Every month, we will feature one of our member organizations. This month, we feature Grant Davis – General Manager of the Sonoma County Water Agency.
What is your name and role with your company?
My name is Grant Davis and I’m the General Manager of the Sonoma County Water Agency.
What does your agency do?
We’re a wholesale water provider for 600,000 customers in Sonoma and Marin counties. We co-manage two reservoirs along with the Army Corps of Engineers for flood control and water supply. Those two reservoirs are Lake Mendocino in Mendocino County and Lake Sonoma in Sonoma County.
We provide wastewater treatment by managing nine different sanitation zones and districts in Sonoma County. We also provide flood control for over 100 miles of engineered and over 75 miles of natural stream channels. In addition to that, we have a very active renewable energy arm within the water agency that is focused on providing additional opportunities in generating renewable energy and help others in the community become more sustainable.
How long has your company been a member with BPC?
We’ve been members for about five years. I’ve been on the board for almost two years.
Why is your company a member of BPC?
The Bay Planning Coalition is one of the premier organizations working on issues related to the San Francisco Bay and the region. They bring together very high-level decision makers, primarily within the business and regulatory community, for resolving conflicts and highlighting issues that are important to the health of the San Francisco Bay and the region. They have strong relationships in the maritime industry as well as with the some of the larger employers in the San Francisco Bay that are related to marine infrastructure.
We have treatment plants that discharge into the San Francisco Bay. As a result, in Sonoma Valley, what happens in that region is critically important to our interest as well as the health of San Francisco Bay.
BPC allows us to meet face-to-face with some of our key stakeholders on a federal level. There are a lot of great networking opportunities that BPC provides. The events that they put on allow us to speak with folks that we often wouldn’t be able to meet with. Their events are focused in a way that allows for great networking and the ability to have one-on-one conversations with our peers and key stakeholders. We appreciate the ongoing opportunities to check in with opinion leaders and highlight issues that are emerging as well as stay aggressive with ongoing challenges.
What do you personally see as the biggest challenges facing the Bay Area economy and environment over the next 10 years?
The San Francisco Bay is dependent on a number of physical processes to keep it healthy, primarily the amount and timing of fresh water flow into the Bay as well as all of the maritime and marine layer industries that are dependent upon it.
The challenge, from my point of view, is ensuring that this region secures its fair of federal and state support to allow this area to thrive. First and foremost, we’re already seeing the impact of rising sea level. Planning is going to be required for protecting the built environment. How we respond as a region to climate change and increasing extreme weather events is going to be one of the major challenges that we face.