California and Hawaii American Water name Richard Svindland as new president

By on February 27, 2017
California and Hawaii American Water name Richard Svindland as new president

Svindland to oversee the completion of the Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project

Effective March 1, Richard Svindland will assume the position as president of California and Hawaii American Water, replacing Robert MacLean, who has served as president of California American Water since 2009. MacLean has been appointed as senior vice president of American Water’s Eastern Division, which is comprised of New Jersey, New York, Virginia and Maryland. MacLean also will serve as president of New Jersey American Water.

A graduate of from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Svindland earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and later earned a master’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Kentucky.

Svindland has more than 25 years of experience in the water and wastewater fields, most recently serving as California American Water’s vice president of operations. He previously led Engineering at California American Water, where he managed all of the company’s capital projects to ensure timely and cost-efficient delivery. He has developed capital planning strategies and provided an operational review of existing infrastructure to ensure California American Water’s systems met both the current and future water needs.

Svindland has also worked extensively in American Water’s southeast region on various projects and was named 2003 Civil Engineer of the Year in Industry by the Kentucky section of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Walter Lynch, chief operating officer at American Water, recently said of the promotions of Svindland and MacLean, “We are so pleased to promote both Rob and Rich. It is well-deserved. I know Rich will take over where Rob left off, ensuring our customers in California and Hawaii receive the best service possible, while continuing to focus on the successful completion of the Monterey Peninsula water supply project. His deep utility experience makes him well-suited for this new role.”

The Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project (MPWSP) is designed to solve the water supply crisis in the Peninsula region, which encompasses the cities of Monterey, Carmel, Pacific Grove and unincorporated areas of Monterey County. The $277 million project encompasses the construction of a desalination plant, expansion of existing aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) system and upgrades to a groundwater replenishment (GWR) system. The plant is scheduled to become operational in early 2019.

Water from the Carmel River is the primary source of water to the Peninsula region. Due to the possible threat to various water species caused by the excessive use of water from the river, the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) has ordered a significant reduction to the water supply from the river.

The order, along with other supply restrictions in the county, has resulted in the 70% cutback of the water supply to the region, which necessitated an alternative source of water to meet the community’s water needs. In 2011, after examining 11 potential solutions, California American Water finally filed an application with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) for the MPWS project. It includes $51 million for subsurface intake and return facilities, $131 million for pipeline facilities and $95 million for the construction of a desalination plant. The project includes a 9.6- million-gallons-per-day (MGD) desalination facility, the aquifer storage and recovery system and a brine discharge system.