Dan Masnada | Marks: No Better Choice for Water Board

Letters to the Editor
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Jerry Gladbach, longtime member of the Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency (and its predecessor, the Castaic Lake Water Agency) board of directors, passed away a few months ago. He had been an ardent advocate for the valley’s water security for 37 years. Jerry’s passing left a huge void on the board of directors at a point in time when he was preparing to run for re-election in November. Having known him for almost my entire water industry career and having worked for him as CLWA general manager for 13 years, I know he will be hard to replace.   

Dirk Marks is the candidate that would best fill Jerry’s shoes on the board. Late last year, Dirk retired as an employee of the agency, having served as CLWA water resources manager and SCV Water Agency director of water resources for a combined service of nearly 14 years. His education and work background is similar to Jerry’s, each with a degree in civil engineering and work experience with a major water supplier before coming to CLWA, Jerry as a director and Dirk as an employee.    

Dirk’s entire work career has been in the water industry. He was first employed by a major water engineering firm before going to work for Metropolitan Water District for 21 years. He was MWD’s imported supply unit manager when CLWA hired him in 2008. During his time with MWD, his in-depth understanding of the State Water Project was recognized and respected throughout the state’s water community. 

Dirk’s knowledge of the SWP water supply and financial management is extremely important to us as SCV Water customers since it constitutes about half the valley’s water supply. Also significant is the expertise he developed at MWD establishing and implementing innovative water banking and exchange programs. Under his direction, CLWA and SCV Water have instituted similar programs that have stored excess water during wet years to supplement shortfalls in dry years.     

During his time on the agency’s senior management team, Dirk oversaw preparation of two extremely important documents – the SCV Urban Water Management Plan and the SCV Groundwater Sustainability Plan. The UWMP projects water supply adequacy for existing and future SCV water needs and the GSP ensures our local aquifers will continue to provide a reliable groundwater supply. 

Having worked for public water agencies for most of his career, Dirk is very familiar with board functions and processes, and would hit the ground running as a new director. Also, recognizing that climate change and the unprecedented drought we are experiencing are two of the most significant challenges facing the agency, he is uniquely qualified to provide constructive policy guidance and expert technical input that will be vital in preserving the SCV’s quality of life and environmental health. 

Water security is more important now than ever before. Dirk is the only SCV Water Division 2 candidate who has been there and done that when it comes to achieving it. Your vote for Dirk is a vote for water security. 

Dan Masnada
Castaic Lake Water Agency General Manager, 2002-2015

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