LOS ANGELES--()--John V. Foley was unanimously re-elected today as chairman of the board of directors of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.
“California is closer than it has ever been to taking bold and comprehensive action in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to protect public water supplies and restore the estuary. This is an effort Metropolitan fully supports and is working with state and federal agencies to accomplish”
Foley, who has represented the Municipal Water District of Orange County on Metropolitan’s board since August 1989, will begin a second two-year term as chairman Jan. 1. Foley previously presided as Metropolitan board chairman from December 1993 through 1998.
“It is an honor to help lead Metropolitan into the future as chairman for another term, particularly during this important and crucial point in its history,” Foley said.
“California is closer than it has ever been to taking bold and comprehensive action in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to protect public water supplies and restore the estuary. This is an effort Metropolitan fully supports and is working with state and federal agencies to accomplish,” he said.
“Our mission to provide safe and reliable water in an economically and environmentally responsible way remains unchanged even as we face an uncertain future. Metropolitan's collaborative regional approach to water planning, including strong support for local projects, has long benefitted our 26 member agencies that represent six counties and millions of Southern Californians, and will continue to in the years ahead,” he added.
Foley leads a 37-member governing board that oversees the major water importer and wholesaler for nearly 19 million people in a 5,200-square-mile service area.
Among the achievements realized during Foley’s latest term as chair, Metropolitan maintained reliable water deliveries as it continued to expand its water reserves. By the end of the year, Metropolitan is on track to have up to a record 2.6 million acre-feet of water stored in its network of groundwater storage programs and surface reservoirs as well as Central Valley water banking partnerships. (An acre-foot of water is nearly 326,000 gallons, about the amount of water used by two average families in a year.) This unprecedented storage reserve level significantly shields Southern California from future droughts.
As Metropolitan’s 17th chairman, Foley represents district policies and programs at national, state and local levels. He also presides over monthly public board meetings. In addition, he appoints chairs and members of the board’s seven standing committees, as well as any special committees or task forces.
Metropolitan imports water from the Colorado River and Northern California to supplement local supplies and provides financial incentives to help local agencies develop increased water conservation, recycling, storage and other water management programs. Metropolitan has an annual operating/capital budget of $1.78 billion, about 1,800 employees and more than 30 facilities throughout Southern California.
Foley retired as general manager of the Moulton Niguel Water District, serving all or part of five cities in south Orange County, in 2008. He previously served as general manager of the Aliso Water Management Agency, from 1976 to 1979.
A key figure in water and sanitation matters on local, regional and state levels, in 1986 he was appointed a member of the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board by then-Gov. George Deukmejian and chaired the board for two years. In February 1994, he was appointed by then-Gov. Pete Wilson to serve on the Bay/Delta Oversight Council.
A retired colonel in the U.S. Army, his last military assignment was district engineer in five southwestern states, from 1973 until his retirement in 1976. Earlier, he commanded a company during the Korean War and a battalion in Thailand during the Vietnam conflict. He also served in the office of the chief of staff and as chief of public affairs for the Army chief of engineers in Washington, D.C.
Foley earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, a master’s in civil engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a second master’s in mathematics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He also served as an assistant professor of mathematics at West Point. He is a graduate of the Army Command and General Staff College and the U.S. Naval War College.
Foley represents Metropolitan on the Colorado River Board of California and is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers. He is past president of the Los Angeles Chapter of the Society of American Military Engineers.
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is a cooperative of 26 cities and water agencies serving near 19 million people in six counties. The district imports water from the Colorado River and Northern California to supplement local supplies, and helps its members to develop increased water conservation, recycling, storage and other resource-management programs.
Note to editors: A digital photograph of John V. Foley is available upon request.