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San Diego County’s Long-Time Water Chief Retires

Maureen Stapleton speaking at the opening of the Carlsbad desalination plant ...

Photo by Katie Schoolov

Above: Maureen Stapleton speaking at the opening of the Carlsbad desalination plant in Dec. 2015.

The San Diego County Water Authority's General Manager notified the region's water board on Wednesday that she is retiring.

Maureen Stapleton has held the top job at the agency for more than two decades.

She led the Water Authority through the complicated settlement negotiations surrounding the Colorado River. That deal cleared the way for a huge water transfer with the Imperial Valley that provides a significant chunk of local drinking water.

Stapleton also encouraged projects like the Carlsbad Desalination plant as a way to diversify the region's water supply.

However, her tenure was also marked by a bitter public feud with the Los Angeles-based Metropolitan Water District over the cost of water. And she was investigated for harassing one of her own board members last year.

Sandy Kerl will step in as acting general manager while a search for a replacement is conducted.

The San Diego County Water Authority general manager decides to retire after more than two decades in charge of the region's water supplier.

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