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Posted on: August 1, 2019

Director Wilson Served the District for 19 Years


As we celebrate Director Charley Wilson’s career and service, it is clear that he is regarded as a dynamic leader not only on the Santa Margarita Water District Board of Directors but throughout the water industry.  During his nearly two decades of service, he has helped shape water policy throughout the State of California.

Director Wilson was appointed to the Santa Margarita Board on April 21, 2000. During his tenure, he served as the Board President three times and chaired the District’s Finance and Administration Committee.  Director Wilson also served on the Water Quality and Innovations and the External Affairs Ad Hoc Committees. In addition, from 2012 to 2019, he served on the Orange County Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO), and the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA). In civilian life, he enjoyed 25 years in the electric utility industry and is now the President and CEO of the Southern California Water Coalition in addition to work in his own consultancy.  

During Director Wilson’s tenure, the District developed a strategic plan to help ensure water reliability for the region. He was instrumental in many national award-winning projects such as the Lake Mission Advanced Treated Water Facility, California’s first swimming recycled water lake; the District’s fourth urban return basin, Gobernadora Multi-Purpose Basin, which allows the District to collect and reuse more than 500 million gallons of urban return flows a year; and, most recently, the construction of Orange County’s largest recycled water reservoir, Trampas Canyon, to be completed in 2020.

 “Charley is a “big picture” thinker and a great and collaborative colleague,” said Board President Saundra Jacobs. “Our Board and staff will miss him. We all owe him a debt gratitude for his leadership and service.”

While Director Wilson has resigned from his seat on the Board of Directors of the Santa Margarita Water District effective August 1, 2019, he will continue to serve the water community through his work with the Southern California Water Coalition and other water industry associations. 

Santa Margarita Water Board of Directors will appoint a qualified leader to fill the seat through the remainder of Director Wilson’s term which ends in November 2020.

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