Southern California

New California Water Chief to Oversee Dam, Tunnel Projects

Gov. Jerry Brown is naming a new chief water manager amid critical projects to repair the tattered Oroville dam spillways and oversee construction of massive tunnels to convey water to central and southern California.

He announced Wednesday that he is appointing Grant Davis director of the California Department of Water Resources. The post pays $194,600 and requires Senate approval.

Davis, a 54-year-old Democrat from Petaluma, has been general manager of the Sonoma County Water Agency since 2009.

He succeeds acting director Bill Coyle, who announced his retirement last month.

Coyle oversaw the state's emergency response to the Oroville dam crisis, when 200,000 downstream residents were evacuated as spillways draining the nation's tallest dam crumbled.

Brown is also pursuing a $16 billion project to re-engineer the state's north-south water system.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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