Water Leaders. Resilient Solutions.

WaterNow Alliance is a network of water utility leaders interested in jumpstarting sustainable water solutions in their communities. We focus on innovative strategies to accelerate adoption of reuse and efficiency technologies, green infrastructure, watershed health, stormwater recapture and groundwater management.

Our Mission

To achieve high impact, widespread adoption of sustainable water solutions in communities compatible with a healthy environment for the future.

Our Focus

Conflicts over water, and how and where to use it, are growing nationwide. The West is facing more frequent and severe drought, increased fire risk, less rain and snowpack, and more pressure on the natural systems that generate water supply. Transformation in our water use is inevitable, but we can achieve water security, affordability, and ecological integrity, by investing in and growing sustainable approaches, rather than falling into crisis-driven decision making.

WaterNow Alliance brings together water leaders from across the West with an interest in sustainability and resilience to provide a forum for exchange, access to resources, and a clear path to action. We work with businesses, community leaders, and water and finance experts to advance innovation, break down barriers, and catalyze change. View our Statement of Principles

 

 

To browse our current projects, visit Our Work.

To join WaterNow Alliance, visit Join the Leaders.

For updates, subscribe to our mailing list.

Alliance Staff

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Cynthia Koehler
Executive Director & Co-Founder

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Cynthia Koehler

Executive Director & Co-Founder

Cynthia is an environmental attorney and water policy expert with 20 years of experience working on federal and state water issues and legislation.  She was previously the Environmental Defense Fund’s Legislative Director for California water issues, and the Legal Director for Save San Francisco Bay.
  • Board Member, Marin Municipal Water District (serving 4th term)
  • Water Education Foundation Board; Sierra Nevada Research Institute Directors’ Council
  • Various awards for leadership on water issues, including the Hero of the Bay Award

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Audrey Finci
Director of Business Strategies & Co-Founder

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Audrey Finci

Director of Business Strategies & Co-Founder

Audrey is a seasoned business executive who has served both in senior leadership positions at several leading consumer product companies and as a management consultant specializing in strategy development, strategic organizational design, and organizational effectiveness.
  • Executive positions at Levi Strauss & Company, Gap, Inc., The Walt Disney Company
  • Management consultant to: Airbnb, Stella & Dot, John Hardy, American Eagle Outfitters, Hewlett-Packard
  • Various non-profit organization boards, including the Briarcliff Improvement Association (past president)

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Walt Wadlow
Director of Utility Relations

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Walt Wadlow

Director of Utility Relations

Drawing on over 30 years of water utility and California water policy experience, Walt assists in outreach to local, state, and federal government entities in support of the WaterNow Alliance and its projects.
  • Broad water utility engineering and management experience at the wholesale and retail levels
  • General Manager, Alameda County Water District; Assistant General Manager, Santa Clara Valley Water District; Board member, California Urban Water Agencies; Past president California State Water Contractors
  • Appointed to second term City of Santa Cruz Water Commission

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Tia Lebherz
Communications & Outreach Manager

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Tia Lebherz

Communications & Outreach Manager

Tia comes to WaterNow Alliance with a background in coalition building, facilitation and campaign strategy having previously worked on local, state and federal policy focused on sustainable food, water, and energy issues. She graduated with honors from the University of California, Santa Cruz.
  • Led successful local initiatives for safe food and clean water in Michigan and California
  • Managed statewide outreach to farmers, businesses and elected officials on a range of food and water policy issues
  • Completed Green Corps Field School, a highly competitive training program

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Lindsay Rogers
Program Associate

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Lindsay Rogers

Program Associate

Lindsay graduated with honors from Tufts University in 2015 with a BS in Environmental Studies and a core emphasis on Sustainability, Policy, and Equity. Lindsay has 2+ years of experience working in the non-profit sector in a development, client services, and operations capacity. She provides research, operational, and executive support at WaterNow Alliance.
  • Completed a semester-long Political Ecology academic program in Tanzania
  • Created a comprehensive GIS project modeling environmental injustices associated with future sea level projections in the Bay Area

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Arianna Van Meurs 
Operations Director

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Arianna Van Meurs 

Operations Director

Arianna is a skilled professional who has worked in the fields of economic forecasting, tax reform, investment banking, international development, and, more recently, non-profit management.
  • Co-founder Rosen Consulting Group, an economic and real estate forecasting consulting company
  • Investment banking associate at Salomon Brothers and consultant at World Bank on low-income housing loans in Tunisia, Korea, Mexico
  • Various non-profit boards and positions, including development director and strategic consultant

