Meet Our Board

Celeste Cantú

Celeste Cantú

General Manager, Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority

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Celeste Cantú, General Manager, for the Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority (SAWPA) has been working on the crest-to-coast, corner-to- corner Integrated Regional Watershed Management Plan called, One Water One Watershed (OWOW) that addresses all water-related issues, joins all entities and hundreds of stakeholders seeking to create a new vision of resiliency for the Santa Ana River Watershed.  

SAWPA owns the Inland Empire Brine Line, an utility that collects salt from the upper watershed groundwater to improve water quality in the Santa Ana River and the lower watershed. The Brine Line supports over 4,000 commercial and industrial jobs in power plants, manufacturing to food preparation. The desaltors produce 50 million gallons a day of drinking water for the Inland Empire.

Celeste served as the Executive Director for the California State Water Resources Control Board, which is responsible for water rights and water quality for the State.  

Before that, Celeste served as the USDA Rural Development State Director for California.

Celeste was born and raised in Calexico where she served as Planning Director and later as Executive Director for the Imperial Valley Housing Authority.  Celeste has a BA from Yale in Urban Planning and Policy and a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.  She lives in Temecula with her husband, Dr. Barry Stampfl, an English Professor at SDSU, Imperial Valley Campus. They have two adult sons.

Susana De Anda

Susana De Anda

Co-Executive/Co-Founder, Community Water Center

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Susana De Anda founded Community Water Center (CWC) with co-director Laurel Firestone in 2006, a non-profit environmental justice organization located in Visalia, California. The CWC helps disadvantage communities gain access to safe, clean and affordable drinking water.Laurel and Susana worked together at the Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment, where Susana served as a community organizer.

In 2010, she and Laurel were co-awarded the Carla Bard Advocacy Award from the Public Officials for Water and Environmental Reform (POWER), awarded to one water advocate in California each year. In 2009, Susana was chosen as one of four Petra Fellows nationwide, unsung heroes making contributions to the rights and dignity of others. In 2005, she was awarded the Rising Tortuga Award from Latino Issues Forum in 2005 for her willingness to “stick her neck out” for California’s Latino community and also recognized as one of the twenty-one top young women leaders in the country by the Third Wave Foundation.

Susana sits on the Northern California Grassroots Exchange Fund Community Advisory Board of the Rose Foundation and the Coordinating Council of the Southwest Network for Environmental and Economic Justice.

Susana earned a B.A. degree from the University of California at Santa Barbara in Environmental Studies and Geography. After completing her undergraduate work, she worked as the pollution prevention coordinator for the Community Environmental Council, a Santa Barbara non-profit organization. Susana also worked as the Spanish spokesperson for “Project Clean Water” with the Santa Barbara County Water Agency.

Tony Estremera

Tony Estremera

Director, Santa Clara Valley Water District

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 Tony began his tenure on the Santa Clara Valley Water District board in 1996, when he was appointed to fill out Pat Ferraro’s term after the District 2 representative resigned.

The following year, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors appointed him to represent the North County. In 2001 and 2007 he served as the Board’s chairperson.

Tony has extensive government experience in both appointed and elected positions serving on the Santa Clara County Grand Jury, Santa Clara County Housing Task Force, Valley Medical Center Advisory Board, Santa Clara County Personnel Board, San Jose Municipal Stadium Task Force, (San Jose) Mayor’s Committee on Minority Affairs and the San Jose/Evergreen Community College District Board of Trustees.

Tony is Directing Attorney for the Legal Aid Society of Santa Clara County, and earned his Bachelor’s degree from Santa Clara University and a law degree from UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law. He is an active member of the State Bar of California and the Santa Clara County Bar Association.

Correspondence to the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board Members may be sent via e-mail to: board@valleywater.org.

Ronald Gastelum

Ronald Gastelum

Former General Manager, Metropolitan Water District

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Ronald R. Gastelum’s professional career began in 1971 following his graduation from UCLA Law School. His legal career has focused on environmental, municipal, and corporate law, with a particular emphasis on water, waste management, and energy. His expertise can best be described as essential public services and public infrastructure, including a detailed understanding of the associated administrative and legislative processes, finance, strategic planning, and public policy development.

