Head of Sonoma County Water Agency Will Lead State Water Resources

Sonoma County Water Agency General Manager Grant Davis will leave this month to take over as head of the state’s Department of Water Resources. Davis was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown Wednesday to replace retired Director Mark Cowin. The agency’s chief deputy director, Carl Torgersen, also stepped down last year.

In his new capacity, Davis will oversee a department of nearly 3,300 employees with a budget of $3.2 billion -- far larger than the 280 employees and $213 million budget he manages now. But he’s taking a pay cut. He’ll earn $194,600 annually compared to the $240,710 he received last year.

Davis’ biggest order of business will be a massive overhaul of the state’s water system, including a controversial $17 billion tunnel-building project under the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The tunnels, which will carry water from the Sacramento River to San Joaquin Valley farmers and Southland cities is vehemently opposed by Delta farmers and environmental groups.

“The governor supports that California WaterFix [project] and so do I,” Davis said Wednesday. “I will be a major participant in that effort.”

Davis has been in charge of the county’s Water Agency since 2010. Chief Engineer Jay Jasperse and Assistant General Managers Pam Jeane and Mike Thompson will now assume his duties.


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