Member Spotlight – October 2018

  • by Will Holbert
  • Oct 19, 2018
  • Newsletters

Dave Eggerton, center, on a tour of the North Fork Stanislaus River Hydroelectric Development Project, a joint project between the Northern California Power Agency and CCWD.

Q & A with Executive Director Designate Dave Eggerton

What do you identify as the most significant challenge facing public water agencies in California?

It’s our ability to successfully balance a complex set of responsibilities to achieve such important goals. Our members fulfill the enormous mission of providing high quality water that is vital to the health and well-being of our customers, and to our farmers. We do this on a daily basis in a fiscally responsible manner that best serves our communities and customers. Yet we accomplish this while meeting increasingly stringent laws and regulations that govern our industry, all while maintaining our ability to act as independent local governments. 

How do you define ACWA’s value to its membership?

I define ACWA’s value based on my own personal experience. ACWA unites public water agencies from backgrounds as diverse as California itself, from agriculture, to urban, rural and north, south, coastal and mountainous. Yet, by identifying shared ground, we’ve been able to join forces to successfully navigate our way through many, many challenges, such as influencing state policy on conservation to name one among many. That’s on top of the practical services provided through ACWA, such as opportunities for networking, continuing education and online resources.

Speaking from the perspective of an individual general manager, there’s no way we, at CCWD, would have had a fighting chance to make our voice heard if we weren’t able to partner with other agencies.  ACWA creates that space where we can all share information and collaborate on strategy that maintains our ability to serve customers. We know what we’re doing, and ACWA gives us the strong and unified voice to deliver that message to those who need to hear it.

Dave with CCWD Board member Bertha Underhill and ACWA Board Vice President Kathy Tiegs.

What are your goals as Executive Director of ACWA?

My immediate goal is to get out and meet with our member agencies, to get to better know our board members and learn more about ACWA member needs in every corner of our state.

Long-term, I’m eager to learn about how innovation applied by individual agencies can be translated into shared strengths among all of our members and be carried forward to empower our advocacy in Sacramento and Washington D.C.

This position also offers a great opportunity to understand ACWA from inside and out. I want to use that knowledge to further strengthen ACWA’s already very effective efforts to benefit our members, and our members’ ability to successfully function at every level.

I cannot be more impressed with ACWA’s staff and their professionalism. I’m grateful for the opportunity to work with them, and for the opportunity to serve the interests of all ACWA member agencies from all parts of California.

How did you get into the water industry?

My original career goal was to practice corporate law in Silicon Valley, and I started by representing tech companies heading toward IPOs. But the big high tech bust led me to Sacramento, where I started with the firm of Miller Owen & Trost. There, I had the opportunity to work with cities, counties and special districts, which gave me a valuable insight into the value of local government and challenges facing it.

My entry into the water industry started with a newspaper help-wanted ad, for deputy counsel with the El Dorado Irrigation District. Part of what drew me and my family there was the Apple Hill farming communities. I’ve felt rewarded by working with the El Dorado and Calaveras community ever since. Now, through my new position at ACWA, I will have the privilege of working alongside members of our state’s most vital industry on a statewide basis, and to learn more about the incredible innovation taking place among our urban agencies.

Dave at the 2018 ACWA D.C. Conference. As an ACWA Board member, Dave has participated on a number of ACWA committees, including the Federal Affairs Committee.

How will your professional background and experience help you succeed as ACWA Executive Director?

I have a deep understanding and appreciation of the issues affecting our members, and I’ve got the scars to show it. Over the years, I’ve fought alongside many of them in the same battles, and I know firsthand the value of ACWA as an organization in projecting our shared voice in Sacramento and Washington D.C. And frankly, I just love the ACWA organization, the people inside and outside of it. 

I remember the pride I felt standing alongside Steve Hall, Randy Fiorini and Jerry Gladbach in 2005 when we unveiled the Blueprint for California Water. That feeling of pride and sense of camaraderie has repeated itself many times over the years while meeting and working with people from throughout the ACWA community.

How do spend time outside of work?

My wife Kim and I enjoy time with our daughters and son. Our oldest daughter is a sophomore at Cal Poly, our second daughter is a sophomore at El Dorado High School, and our son is in the seventh grade. So there are dance competitions, cheerleading, basketball games, soccer matches and school events that fill our time. Myself, I enjoy fishing, golfing and gardening. Like my ancestors, who farmed cotton and watermelons in Louisiana, I’d like to someday find a patch of land to farm myself.

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