Mr. Gastelum served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. In that capacity, Mr. Gastelum was responsible for managing the operations of one of the largest wholesale water suppliers in the world with an annual budget of over $1 billion, serving the 18 million residents of urban Southern California. Metropolitan is a regional public agency. It has 26 member public agencies with diverse local water supply capabilities and strategic interests. Mr. Gastelum was notably successful in leading the agency to further diversify the region’s water supply sources with the development of new large water transfer, groundwater banking. reclaimed water, and conservation programs, This was during a period of extended drought conditions, a statewide energy crisis, and a major reduction in Southern California’s Colorado River water rights, set in motion by an adverse court decision in the 1960s (Arizona v. California), During his tenure as CEO, the agency accomplished a major restructuring of its management, adopted a new Strategic Plan with unprecedented public participation, updated its long term resources plan, completed a $2 billion dollar new reservoir, advanced a stalled major pipeline project under the San Bernardino Mountains, adopted a long term capital improvement and finance plan, and completed a major overhaul of its rate structure.

Since retiring from Metropolitan in December 2004, Mr. Gastelum has served in an interim capacity as the Executive Vice President of the L.A. Area Chamber of Commerce and as the Interim Executive Director of the Southern California Water Committee. He is a Principal in Water Conservation Partners, a water supply company, and advises various public and private entities on water supply and related energy strategies.

Victor Griego

Victor Griego

President, Diverse Strategies for Organizing Inc

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Mr. Griego along with other leaders across California created Water Education for Latino Leaders (WELL). The mission of WELL is to ensure that Latino decision makers – both at the local and state level – have a comprehensive understanding of water policy which will be crucial to their being both participants and leaders in crafting sustainable and successful long-term solutions with benefits to all Californians.

Currently, Mr. Griego produces the only Latino owned and focused political newsletter mailed to 1.5 million voters during every California election cycle. It is the largest newsletter targeted to Latinos that provides news and information about candidates, propositions, and the issues affecting various political issues.

Mr. Griego is also the producer of LA Alliance, a television program that provides an accurate representation of the relationship between Latinos and African Americans in Southern California; the show provides a forum for positive and constructive dialogue on common issues and concerns.

In addition, Mr. Griego served as staff director for the Hotel and Restaurant Employees Union. Over the past 30 years he has advised many California Labor Unions on community and political issues. Currently, he chairs the Miguel Contreras Community and Business Council. Miguel Contreras led the Los Angeles County AFL-CIO Federation of Labor from 1996 until his death in 2005. Contreras transformed California electoral politics during that time. The foundation continues his work.

The East Los Angeles community of Boyle Heights is where Mr. Griego grew up, and he is currently a resident of South Pasadena. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Whittier College and a Master of Arts in political science from Claremont Graduate University. He is married to Lily Griego and they have two children and two grandchildren and resides in South Pasadena, CA.

Mr. Griego serves the following organizations:

  • California State African-American Museum – Member, Board of Commissioners
  • Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center – Member, Board of Directors
  • Pasadena Chamber of Commerce – Treasurer, Board of Directors
  • Banc of California – Member, Advisory Board
  • Los Angeles Latino Chamber of Commerce/Latin Business Association – Member
  • Climate Resolve – Member, Board of Directors
  • MoveLA – Member, Board of Directors
  • Mr. Griego formally served the following organizations:

  • Whittier College – Member, Board of Trustees
  • Cesar Chavez Service Club – President, Board of Directors
  • Coalition for Clean Air – Treasurer, Board of Directors
  • Coro – Member, Board of Directors
  • South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) Air Quality Institute – Member
  • Miguel A. Luna

    Miguel A. Luna

    Principal, Dake Luna Consultants

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    Miguel A. Luna is sought after and respected locally, regionally, and statewide for his expertise in working with diverse communities on social justice issues and advocacy, and for his ability to utilize community reconnaissance in order to develop and implement effective outreach tools and mechanisms for grass-roots coalition building and consensus. He specializes in cultivating relationships with and between community-based organizations, businesses, elected officials, environmental organizations, academia, governmental agencies, and individual stakeholders at the grass-roots level.

     Mr. Luna is a Principal at DakeLuna Consultants, a community-based firm working on local and regional conservation and watershed issues using culture and design as tools for creating sustainable places. As one of the firm’s principals, Mr. Luna plays a key role in its strategic development and implementation. He is also the firm’s Public Relations representative and designs engagement strategies for the firm’s projects.

    In 2006, Mr. Luna founded Urban Semillas to educate underserved communities about social and environmental justice issues. Urban Semillas provides community members with community-building skills and empowers them to participate in local and citywide planning and policy. The organization has developed a myriad of successful community engagement programs for youth and adults, carried out over 100 trainings throughout the region, and has lead numerous research projects.

    Mr. Luna matured his environmental knowledge while working at Heal the Bay in early 2003 where he held positions as Coastal Cleanup Day Coordinator and as Stream Restoration Specialist. He later served as the Tujunga Watershed Coordinator while at The River Project. There he established and fostered relationships with stakeholders in the Tujunga watershed. He developed and carried out outreach strategies that encompassed watershed management, river advocacy, environmental justice, smart-growth, sustainability, and policy.

