LADWP Board honors water chief, retiring after three decades of service

The Los Angeles Board of Water and Power Commissioners honored longtime Water System veteran Jerry Gewe to mark his retirement after a 31-year career with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP). Gewe will officially step down on Feb. 1 as the LADWP's assistant general manager and chief operating officer-Water System. His actual last day of work is Dec. 10...

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 7, 2004 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- The Los Angeles Board of Water and Power Commissioners today honored longtime Water System veteran Jerry Gewe to mark his retirement after a 31-year career with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP). Gewe will officially step down on Feb. 1 as the LADWP's assistant general manager and chief operating officer-Water System. His actual last day of work is Dec. 10.

Board President Dominick Rubalcava praised Gewe for providing more than three decades of dedicated service to LADWP and the City of Los Angeles. "It is an honor and privilege to have served with you. We have greatly appreciated your encyclopedic knowledge of water policy, history and operations in the State of California. You have been a tremendous asset to this organization and you will be sorely missed."

Jim McDaniel, deputy assistant general manager-Water System, will serve as interim head of the Water System until a new chief operating officer is named.

Gewe assumed his current position as chief operating officer-Water System in April 1999. His responsibilities have included managing and overseeing water policy and operations for the LADWP's Water System, a vast network of more than 7,200 miles of pipe within the city and two aqueducts that bring water from the Eastern Sierra to Los Angeles. With an operating budget of about $867 million, the Water System consists of approximately 1,600 employees and is charged with providing a reliable supply of high-quality water to over 3.8 million residents of the City of Los Angeles.

"I have greatly appreciated the opportunity to serve the City of Los Angeles and ensuring our residents and businesses receive a secure and reliable supply of high-quality water," Gewe said, adding, "I feel confident that I am leaving the organization in good hands."

As chief of the Water System, Gewe has led LADWP's efforts to enhance water quality and operations through substantial investments in capital improvement projects and security improvements to ensure superior water quality and maintain a reliable supply of water for years to come. These projects include a multi-year program to remove corrosion in pipes by cement lining all those built prior to 1940, and another program to replace aging trunk lines. Another major accomplishment is the resolution reached after more than a decade of negotiations with homeowners regarding closure of open reservoirs to comply with more stringent water quality regulations.

Prior to being appointed to his current position, Gewe served as manager of water resources and planning, where for approximately 10 years he directed the LADWP's water supply planning, and was responsible for managing the City's water policy and rate-related issues. His responsibilities also included the evaluation of long-term water supply alternatives, the LADWP's water conservation and reclamation programs, and coordination with the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

Gewe began his career with the City of Los Angeles in 1967 as a civil engineering assistant in the Department of Public Works Bureau of Engineering. He promoted to the LADWP in 1973, where he held various positions in almost all areas of the organization, including distribution engineering, groundwater development, aqueduct operations, and distribution and construction engineering.

Gewe said he is looking forward to pursuing teaching opportunities. "I will be moving into academia to pass on the lessons learned in the water utility industry to students who will be the future leaders of our water system," he said.

In June 2002, Gewe was appointed by the Governor as the LADWP's member on the Colorado River Board. Other professional affiliations include the American Society of Civil Engineers and the American Water Works Association (AWWA). He also served as Chairman of the Water Service Line Fittings Committee, and a Trustee of the Resources Division of AWWA.

Gewe received a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona in 1967, and a Master of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Southern California in 1971. In addition, he is a registered Civil Engineer in California.

A native of California, Gewe was born in Pasadena, grew up in Glendale, and presently resides with his wife in Los Angeles.

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