LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Richard W. Atwater, a Southland water leader with more than 35 years of experience, was seated today as a member of the board of directors of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.
He succeeds James T. “Jim” Edwards as Foothill Municipal Water District’s representative on the 37-member Metropolitan board. Edwards had served on the board since May 1999. Atwater was named to Metropolitan’s Water Planning and Stewardship Committee, and Legal and Claims Committee.
Atwater joined Foothill’s Board of Directors in 2006, representing portions of the city of La Cañada-Flintridge and the La Crescenta-Montrose community. He currently serves as Foothill’s board chairman. He previously served on the board of the Crescenta Valley Water District.
He is the executive director of the Southern California Water Committee, a nonprofit, nonpartisan public education partnership dedicated to informing Southern Californians about the region’s water needs and the state’s water resources. He also provides independent water resources management and policy consulting to local, state and federal governments, business, labor and environmental organizations.
Prior to joining the SCWC in 2010, Atwater was chief executive officer and general manager of the Inland Empire Utilities Agency for more than a decade and before that served as president of Bookman-Edmonston Engineering, Inc., a water resource consulting firm. From 1990 to 1996, he was general manager of West and Central Basin municipal water districts, which during that time operated under one administrative staff. He previously managed Metropolitan’s resources division for four years.
He has served on the California Water Commission, the 2001 Drought Task Force, the 2003 Water Recycling Task Force and the 2006 Desalination Task Force. Atwater was presented the Conservation Service Award, the highest citizen honor for resources management, by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt in 1994. He also is a three-time recipient of the Economic and Environmental Balance Award under governors Pete Wilson, Gray Davis and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
A Long Beach native, Atwater earned a bachelor’s degree in geology and environmental science from Stanford University and a master’s degree in urban and regional planning from the University of Southern California.
Atwater and his wife, Erin, have three sons and a grandchild. They reside in La Cañada-Flintridge.
Note to editors: A digital photograph of Richard W. Atwater is available upon request.
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is a cooperative of 26 cities and water agencies serving nearly 19 million people in six counties. The district imports water from the Colorado River and Northern California to supplement local supplies, and helps its members to develop increased water conservation, recycling, storage and other resource-management programs.