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August 5, 2009 > Water district appoints new general manager

Water district appoints new general manager

Submitted By Frank Jahn

The Alameda County Water District (ACWD) Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Walt Wadlow as the next General Manager. Wadlow will take over the reins of the water district from General Manager Paul Piraino who will be retiring at the end of December, 2009. Wadlow will be the eighth General Manager in the District's 95 year history.

Wadlow has served as ACWD's Operations and Maintenance Manager since November 2007. In that capacity, he is responsible for all water quality, treatment and distribution activities, as well as maintenance of all of District production plants, distribution system pipelines and other physical facilities. Prior to joining ACWD, Wadlow worked in a number of engineering and managerial positions for the Santa Clara Valley Water District for 25 years, serving the last 11 as Chief Operating Officer/Assistant General Manager for the water utility there.

He holds a bachelors degree in civil engineering and a masters degree in water resources engineering from Stanford University and is a registered professional engineer in California. His involvement in regional and statewide water policy issues has included service as president of the State Water Project Contractors Association, and appointments to several committees working on water supply and environmental challenges in California's Bay Delta Region. Wadlow currently serves on the Association of California Water Agencies State Legislative Committee.

"We are very pleased to have someone of Mr. Wadlow's experience and background take over the helm of ACWD at this critical time for water resources policy in the state," said Board President Jim Gunther.

Wadlow will succeed General Manager Paul Piraino, who is retiring after 27 years at ACWD, having served the last 12 as General Manager. "After nearly 38 years of continuous public service at the state, county, city and special district levels of government, it's time to pursue other opportunities for service to the community," Piraino said.

"Paul has been an outstanding General Manager and our customers have been well served. Paul has been instrumental in ensuring that ACWD is well positioned to provide a reliable supply of high quality water for the Tri-City area in these challenging times. During his tenure, the District has made great strides in meeting the water quality and supply reliability goals set out in the District's Integrated Resources Plan, which was adopted in 1995," said Board President Gunther.

Accomplishments include:

* Rehabilitating the abandoned quarry pits that now comprise the Quarry Lakes Regional Recreation Area to both increase the District's ability to replenish the local groundwater basin as well as facilitate the construction of recreational facilities operated by the East Bay Regional Park District;
* Expanding the District's potable water supply sources through design and construction of the first brackish groundwater desalination plant in Northern California at the Newark Desalination Facility;
* Enhancing the reliability of the District's water supply by securing 150 thousand acre feet of off-site water storage in the Semitropic Water Storage District Water Banking Program; and improving the District's efficient use of resources by expanding the District's water conservation and demand management programs.

Under Piraino's leadership, the District secured several million dollars in grant funding for expansion of the Newark Desalination Facility and support design and construction of fish passage and screening facilities to facilitate the restoration of steelhead trout in Alameda Creek. The District's efforts to ensure excellent financial performance and provide a reliable water supply to its customers were recently recognized when Standard and Poors (S&P) upgraded the District's bond rating to AAA, the highest rating possible from S&P. Piraino also represented the District's interests at the state and regional levels, serving for three years as Chair of the California Urban Water Agencies organization, and for six years as Chair of the Alameda County Special Districts Association.

ACWD serves a population of 325,000 residents, businesses and industries in the cities of Newark, Fremont and Union City California.

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