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Danielle McPherson 
Water Resource Specialist & Project Manager

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Danielle McPherson 

Water Resource Specialist & Project Manager

Danielle comes to WaterNow Alliance with 6+ years of program management experience in the wastewater industry. She graduated from the University of San Francisco with a Masters of Science in Environmental Management and a concentration in Water Resource Management.
  • Successfully designed, implemented and managed various programs with the overall goal of reducing sanitary sewer overflows
  • Wrote master's project on onsite wastewater treatment and reuse technologies including a complete feasibility study for using decentralized systems for non-potable uses at a community college in Marin County.

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David Gruen
Water Policy Advisor

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David Gruen

Water Policy Advisor

David Gruen comes to WaterNow Alliance with a background in hydrology, urban efficiency programs, and market-based mechanisms. David completed his Master's degree at the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara with a focus on water resources management.
  • Previously worked with WaterSmart Software, Trout Unlimited, and the Walton Family Foundation
  • Co-authored management plan for a streamflow mitigation bank in Montana to offset depletions from new groundwater wells in the Gallatin Valley
  • Traveled to Peru to assess social and environmental impacts from proposed hydroelectric dams on the Amazon River’s principal hydrologic source & promote viable alternative renewable energy sources

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Jesse Birsinger
Research Associate

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Jesse Birsinger

Research Associate

Jesse comes to WaterNow Alliance after graduating from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo with a B.S. in Agricultural Systems Management and a minor in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) with an Environmental Information Emphasis.
  • Designed a large-scale aquaponics system for a nonprofit in Sebastopol, CA
  • Developed GIS project to extend Google Maps street-view of various public grounds and hiking trails in the city of San Luis Obispo.

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Steering Committee

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Matt Appelbaum 
City Councilman, Boulder, CO

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Gerry Horak 
Mayor Pro Tem, Fort Collins, CO

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Michael Kasperzak 
City Councilman, Mountain View, CA

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Richard Sykes 
Director of Natural Resources, East Bay Municipal Utility District

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Cooper Martin 
Program Director, Sustainable Cities Institute, National League of Cities

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Audrey Finci 
Director of Business Strategies, WaterNow Alliance

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Cynthia Koehler 
Executive Director, WaterNow Alliance

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Tim Worley

Tim Worley 
Executive Director, American Water Works Association CA-NV Section

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Peter Ives 
Councilmember, City of Santa Fe, NM

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Wes Henderson 
Executive Director, Nevada League of Cities & Municipalities

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De’Sean Quinn 
Councilmember Tukwila, WA

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David Iwanski 
Executive Director, Arizona Water Association

