Randy A. Record, under whose leadership the region's primary water import agency has navigated supply and resource challenges during the state's ongoing historic drought, was reelected today as chairman of the board of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.
Record, a San Jacinto Valley native who has represented Riverside County's Eastern Municipal Water District on Metropolitan's Board of Directors since January 2003, will begin his second two-year term as chairman of the 38-member governing board on Jan. 1.
"These have been incredibly challenging times for Californians and water agencies," Record said. "I'm grateful for the support of my board and proud of the leadership we have provided during my first term to ensure we prudently manage through the current drought, promote conservation, and stewardship, invest in infrastructure and look to the future."
During his first term, the district confronted unmatched drought conditions after the state recorded the hottest year on record in 2014 and the driest year ever recorded in 2013. In response, for the fourth time in the district's history, Metropolitan restricted wholesale deliveries to its 26 member public agencies to help save water and stretch available supplies, while also establishing the nation's largest turf removal and water conservation program. Along with local water-saving rebate programs, the total regional investment surpassed half a billion dollars.
"The bottom line is we are trying to carefully manage our way through this drought by taking the right steps at the right times," Record said. "What has stood out to me has been the resiliency and water-saving resolve of the region's residents and businesses."
"They've once again stepped up to meet the conservation call and lower demands during this drought. That's been instrumental in allowing us to roll back mandatory water restrictions that were instituted last summer," he said. "But they've also made permanent changes to the way they use water, demonstrating that using water wisely and efficiently is a way of life here in Southern California and not something that merely happens during dry times."
In addition to managing drought during his first term, Record led the board through the process of updating Southern California's long-term water resource plan, outlining ways to maintain supply reliability for the next 25 years. The updated plan identifies investments that will protect the region from potential shortages, including the need for development of new local supplies through water recycling.
"One example is the partnership we're exploring with the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts to construct the nation's largest water recycling facility. We are currently conducting a feasibility analysis and will soon decide whether to move forward with a demonstration project," Record said.
Along with local investments, Record noted the need to shore up the reliability of the region's imported supplies. He pointed to the planning effort by state and federal agencies, known as California WaterFix, which would modernize the state water delivery system in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta in Northern California by safely capturing reliable supplies, while avoiding conflicts with fish species that have led to pumping reductions.
"We need a state water system worthy of the 6th largest economy in the world," he said. "The system needs to be modernized to take better advantage of water when it's available. Under the existing system, our Southland's state project supplies will never be reliable."
Record is the 18th chairman in Metropolitan's 87-year history. As the head of the agency's board, Record represents district policies and programs at national, state and local levels. He also presides over monthly meetings of the board and its executive committee. In addition, he appoints all members of the district's seven standing committees, as well as the leaders of any special committees or task forces.
A cooperative of 26 member public agencies, Metropolitan provides about half the water used in the district's 5,200-square-mile service area, covering most of urbanized Southern California from Ventura County in the north to San Diego County in the south with a population of 19 million people.
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.
Headquartered adjacent to Union Station in downtown Los Angeles, Metropolitan has an annual operating/capital budget of $1.65 billion, about 1,750 employees and more than 30 facilities throughout Southern California.
Elected to EMWD's board of directors in January 2001, representing the cities of Hemet and San Jacinto, Record served as Eastern's board president from 2003 to 2005. He is a member and founding chair of the Riverside County Water Task Force and has served on the Center for Water Education's board.
Active for more than 39 years as an owner and partner in agricultural enterprises, Record owns a wine grape vineyard in San Miguel with his wife and two daughters. He also is a partner with the McCleish Group, a land development company in San Jacinto, and a board member of the Bank of Hemet.
Record is the second member of his family to serve on Metropolitan's board. His father, Clayton A. Record, Jr., served as EMWD's representative to Metropolitan's board from June 1999 to January 2001. The viewpoint at Metropolitan's Diamond Valley Lake near Hemet is named in honor of the elder Record, who passed away in February 2001 after decades of civic service in Riverside County as an elected official and community leader.
Record earned a bachelor's degree in agricultural management from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. In addition to his daughters, Record and his wife, Anne, also have three grandchildren.
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is a state-established cooperative of 26 cities and water agencies serving nearly 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 Chairman Randy Record is available upon request.
Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
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