Veteran Water Authority Manager Leads Key Department
October, 2023 – Jeff Stephenson has been appointed director of water resources for the San Diego County Water Authority, where he leads the department responsible for regional water supply planning and long-term facilities planning.
Stephenson brings more than 27 years of experience at the Water Authority to fill the position vacated by the department’s previous director, Kelley Gage, who was appointed assistant general manager in August. Stephenson served as acting director of the Water Resources Department for the past three months, and previously served as a water resources manager in the department.
The Water Authority is a regional wholesale water agency that provides about 80% of the water used in San Diego County, sustaining a $268 billion economy and quality of life for 3.3 million residents.
“Jeff’s expertise and dedication at the Water Authority for nearly three decades has benefited the region and the state,” said Water Authority General Manager Dan Denham. “His management experience and knowledge from his years at the Water Authority will be crucial as we work with our partners to manage our most precious natural resource.”
Stephenson started with the agency in 1996, working in the Water Resources Department. He has managed the Water Authority’s water-use efficiency group, supply planning group, and water policy group. Stephenson also represented the agency in many high-profile technical advisory groups with the California Public Utilities Commission, Bureau of Reclamation, and Department of Water Resources, and he is a trusted leader in the water industry. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from California State University, San Bernardino and a Master of Public Administration degree from San Diego State University.
In addition to water supply planning and long-term facilities planning, the Water Resources Department also administers the water shortage and drought response program; provides member agency assistance in local supply development; engages in regulatory advocacy and regulation development; manages Water Authority involvement in the San Diego Integrated Regional Water Management Plan and grants administration; administers the water purchase agreement for the Carlsbad Desalination Plant; and ensures environmental regulatory compliance of Water Authority programs and projects.
For more information about the Water Authority’s leadership team, go to: www.sdcwa.org/about-us/departments-leadership/.
The San Diego County Water Authority sustains a $268 billion regional economy and the quality of life for 3.3 million residents through a multi-decade water supply diversification plan, major infrastructure investments and forward-thinking policies that promote fiscal and environmental responsibility. A public agency created in 1944, the Water Authority delivers wholesale water supplies to 24 retail water providers, including cities, special districts and a military base.