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Advisory Council

Adam Davis | Partner, Ecosystem Investment Partners (EIP)
Adam is Director of Research, Policy & New Markets for EIP, a private equity firm that invests in conservation and restoration actions nationwide.  A longtime expert in Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) and sustainability policy, Adam also cofounded the Ecosystem Marketplace, a global information service about conservation incentives, and was President of Solano Partners, Inc., a consulting firm focused on conservation finance issues.
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Alan Viterbi | President/CEO, Liquid Environmental Solutions
Alan is co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Liquid Environmental Solutions, a comprehensive provider of non-hazardous liquid and organic waste collection, transportation, treatment and recycling services.  Alan was the Mayor of West Hollywood, California, and a member of the City Council from 1984 to 1988.  He has also served on various public agency boards, including as Chairman of Los Angeles County Sanitation District 4.
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Anne Zimmermann | Director for Watershed, Fish, Wildlife, Air, & Rare Plants, U.S. Forest Service (ret.)
Anne led the U.S. Forest Service’s efforts to revamp its approach to managing the nation’s critical watersheds for downstream water quality and water supply purposes.  A wildlife biologist by training, Anne spent 35 years with USFS in leadership roles from ranger to Forest Supervisor.   She spearheaded development of the Forest Condition Framework, which guides watershed restoration priorities.
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Brad Udall | Senior Water and Climate Research Scientist/Scholar, Colorado State University Colorado Water Institute
Brad’s expertise includes hydrology and related policy issues of the American West. He has researched water problems on all major Southwestern US rivers including the Rio Grande, Colorado, Sacramento-San Joaquin and Klamath, and has spent 6 months in Australia studying their recent water reforms.  He has provided congressional testimony, input to several National Academy of Science panels, and has given hundreds of talks on climate change impacts.  Brad was formerly the Director of the Getches-Wilkinson Center for Natural Resources, Energy and Environment at the University of Colorado Law School, Director of the CU-NOAA Western Water Assessment and a consulting engineer and principal with Hydrosphere Resource Consultants.
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Chris Frahm | Shareholder, Brownstein, Hyatt, Farber, Schreck, LLP
Chris is a preeminent California water attorney representing municipalities, utilities, private corporations, and associations on water supply and infrastructure development projects.  She served as the Chair of the San Diego County Water Authority Board, and on the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.  She serves on the Board of the California Foundation on the Economy and the Environment.
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Clifford Gerber | Partner, Sidley Austin LLP
Sidley Austin is one of the largest law firms in the world with 1,700 attorneys in 19 offices around the globe.  Clifford is a nationally recognized expert in tax-exempt financing and oversees Sidley’s Tax Practice with respect to state and local bond financings on the West Coast.  He has been recognized in the Best Lawyers in America in Public Finance and Municipal Law. Clifford is President-Elect of the National Association of Bond Lawyers.
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Dave Richins | Councilmember, City of Mesa, AZ (Former)
Elected to the Mesa City Council in June of 2008 and re-elected in August of 2012, Dave Richins served as the councilmember for District 1 and was a founding member of WaterNow Alliance. His final term on the Mesa City Council ended January 2017.
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David Aladjem | Partner, Downey Brand LLP
David regularly serves as counsel for agricultural and urban water users in complex multiparty water negotiations throughout California. David has served as Chair of the American Bar Association's Water Resources Committee, and Chair of the American Bar Association's Annual Water Law Conference. He is a recipient of ACWA’s 2009 Excellence in Water Leadership Award.
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David Sunding | Thomas J. Graff Professor, College of Natural Resources, UC Berkeley
David is a national expert in resource economics, regulation, technological change, applied econometrics, risk and public finance.  He is a co-director of UC Berkeley’s Water Center, and served as a senior economist on President Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisers. He has served on National Research Council panels, and testifies on environmental and resource issues, damages, valuation, cost allocation and resource planning.
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Jad Daley | Director Climate Conservation Program, Trust for Public Land
Jad coordinates TPL’s development of climate-smart cities through green infrastructure and strategic “resilient landscape” conservation targeted to climate change mitigation and adaptation.   He also leads the organization’s development of forest carbon projects for voluntary and compliance carbon markets, and serves on the public-private national council to guide the work of the federal Landscape Conservation Cooperatives.
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James H. Gibbs | Principal, Sperry Capital
James has over 35 years of experience in public finance and investment banking, and currently leads Sperry’s renewable energy projects initiative.  He was previously the California Regional Manager of Public Finance for Lehman Brothers, specializing in transactions for water and sewer utilities, general government and public power agencies.
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Jill Kauffman Johnson | Director of Sustainability, Solazyme
Jill leads Solazyme’s sustainability agenda.  She was previously a Principal and Managing Director with California Environmental Associates, a leading environmental consulting firm, where she founded the Sustainable Business Practice to help clients green supply chains, improve efficiency, and reduce costs. Prior to joining CEA, Jill was the Director of the Pacific Coast Office of the Ocean Conservancy.
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Johanna Wald | Senior Counselor, Natural Resources Defense Council (ret.)
Johanna is an icon in the environmental community and one of the nation's leading advocates for sustainable management of public lands.  Most recently, she led NRDC's effort to facilitate appropriate development of renewable energy project sites in the West.  The recipient of numerous awards and honors, Johanna also serves as a member of San Francisco's Commission on the Environment.
