The San Diego County Water Authority’s Board of Directors has elected new officers to lead the agency for the next two years. Claude A. “Bud” Lewis, mayor of Carlsbad, will chair the board. Mark W. Watton, general manager of the Otay Water District, will serve as vice chair. Thomas V. Wornham, executive vice president and regional manager for the San Diego commercial banking group of Wells Fargo Bank and a representative of the city of San Diego, will serve as secretary.
The Board elected the officers at its December meeting, and their two-year terms began January 1, 2009.
“The region faces unprecedented water supply challenges caused by drought and court-ordered restrictions on water deliveries from the Bay-Delta in Northern California,” Lewis said. “These are problems our recent rains alone will not fix, so the Water Authority will remain focused on executing its drought management plan, which includes securing short-term water transfers and promoting water conservation. We will also enhance future supply reliability by continuing to diversify our water sources.”
Lewis said improving the reliability of water deliveries from the Bay-Delta also needs to be a top priority and established a new ad hoc committee to oversee Bay-Delta issues. He appointed outgoing Board Chair Fern Steiner to chair the committee.
“Given the complexity and magnitude of the environmental and water supply issues surrounding the Bay-Delta, we need to have an active presence in implementing effective solutions that improve water deliveries and its ecosystem on a long-term basis,” Lewis said.
Lewis has served on the board since 1995. He will serve on the board’s Water Planning and Administration and Finance committees, and on the Bay Delta Solutions and Colorado River Programs Ad Hoc committees. Previously, Lewis served as vice chair of the Board, as a delegate to the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) board, and as a representative to the San Diego Association of Governments and the San Diego Area Wastewater Management District. Lewis also has served as the Water Authority’s representative to the U.S. Desalination Commission and has served on many other Water Authority committees during his tenure on the board.
Lewis has been the mayor of Carlsbad since 1986. For 34 years Lewis taught U.S. history and government at Carlsbad High School, twice earning “Teacher of the Year” honors. He served as head coach for the school’s varsity football and baseball teams and retired from the school system in 1992 Watton’s current service on the board began in 2003. His currently serves as chairman of the Colorado River Programs Ad Hoc committee and is a member of the Water Planning and Legislation, Conservation and Outreach committees.
Watton also served as chair and vice chair of the Water Authority Board in the mid-1990s. He has served as chair of the Quantification Settlement Agreement Ad Hoc Committee, vice chair of the Water Planning and Public Affairs committees, as a delegate to the MWD Board, and as a member of the Colorado River Board and several other posts with the Water Authority.
Wornham was appointed to the Board in 2006. He will serve on the Administrative and Finance and the Engineering and Operations committees, and the Comprehensive Reliability and Cost Assessment Ad Hoc committee.
During his previous two-year board term, Wornham chaired the Administrative and Finance committee, served on the Legislation, Conservation and Outreach and Imported Water committees, and was a member of the Comprehensive Reliability and Cost Assessment Ad Hoc committee.
Besides working with Wells Fargo, Wornham is active in the community, serving as vice chair of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, and previously serving as chair of the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation and chair of the United Way/CHAD campaign.
The San Diego County Water Authority’s 35-member Board, representing its 24 retail member water agencies, meets on the fourth Thursday of each month January through October and on the third Thursday in December at the Water Authority’s office at 4677 Overland Avenue in San Diego.
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