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Friday, December 14 , 2018, 9:17 pm | Fair 54º


Goleta Water District Board Selects Lauren Hanson as President, Rick Merrifield as Vice President

The Goleta Water District Board of Directors elected Lauren Hanson to serve as president and Rick Merrifield to serve as vice president in 2015 during its annual organizational meeting on Tuesday.

Voters first elected Hanson to the district board in the 2008 general election and she was appointed to a second term in 2012 when she ran unopposed.

“I am honored to be serving the district as president of the board during this period of extraordinary drought,” she said. “The critical water supply emergency we now face is one that must be managed through careful planning and diligent conservation. Working together with our customers, the district and the people of the Goleta Valley will get through this increasingly challenging time."

Hanson served her first term as vice president of the board from 2008 to 2009, and most recently from 2010 to the present. She also serves as chair of the Public Information Committee and represents the district as president of the Cachuma Operation & Maintenance Board and director on the Cachuma Conservation Release Board.

A longtime Goleta Valley resident, Hanson received a bachelor of arts degree in economics from Yale and an MBA from Harvard, and was a member of the Goleta Vision Committee.

Merrifield was appointed to the Board of Directors in 2011 to fill an opening on the board and reappointed in 2012 when he ran unopposed.

“I look forward to the opportunity to serve the district as vice president. It’s a privilege to continue my work with the Board in this new capacity,” he said.

Merrifield serves as the chair of the Water Management & Long Range Planning Committee and is a member of the Administration Committee. He represents the district to the Association of California Water Agencies / Joint Powers Insurance Authority and the Goleta Sanitary District. A GWD customer for over 20 years, Merrifield served the community at the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department for 34 years as a registered environmental health specialist, serving as director of the division for seven years.

Late this summer, the district declared a Stage II Water Shortage Emergency in response to the drought. Customers are responding to the need to be water-thrifty, and have reduced their consumption by more than 10 percent this year. As the drought continues to severely pressure water supplies, the district is offering customers several rebate and water savings incentive programs and an array of conservation tips online and at the district office.

The Goleta Water District provides water to a diverse population of approximately 87,000 in the Goleta Valley area, including residential, agricultural, commercial, industrial and institutional customers. The district’s water system includes over 270 miles of pipelines, a water treatment plant, storage reservoirs, pumping facilities, active wells, a recycled water system, and connections with Lake Cachuma and the State Water Project. Click here for more information.

— Dave Matson is assistant general manager of the Goleta Water District.


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