Richard Atwater

Executive Director
Southern California Water Committee


Richard Atwater was recently appointed as the Executive Director of the Southern California Water Committee (August 2010). He previously was the CEO/GM of Inland Empire Utilities Agency (1999-2010), President of Bookman-Edmonston Engineering ( 1996-1999), GM of West Basin and Central Basin MWDs (1990-1996).

Mr. Atwater has over thirty-five years experience in water resources management and development in the western U.S.  He has pioneered many award-winning water projects and implemented numerous innovative water resource management programs that meet today’s high standards for quality, reliability and cost-effectiveness.  Mr. Atwater has testified extensively before the U.S. Congress and the California Legislature on water policy issues.  In 1994 Secretary of the Interior, Bruce Babbitt awarded Mr. Atwater the Conservation Service Award, the highest citizen award for resources management. And has received from three separate Governors the Economic and Environmental Balance Award (Wilson, Davis and Schwarzenager).  Mr. Atwater was a member of the California Water Commission, the 2001 Drought Task Force, 2003 Water Recycling Task Force and the 2006 Desalination Task Force.

Mr. Atwater has participated in policy formulation workshops and expert panels for the National Academy of Sciences, Western Governors Association, Western Water States Council, and the National Water Research Institute.  In addition, Mr. Atwater has served on the Board of Directors of the Association of California Water Agencies, Urban Water Institute, WateReuse Association (President 2007-2009), Southern California Alliance of Publically Owned Treatment Works (SCAP, President 2007-2010) and the Western Urban Water Coalition