervisors, will take action in the near future to select a successor to Mr. Davis. In the meantime, the Water Agency's Chief Engineer and two Assistant General Managers will ensure a seamless transition occurs until the Board takes formal action.

Read the Governor's statement here.

'I am honored to have been appointed by Governor Brown to work with the dedicated people at the Department of Water Resources,' said Davis. 'To my colleagues at the Water Agency, I can't say thank you enough for your unparalleled professionalism and dedication to our community and the organization. I am also appreciative of the Water Agency's Board of Directors who provide the leadership and support needed to secure our future water supply.'

Mr. Davis joined the Water Agency in 2007 as the assistant general manager and became its general manager in 2010. As the general manager of the Water Agency, Mr. Davis worked with more than 280 employees and is responsible for the Water Agency's core functions of providing drinking water to over 600,000 residents in portions of Sonoma and Marin counties, wastewater management for 60,000 customers, maintaining nearly 100 miles of streams and detention basins for flood protection, and restoring habitat for three federally listed fish species in the Russian River.

For nearly a decade, Mr. Davis has continued to implement nationally praised sustainability and western water initiatives, including being recognized by the White House last year for the Water Agency's efforts in climate adaptation, regional recycled water development, and its Forecast Informed Reservoir Operations initiative. Mr. Davis also implemented the Water Agency's Carbon Free Water by 2015 initiative and renewable energy program called the Sonoma County Energy Independence Program. In 2015, the Water Agency has contracted to procure 100 percent of its electricity needs through renewable and carbon free resources, thus achieving a carbon neutral electricity supply to power its system.

Under Mr. Davis' leadership, the Water Agency continues to implement a Biological Opinion on the Russian River which has resulted in the creation of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's first Safe Harbor Program agreement. Other major achievements of Mr. Davis' included the development of the North Coast and Bay Area Integrated Regional Water Management Programs, in which $19 million was secured to support the installation of a new regional Bay Area weather forecasting satellite system.

Prior to joining the Water Agency, Mr. Davis was Executive Director of The Bay Institute, a science-based nonprofit, dedicated to protecting the San Francisco Bay-Delta Watershed and improving water management in California. Mr. Davis also worked for Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey, State Senator Milton Marks, and Assemblywoman Lucy Killea.

Mr. Davis currently serves on the University of California President's Advisory Commission, for the Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. In addition, Mr. Davis is the president of WateReuse California, a board member of the Bay Planning Coalition, and a member of the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority Advisory Committee. Mr. Davis received his BA in political science from the University of California at Berkeley.

For more information about the Water Agency, please visit

For more information about DWR, please visit


The Sonoma County Water Agency is working to secure our future by investing in our water resources, community and environment. The Water Agency provides water supply, flood protection and sanitation services for portions of Sonoma and Marin counties. Visit us on the Web at

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