Tim Quinn, Executive Director

As executive director of the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA), Timothy Quinn leads the largest water organization of its kind in the nation. With offices in Sacramento and Washington, D.C., ACWA is a statewide association whose 430 local public water agency members are responsible for about 90% of the water delivered in California.

With more than 30 years of experience in California water issues, Quinn has helped shape some of the most significant developments in state water policy in recent decades. His involvement in developing ACWA’s Statewide Water Action Plan and the Brown Administration’s California Water Action Plan has helped advance comprehensive solutions to meet the state’s 21st century water needs. Over the course of his career, Quinn has been a leader in many events that have transformed California water management, including passage of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014 and enactment of Proposition 1, the $7.5 billion general obligation water bond overwhelmingly approved by California voters in November 2014. In addition, he played a key role in developing the California Legislature’s historic 2009 comprehensive water package, which ushered in a new era in water policy focused on the coequal goals of improving the state’s water supply reliability and restoring the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta ecosystem. He also was actively involved in developing the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, the 2000 CALFED Record of Decision, the 1995 Monterey Agreement, the 1994 Bay-Delta Accord, and the 1991 Governor’s Drought Water Bank. Other accomplishments include successfully negotiating numerous water marketing agreements and legislative initiatives.   


Prior to joining ACWA as executive director in 2007, Quinn served as deputy general manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and represented the district on numerous state and federal water issues during his 22-year tenure. He joined MWD in 1985 as principal economist, and became deputy general manager in 1994. Before coming to MWD, Quinn was a project manager at the RAND Corporation, specializing in research on natural resources and environmental policy issues. He earned a Master’s degree (1976) and PhD (1983) in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles.