5th Annual Conference: Water in California

Our 5th annual statewide educational water conference is geared towards California local elected officials who want to work towards assuring clean water for our communities and protecting our natural resources and our local economies.

DATE:  March 23-24, 2017
LOCATION:  San Diego

Click here for more information

Job Opportunity 


The Chief Operating Officer of Water Utility Enterprise (COO WUE) reports directly to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and is designated as unclassified/at-will. The COO WUE is responsible and accountable for the planning, management, performance, and improvement of the District’s water utility divisions and functions. The COO WUE directs four divisions: Water Utility Capital, Water Supply, Treated Water Operations & Maintenance, and Raw Water Operations and Maintenance with a total operating and capital budget of $360 million and a staff of approximately 300. The COO WUE serves as a key member of the executive leadership team and represents the CEO and the District in interactions with employees, the public, water retailers, and other agencies and organizations. 

Essential responsibilities and duties include: 

• Provides direction and leadership in the identification, development, and implementation of strategies, programs, ordinances, policies, decisions, assignments, and activities of the District’s water utility operations, maintenance and capital improvement program to protect and augment water supplies, provide treated water, and ensure efficient and effective results. 

• Provides direction and leadership to the management of the District’s water utility infrastructure including: 10 dams and surface water reservoirs, three water treatment plants, an advanced recycled water purification center, water quality laboratory, nearly 400 acres of groundwater recharge pond, and raw and treated water conveyance system; and operations and maintenance of the Central Valley Project (CVP) San Felipe Division and SFPUC-SCVWD intertie facilities. 

• Provides direction and leadership to the management of the Water Utility Enterprise’s: local surface water supplies and water rights; groundwater sub-basins; groundwater recharge operations; imported water program, including supplies from the federal CVP and the State Water Project, Semi-tropic Groundwater Storage Bank and other water transfers and exchanges; recycled and purified water supplies; and water conservation programs. 

• Provides direction and leadership to the Water Utility Enterprise’s short and long term planning processes including: 5 Year Operations Plan; 5 Year Capital Improvement Program; Groundwater Management Plan; Urban Water Management Plan; Water Supply Master Plan; Asset Management Plan; Recycled and Purified Water Master Plans; Fisheries and Aquatic Habitat Collaborative Effort (FAHCE) Fish Habitat Restoration Plan; Annual Report on the Protection and Augmentation of Water Supplies including Groundwater and treated water rate setting process; Annual Operating and Capital Budget; Annual Water Operations Plan; Water Shortage Contingency and Drought Management Plan; and Emergency Operations Plans. 

• Directs and evaluates the performance of organizational divisions, units, programs, and personnel; plans, organizes, oversees, authorizes, and coordinates divisional and district wide projects, assignments, and activities. 

• Represents the District before other governmental entities, water agencies, water retailers, community groups, employee organizations, and the general public; prepare technical, informational, and administrative reports and make presentations to various stakeholders. 

• Serves as the District’s key spokesperson on issues regarding the Water Utility Enterprise. 

• Performs human resource responsibilities associated with the organizational designation of “Appointing Authority” including building a diverse and inclusive organization, selecting, training, and evaluating personnel; provide staff development opportunities; use performance management tools; coach and counsel employees and managers; and administer disciplinary action. 

• Works closely with the CEO in strategic planning; developing implementation plans; setting priorities; and serving as acting CEO in their absence. 

• Represents the WUE on appropriate Board committees and keep Board members informed of critical issues as it relates to the Water Utility. 

• Performs other assigned responsibilities as delegated by the CEO and/or assigned through District policies. 


The ideal candidate has a track record of demonstrated leadership, proven accomplishments, and superior performance in a public agency, public utility, municipal organization, or a closely related organization with an emphasis on water utility management, including operations, maintenance, and capital projects delivery. A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year college with major course work in business administration, public administration, public policy, engineering, or a closely related field is required. A Master’s degree is highly desirable. Minimum experience requirements include eight years of recent and increasingly responsible administrative or managerial experience in the public sector, water, or related industry. Experience managing multiple water utility functions is highly desirable. Must possess a valid California Driver’s license and maintain a satisfactory driving record. 

