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OWD elects new board president

At its January meeting, the Otay Water District board of directors elected new officers to lead the District’s board for 2024.

The board elected director Jose Lopez, who represents division four, as president. The board also elected board member Ryan Keyes, serving division two, as vice president, and Mark Robak, serving division five, as treasurer.

“I am honored and humbled by the trust that my fellow water board members place in me by electing me as president. Serving our customers in this role is a responsibility I take seriously,” said Lopez in a statement. “As we embark on this journey together, my focus will be on fostering collaboration, transparency, and sustainable water management practices. Our community’s access to high quality and reliable water is of utmost importance, and I am committed to working diligently to ensure the continued well-being of our residents. I look forward to building upon the solid foundation laid by my predecessors and collaborating with our dedicated board and staff to address the opportunities and challenges ahead.”

Lopez’s election as president follows one year of board leadership under past president Mark Robak. Lopez will serve as president through January 2025 when officer elections will again take place. He has served most recently on the District’s board since December 2020. He also served on the Otay board from 2001 to 2016. In 2023, Lopez served as vice president of the board. Last year, he also served on the District’s engineering, operations, water resources, desalination project, and ad hoc legal services committees. He also represents the District at various local organizations and taskforces including the OWD and Sweetwater Authority Task Force to develop recycled water opportunities, Water Conservation Garden Authority, and South County Economic Development Council. Lopez also previously held the position of treasurer in 2004, 2021, and 2022. Also, during his tenure on the Otay board from 2001 to 2016, he served as president of the board in 2002, 2005, and 2012 to 2015. He also served as vice president from 2006 to 2010, and 2016.

Lopez retired as an Assistant Fire Marshal from the San Diego Fire Department in 2011. He also served on the San Diego County Water Authority board from 2002 to 2003. He has an Associate of Science in Fire Science/Fire Suppression from San Diego Miramar College and attended the University of California, San Diego.

In addition, Lopez has served as a member of the South Bay Forum since 1998, City of Chula Vista Safety Commission from 1999 to 2008, and Board of Appeals and Advisors Commission from 2009 to 2014.

Lopez currently lives in Chula Vista, California, with his wife Bertha, and enjoys spending time with his grandkids. Lopez enjoys traveling and has traveled to 45 countries so far.

The Otay Water District is a public agency providing water, recycled water, and sewer service to more than 240,000 customers within approximately 125 square miles of southeastern San Diego County, including the communities of eastern Chula Vista, Bonita, Jamul, Spring Valley, Rancho San Diego, unincorporated areas of El Cajon and La Mesa, and eastern Otay Mesa along the international border with Mexico.

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