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Jonathan Parfey | Executive Director, Climate Resolve
Before founding Climate Resolve, Jonathan Parfrey served as a commissioner at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (2008-2013). Jonathan is also the immediate past-president of the Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters. He is a founder and Vice Chair of CicLAvia, the popular street event, as well as the founder of the Los Angeles Regional Collaborative for Climate Action and Sustainability, and the statewide Alliance of Regional Collaboratives for Climate Adaptation. He served as director of the GREEN LA Coalition (2007-2011), and as the Los Angeles director of Nobel Peace Prize-winning organization Physicians for Social Responsibility (1994 to 2007). Prior to that, Jonathan founded and directed the Orange County Catholic Worker (1987-1993). He was appointed to Governor Schwarzenegger’s Environmental Policy Team in 2003.
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Kathy Holian | County Commissioner, Santa Fe County, NM
Kathy was first elected as Santa Fe County Commissioner for District 4 in 2009. A County resident for the past 25 years, she was a Computational Physicist at Los Alamos Lab for many years and continues to serve there as a retired Guest Scientist.  Commissioner Holian serves on the Board of Finance in addition to other County committees.
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Kevin Powell | Green Proving Ground Program Manager, U.S. General Services Administration (GSA)
Kevin has worked on sustainable building issues for GSA since 2005 and was previously the Executive Director for the Center for the Built Environment at UC Berkeley.   An architect by training, Kevin manages a portfolio of over twenty green proving ground projects, focusing on innovative building technologies, tools, and practices.
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Mary Ann Dickinson | President/CEO, Alliance for Water Efficiency
Mary Ann is one of the nation’s preeminent leaders in water conservation and sustainability management.  She founded the Alliance for Water Efficiency in 2007 after a long career directing the California Urban Water Conservation Council and working with hundreds of water utilities on best management practices and water policy.  She is a fellow at the Water Resources Center at the University of California at Santa Cruz, and a Trustee and past Chair of the American Water Works Association National Water Conservation Division.
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Mitch Tobin | Owner, Sea to Snow Consulting
Mitch Tobin, owner of Sea to Snow Consulting, evaluates grant making for foundations and helps clients with their communications needs. From 1998 to 2006, Mitch covered water and other environmental issues for the Napa Valley Register, Tucson Citizen, Arizona Daily Star, and High Country News. As a consultant at California Environmental Associates, Mitch helped write the Design to Win report and served as communications officer at the ClimateWorks Foundation. From 2010 through 2014, Mitch led the evaluation of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation’s Western Conservation subprogram and created EcoWest.org to track environmental trends in the region.
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Phyllis Faber | Biologist and Educator
Phyllis is one of the nation's preeminent wetland field biologists for more than four decades. She was a co-editor of the University of California Press's California Natural History Guides, and a Fellow of the California Native Plant Society where she edited the Society's journal, Fremontia, for many years. Phyllis served as one of the first California Coastal Commissioners and a founder of the Marin Agricultural Land Trust (MALT) which has protected over 40% of the County's farmland through conservation easements.
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Randall Sosnick | President/CEO, NEXT Lighting Corp.
Randall is co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of NEXT Lighting Corp., a manufacturer of energy-efficient solid-state lighting products. He was formerly President of Silver Fox Development Corp., an international sustainable real-estate development company. Randall was also a co-founder of Amplitude Software Corp. and Digital Foundry Inc. and Director of European Legal and Business Affairs at NEXT Computer, Inc. Randall received degrees in law and business from UC Berkeley.
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Robert Wilkinson | Adjunct Professor, Water Policy, Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, UC Santa Barbara
Robert’s research and teaching is focused on water and energy policy, climate change, and issues of environmental policy. He serves on the public advisory committee for the California Water Plan,  has represented the University of California on the Governor's Task Force on Desalination. He has advised the California Energy Commission and U.S. EPA on climate research, and has served as coordinator for the climate impacts assessment of the California Region for the U.S. Global Change Research Program and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.
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Sam Mamet | Executive Director, Colorado Municipal League
Sam been with the Colorado League’s Executive Director since 1979 and served as its Executive Director for more than a decade.  He holds a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Colorado's Graduate School of Public Affairs.
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About the Trust for Conservation Innovation (T4CI)

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WaterNow Alliance is an operating division of the Trust for Conservation Innovation (T4CI). T4CI is a nationally recognized nonprofit that incubates and accelerates program capacity for local, regional, national and global initiatives that conserve and protect a sustainable and resilient world. T4CI's high-impact programs span several intersecting realms: climate and drought resilience, energy and urban infrastructure, efficient natural resource use and re-use, sustainable technology, and habitat and species preservation. Learn more

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Our Founders

WaterNow was founded in 2014 by Cynthia Koehler, Audrey Finci and Kathleen Moazed. Pooling their collective backgrounds in policy, business, law and government they envisioned a dynamic new model to catalyze change and implement solutions at the community level.

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Mailing list

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