The ideal candidate must be knowledgeable of: 

• The principles, practices, and methods of leadership in a public agency, including governance, strategic planning, performance measurement, continuous quality improvement, and objectives, policies and procedures development and implementation; 

• The principles and practices necessary to manage the core operational functions and programs in a water agency, including: groundwater, dam safety, water rights, imported water, raw and treated water conveyance, water treatment, recycled and purified water, operations & maintenance, asset management, water supply planning, environmental planning and capital construction; 

• The principles and practices of effective leadership and staff supervision, including selection, training and development, dynamics of line-staff relationships, techniques of effective interpersonal communications and relations, effective problem-solving and decision-making techniques, planning and delegating work, performance evaluations, positive recognition methods, and progressive discipline; 

• Applicable laws, regulations, legal mandates, guidelines, and standards affecting public agencies, particularly relating to water; 

• State-wide water issues including the California Water Action Plan, California Water Fix, and issues under consideration before the State Water Resources Control Board; 

• Project delivery methods including Public Private Partnerships and Design Build; 

• The principles and practices of planning, design, and construction for water utility capital projects; 

• The complexity of the rate setting process on both the operations and finance sides; 

• Social, political, and environmental issues influencing and affecting the organizational climate, including employees and the surrounding community; 

• The principles and practices of working in a labor union environment with collective bargaining; and 

• An understanding of ISO standards and improvement process to support the organization’s ongoing efforts for improvements and compliance. 

The ideal candidate must be able to: 

• Evaluate, monitor, and lead service improvements designed to facilitate organizational unity and the effective and efficient delivery of services; 

• Initiate, develop, and implement goals, objectives, policies, procedures, work standards, and internal controls; 

• Balance conflicting objectives and policies; diplomatically identify, negotiate and administer effective resolutions; 

• Select, motivate, supervise, and constructively evaluate managers and staff; 

• Establish and maintain cooperative and effective working relationships with a variety of employee organizations, local, state, and federal legislative representatives, District staff and the general public; 

• Maintain and exhibit discretion and integrity when handling sensitive information; 

• Communicate effectively including strong written and oral communication skills; 

• Provide effective leadership in a diversely staffed organization, consistent with executive direction and agency principles and values; 

• Represent the District in the community including public speaking and engagements; 

• Collaborate on a regional level with other agencies and professional associations to deliver successful outcomes; and 

• Manage complex projects involving multi-teams and requiring coordination and collaboration with external agencies and high level executive managers. 

Finally, the selected candidate will be a confident leader and manager with strong interpersonal and staff relationships skills. Candidate must be a good listener and possess energy and enthusiasm. This person must be politically savvy, open to the ideas of others, flexible, able to think outside the “box,” create partnerships, build consensus, and bring harmony and cohesion to the various interests of the District. The selected candidate must be fair in dealing with issues and people and possess professional and personal integrity, high moral standards, and strong ethics. Candidate must also be flexible to adapt to the changing workforce environment and engage staff in developing skills and attributes for future leadership roles. Other attributes include the ability to command and earn respect throughout all levels of the organization and in the community, be a team player with a “can do” attitude, and facilitate and resolve a variety of complex issues and challenges. 


The salary for the Chief Operating Officer is $180,024.00–$256,526.40 annually; placement within this range will be dependent upon qualifications. The District also provides an excellent comprehensive benefits package including a defined benefit retirement plan; medical, dental, and vision insurance; paid time off; a flexible spending account; and an employee assistance program. It is the policy of the District that Unclassified employees are employed at the will of the CEO/Appointing Authority. 

Typical Qualifications: 

A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year college with major course work in business administration, public administration, public policy, or a closely related field is required. A Master’s degree is highly desirable. Minimum experience requirements include eight years of recent and increasingly responsible administrative or managerial experience in the public sector, water, or related industry. Experience managing multiple administrative functions is highly desirable. Must possess a valid California Driver’s license and maintain a satisfactory driving record. 

Selection Process: 


If you are interested in this outstanding opportunity, please visit www.bobmurrayassoc.com to apply online. Filing Deadline: March 17, 2017 

Following the closing date, resumes will be screened according to the qualifications outlined above. The most qualified candidates will be invited to personal interviews with Bob Murray and Associates. A select group of candidates will be asked to provide references once it is anticipated that they may be recommended as finalists. References will be contacted only following candidate approval. Finalist interviews will be held with the Santa Clara Valley Water District. Candidates will be advised of the status of the recruitment following selection of the Chief Operating Officer – Water Utility Enterprise. 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call Ms. Valerie Phillips at (916) 784-9080.