    Nancy Sutley

    Nancy Sutley

    Chief Sustainability and Economic Development Office, LA Dept. of Water and Power

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    Nancy Sutley is the Chief Sustainability and Economic Development Officer at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.  She joined LADWP in July 2014. 

    Previously she served as Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality from January 2009 to February 2014. Under Sutley, the Council on Environmental Quality played a central role in shepherding the Obama Administration’s signature environmental accomplishments. Sutley was one of the chief architects of President Obama’s June 2013 Climate Action Plan to reduce carbon pollution, prepare the U.S for the impacts of climate change, and lead international efforts to address climate change.

    Prior to her appointment as Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality, Sutley was the Deputy Mayor for Energy and Environment for the City of Los Angeles, California under Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. She represented Los Angeles on the Board of Directors for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. She served on the California State Water Resources Control Board from 2003- 2005. Sutley also was Energy Advisor for California Governor Gray Davis, and Deputy Secretary for policy and intergovernmental relations at the California EPA from 1999-2003. During the administration of President Clinton, Sutley worked for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a Senior Policy Advisor to the Regional Administrator in San Francisco and Special Assistant to the Administrator in Washington, D.C.

    Sutley received her bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and her Master of Public Policy from Harvard University. Sutley resides in Los Angeles, CA.

    Peter Silva

    Peter Silva

    Former Assistant Administrator, Water, U.S. EPA

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    Peter Silva is President of Silva-Silva International (SSI), a consulting firm specializing in water resources management and regulatory issues. SSI also specializes in water issues related to the U.S.-Mexico border. With 34 years of experience in the local, city, regional, state, federal and international levels of the public sector, Mr. Silva brings a wealth of experience to assist both public and private sector clients in need of professional expertise in managing existing water resources or developing new sources. Additionally, Mr. Silva can provide technical and policy advice on a myriad of regulatory issues related to operating a public or private sector enterprise.

    Before establishing the firm of SSI, Mr. Silva was Assistant Administrator for Water at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Washington DC. Having been appointed by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Mr. Silva worked with EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson on major national water issues. Prior to EPA, Mr. Silva was a Senior Policy Advisor for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, where he worked with the GM and Board on issues related to the lower Colorado River, including binational issues with Mexico.

    Prior to MWD, Mr. Silva spent six years as vice-chair of the California Water Resources Control Board, having been appointed by Governors Gray Davis and Arnold Schwarzenegger. There he led Board efforts on water rights and water quality issues such as storm water permits, power plant regulations and watershed planning. While at the SWRCB, Mr. Silva also focused on the U.S.-Mexico border issues, SRF funding, tribal affairs and environmental justice.

    Mr. Silva’s experience also includes extensive binational experience. In 1995, he was appointed by President Clinton to the Board of the Border Environment Cooperation Commission (BECC). From May, 1997 to May, 2000 he served as the Assistant GM for the BECC, which is based in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. The BECC, created as part of the NAFTA Agreement, provides technical assistance and funding to U.S. and Mexican border communities for building water and wastewater infrastructure. As part of his international experience, Mr. Silva was also in charge of the San Diego office of the International Boundary and Water Commission for four years.

    Mr. Silva’s broad experience also includes the planning, design and operation of water and wastewater systems. While with the City’s Clean Water Program, he was on the management team for the billion dollar planning and design effort of 100 mgd secondary and tertiary wastewater plants. On the operations side, he ran the City of San Diego’s water treatment plants (300 mgd) for five years.

    With his broad technical and policy experience, Mr. Silva brings a unique set of skills and knowledge that provides a high level of expertise to SSI clients. He can use his broad base of contacts at the local, state, federal and international level to tailor the appropriate solution to water resources or water quality issues.

    Miriam Torres

    Miriam Torres

    Founder, Alcanza

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    Miriam Torres the founder of Alcanza, a planning practice with a mission to develop sustainable projects that promote resilient, healthy and vibrant communities. Alcanza aims to serve low-income communities in South and South East Los Angeles.

    Miriam was formerly the Southern California Program Director for The Environmental Justice Coalition for Water. She has worked on local campaigns and statewide policy to address water quality concerns in low-income communities of color.

    Miriam is a member of the City of Los Angeles Green Building Retrofit and Workforce Program Advisory Council.She holds a Bachelor’s of Science from the College of Natural Resources at the University of California, Berkeley. Miriam is a master’s candidate in Urban and Regional Planning at the University of California, Los Angeles.