Coming on board in our region, as reported by the Appeal Democrat.
Marysville native Ernest Conant recently stepped into a new position this week as the mid-Pacific regional director of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation where he will help manage one of the nation’s largest water projects, the Central Valley Project.
The Bureau of Reclamation is in charge of managing, developing and protecting water and related resources. It’s the largest wholesale water supplier in the United States and the nation’s second largest producer of hydroelectric power. Its facilities also provide flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits.
“Ernest has been at the forefront of California water for nearly four decades, advocating for water for both agriculture and municipalities,” said Bureau Commissioner Brenda Burman in a press release. “His experience with California water will serve our Mid-Pacific Region well as we continue to develop new, innovative strategies to meet the needs of water users.”
Conant has spent nearly 40 years working in water law. He most recently worked with Young Wooldridge, a firm in Bakersfield, where he was involved in negotiating major water agreements and has led water banking and other storage initiatives.
The Central Valley Project extends 400 miles and includes dams and reservoirs at Shasta, Trinity, Folsom, New Melones, Friant and San Luis. The project provides flood protection to the Central Valley and supplies domestic and industrial water, as well as water for fish and wildlife. It’s a system of dams and reservoirs that can hold nearly 12 million acre-feet of water.
Other projects he will be in charge of managing include Oregon’s Klamath Project; Nevada’s Newlands, Humboldt, Washoe and Truckee Storage projects; and California’s Cachuma, Orland, Santa Maria, Solano and Ventura River projects.
Conant was born in Marysville and is the brother of Sutter County Supervisor Mat Conant. His family has been farming in California for six generations. He received his bachelor’s degree from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and earned his Juris Doctorate from Pepperdine University.