Director Cynthia Koehler of Mill Valley is the newly elected president of the Marin Municipal Water District Board of Directors for 2016 and Director Larry Russell of Tiburon is the vice president.
Koehler’s goals for the year are to make substantial progress in two key areas: water supply resiliency and customer relations. “In terms of water supply resiliency, we are in a new era,” she says. “It is more affordable and more sustainable to make the most of our existing water supply than to find, and fund, costly new sources. Continued conservation, of course, is essential, but we also have to look at less traditional options for extending our existing supply like rainwater catchment and more aggressive water recycling.”
“Our customers are truly our partners as we move in this direction. By working collaboratively, we can ensure a reliable long-term water supply while minimizing costs.” Koehler added.
Koehler originally joined the MMWD board in 2004 and was most recently re-elected unopposed in 2014. She represents MMWD Division IV, which includes Mill Valley and surrounding neighborhoods, Sausalito, Marin City, and nearby public lands. Koehler also chairs the district’s Finance and Communications committees.
Koehler is the executive director and co-founder of Water Now, a non-profit dedicated to sustainable water solutions at the community level. Koehler has 20-plus years' experience in Western water law and policy development with such organizations as the Environmental Defense Fund and Save San Francisco Bay Association. Koehler received The Bay Institute's Hero of the Bay Award in 2013 and the Marin Conservation League's Ted Wellman Water Award in 2011. She is a graduate of Pomona College and the University of Oregon School of Law.
Director Larry Russell was first elected to the MMWD board in 2004. He represents MMWD’s Division V, which includes Corte Madera, portions of Larkspur, San Quentin, Strawberry, Tiburon, surrounding neighborhoods, and Belvedere. He also serves as the chair of the District Operations and Compensation committees and the vice chair of the Drought Resiliency Task Force.
Russell has a doctorate in civil/environmental engineering from the University of California at Berkeley and is a licensed professional civil, chemical, and corrosion engineer with more than 30 years of technical experience in water management and conservation. Russell is a life member of the American Water Works Association and the Water Environment Federation and is the chair of the Corrosion Committee of the International Water Association. In 2015 Russell was inducted into the Academy of Distinguished Alumni of the University of California, Berkeley Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
MMWD’s five-member board of directors also includes Director Larry Bragman of Fairfax, Director Armando Quintero of San Rafael, and Director Jack Gibson of Sleepy Hollow.
MMWD is Marin County’s largest drinking water provider, serving a population of 187,500 in a 147-square-mile area of south and central Marin County. The district owns and manages 21,635 acres of watershed land on Mt. Tamalpais and in west Marin. The primary source of water supply is rainfall captured in seven reservoirs, providing 75 percent of the water consumed each year. The remaining 25 percent is imported annually from the Russian River through an agreement with the Sonoma County Water Agency. MMWD also operates its own recycled water system. District operations are financed primarily by revenue from the sale of water. The annual operating budget for the district for fiscal year 2015/16 is $66.8 million.
Media Contact: Libby Pischel