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Posted on: September 5, 2017

Western Municipal Water District General Manager John Rossi Announces Retirement

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Following more than 30 years in the water industry General Manager John Rossi says farewell 

Riverside, CA – General Manager John Rossi announced his retirement following 13 years of service at Western Municipal Water District (Western). Rossi’s distinguished career in the water industry spans more than three decades and has focused on improving water reliability, quality and availability in Riverside County and throughout California.

As the general manager for Western, Rossi is responsible for the 527-square mile agency territory, located in western Riverside county and providing services for nearly 1 million people. Rossi oversaw the planning, direction and management of the water, wastewater, non-potable and recycled water activities and operations of the District. During his tenure, Rossi also served as a court-appointed Watermaster – a position held by only a select few across the country - for the Santa Ana River Watershed and Western judgments.

“It has been an honor and a pleasure to serve Western’s customers with the support of the Board of Directors and the incredible team at Western,” shared Rossi. “Together we have accomplished greatness and it is with great enthusiasm that I move forward into retirement to spend more time with my family.”

In his time at Western, Rossi was instrumental in bringing key local water supply projects to fruition and has built a reputation as one of the most knowledgeable water experts in the state. Under his guidance, Western has become an established leader in local reliability and efficiency projects, including:

  • La Sierra Pipeline Expansion Project – An ambitious $36 million capital improvement project to provide safe and reliable water for the region.
  • Riverside Water Purchase – A collaboration between Western and the City of Riverside to provide a local long-term agreement for water in order to keep rates as low as possible for Western customers as well as provide revenue stability for City of Riverside/Riverside Public Utility customers.
  • Western Riverside County Regional Wastewater Authority Treatment Plant Expansion – A multi-year expansion project using cutting-edge technology to minimize odors and increase the intake capacity of the facility to continue local water supply reliability now and in the future.
  • Water Efficiency Programs – Becoming a regional and industry leader through innovative programs to help all customers use water wisely, including FreeSprinklerNozzles, landscape evaluations and turf removal.
  • Water Budget Rates – Moving Western customers to a water budget rate model, tailoring each customer’s water use to ensure they only pay for the water they used.

At Western, Rossi will leave a legacy and work culture of true public service with a commitment to excellence, including raising the Districts to new heights as an Inland Empire “Top Workplace” in 2016.

“John has successfully guided Western through a period of huge growth and significant change,” said Western’s Board President Thomas P. Evans. “We appreciate his service to Western and our customers and wish him the best of luck in retirement.”

Rossi currently serves on boards of various entities, including president on the California Municipal Utilities Association Board of Governors, the California Baptist University Board of Visitors, and member of the Association of California Water Agencies Water Management Committee.

Prior to joining Western, Rossi served as an elected member of the Board of Directors for the Rancho California Water District in Temecula, Calif., as well as served on the board of the Association of California Water Agencies, the Chino Basin Watermaster and as second vice-president for the WateReuse Association. He also served as a founding board member and president of the California Utility Executives Management Association.

In addition, Rossi was recognized by the Association of California Water Agencies with the Excellence in Water Leadership Award for his long history of governance in the water industry, problem-solving and contributing to California water policy. Prior to his employment with Western, he was the chief executive officer of the Chino Basin Watermaster and the general manager of the Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District.

Rossi’s retirement is set for late December 2017.

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