August 24, 2023 – The San Diego County Water Authority Board of Directors today voted unanimously to appoint Dan Denham as general manager, following the retirement of former General Manager Sandra L. Kerl in June.
Denham has served in several leadership capacities with the Water Authority for the past 17 years, including his most recent post as deputy general manager. In that role, he oversaw the MWD and Colorado River programs, along with the Engineering, Water Resources, and Operations & Maintenance departments. Denham also continues to oversee the implementation of long-term agricultural-to-urban conserved water transfers that are among the largest in the United States. As a commissioner on the Quantification Settlement Agreement Joint Powers Authority, he leads the Water Authority’s fulfillment of environmental mitigation obligations and legislative advocacy efforts at the Salton Sea.
“We are fortunate to have Dan’s knowledge of the San Diego County Water Authority and his depth of experience managing multiple programs, including the landmark agreements that have ensured a safe and reliable water supply for San Diego County,” said Mel Katz, chair of the Water Authority Board. “We look forward to working closely with Dan to ensure the Water Authority’s continued success serving our vibrant region.”
As general manager, Denham’s priorities include continuing to enhance relations with the Water Authority’s member agencies, minimizing rate increases, concluding the long-running litigation with the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, and ensuring long-term water supplies for the semi-arid San Diego region.
“I’m thankful for the opportunity to lead this agency and build on the many achievements of my predecessors, my colleagues, and generations of leaders on our Board,” said Denham. “It’s clear there are few easy answers to some of our generational challenges like water reliability – but there never has been. Thankfully, San Diego County can work from a position of strength based on our investments in supplies and conservation over the past 30 years.”
Before joining the Water Authority in 2006, Denham served in various capacities at the City of San Diego’s Metropolitan Wastewater Department, Financial Management Department and Mayor’s Office. Denham holds undergraduate degrees in public administration and economics, and a graduate degree in public administration — all from San Diego State University. Denham sits on several regional boards, including the North San Diego Business Chamber, the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, the San Diego State University Alumni Board, and the Citizens Forum of the U.S. Section of the International Boundary & Water Commission.
The General Manager’s Office manages and directs the activities of approximately 250 Water Authority staff. The office implements the Board’s Strategic Plan and policies through programs in the Business Plan; oversees the Water Authority’s extensive infrastructure system; communicates and advocates policy positions and programs of the Water Authority to local, state, and federal officials and agencies; and supports the Board of Directors.