New director for California DWR in wake of Oroville report

11 January 2018

Karla Nemeth has been appointed the director of the California Department of Water Resources following the exit of previous director Grant Davis, shortly after the release of an independent report into the February 2017 Oroville dam spillway disaster.

Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr replaced Davis with Nemeth, who has served as Governor Brown’s deputy secretary and senior advisor for water policy at the California Natural Resources Agency since 2014.

Davis had only been in the role since Summer 2017. He was previously at the Sonoma County Water Agency, and is due to return to the agency to serve as general manager.

The independent report, released last week, said that no single root cause was found to be responsible for the failure of the auxiliary spillway – rather it said it was the result of ‘long-term systemic failure of the California Department of Water Resources (DWR), regulatory, and general industry practices to recognize and address inherent spillway design and construction weaknesses, poor bedrock quality, and deteriorated service spillway chute conditions.’



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