Board of Directors

Coachella Valley Water District (CVWD) is a special district established by the state legislature and certified by state officials on Jan. 16, 1918. CVWD is governed by a five-member Board of Directors, each of whom is elected to four-year terms by district voters, as required by the Riverside County Registrar of Voters. Each director lives in and represents one of five directorial divisions in the district, and is elected by voters who also reside in that division.

District policies are regulated by several state and federal agencies, including the State Water Resources Control Board, California Department of Public Health and the California and United States Environmental Protection Agencies. Because the district is a government agency and not a private company, it is not regulated by the Public Utilities Commission.

Directorial Divisions

2014 District Boundary
  1. In an effort to protect public health and prevent the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), the public may view this board meeting online as there will be no public location for attending in person. The meeting will be streamed live on the District’s website at

    Members of the public, who wish to comment on any item within the jurisdiction of the District or on any item on the agenda, may submit comments by emailing the clerk of the board, Sylvia Bermudez at before the start of the meeting. You may also contact Ms. Bermudez at (760) 398-2651, extension 2217. Comments will become part of the board meeting record.

    Assistance for those with disabilities: If you have a disability and need accommodation to participate in the meeting, please call the Clerk of the Board office at (760) 398-2651, at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting to ensure availability of the requested service of accommodation. You may also contact the Clerk of the Board in writing at the Coachella Valley Water District, Post Office Box 1058, Coachella, CA 92236.

    En un esfuerzo por proteger la salud pública y prevenir la propagación de COVID-19 (Coronavirus), y en cumplimiento con el decreto de ley N-29-20 dictado por el Gobernador, la junta directiva podrá ser vista en línea ya que no habrá un lugar público donde puedan asistir en persona. La junta se transmitirá en vivo por el sitio web del Distrito en

    Los miembros del público que deseen comentar de algún asunto dentro de la jurisdicción del Distrito, o en cualquiera de los asuntos en la agenda, puede enviar sus comentarios por medio de correo electrónico a Sylvia Bermúdez, Secretaria de la Junta Directiva, o comuníquese con la Secretario de la Junta Directiva al (760) 398-2651, extensión 2217, antes del inicio de la junta. Los comentarios formaran parte del acta de la sesión.

    Asistencia para personas con discapacidad: Si usted tiene una discapacidad y necesita asistencia para ser partícipe de la junta, por favor de contactar a la Secretaria de la Junta Directiva al (760) 398-2651 extensión 2217, por lo mínimo con 24 horas de anticipo de la junta para asegurar la disponibilidad del servicio o asistencia que requiere. También puede contactar a la oficina de la secretaria de la junta directiva por escrito al siguiente domicilio Coachella Valley Water District, Post Office Box 1058, Coachella, CA 92236.

Board Agendas

Meeting agendas are posted online 3 business days prior to a meeting and include the time and location.

Board of Directors

Division One
Director G. Patrick O’DowdG. Patrick O’Dowd was elected to a four-year term on the board in 2014. Originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, Patrick earned a bachelor’s degree in Construction from Louisiana State University, and has an extensive background in business and finance, real estate development and media. After moving to the Coachella Valley in 1996, he worked locally in real estate development and sales, as well as senior management positions with several operating enterprises including publishing, fitness and faith-based institutions. Patrick has also served on numerous boards including the Indio Water Authority and the Indio Planning Commission. He leverages his depth of experience to provide strategic advisory services to a broad client base, and is a licensed California real estate agent. Patrick and his wife Kathy O’Dowd, an eighth grade teacher at Palm Desert Charter Middle School, are residents of Rancho Mirage, and have two college-aged children.

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Division Two
Director Anthony BiancoAnthony Bianco was elected to a four-year term on the board in 2016.  

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Division Three
Director John Powell Jr.Board President John Powell Jr. first served on the board through an appointed term from 1998 to 2000. He was elected to four-year terms in 2010 and 2014. John is president and chief executive officer of Peter Rabbit Farms, his family’s Coachella-based business, which he joined following graduation from Stanford University. John is a trustee representing California on the governing board of the Colorado River Water Users Association and is a former director and past chairman of the Western Growers Association. His community service includes involvement as Chair of the Board of the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Coachella Valley. The lifelong Coachella Valley resident and his wife Klysta live in Indian Wells and have two children.

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Division Four
Director Peter NelsonPeter Nelson has been a member of the Coachella Valley Water District Board of Directors since 2000. Six of those years were as President, and four as Vice President of the Board. He served on the Salton Sea Authority from 2000 to 2014. Peter currently serves on the Colorado River Board, and the California Farm Water Coalition. He also served on the California Desert Grape Administrative Committee, a federal marketing order, from 2008-2012, and for six years with the Coachella Valley Resource Conservation District. In addition, Peter served on the Lower Colorado River Multi-Species Habitat Conservation Farm Advisory Group. He is a graduate of California State University, Fresno with a degree in Agricultural Business. Peter participates in groups ranging from the Association of California Water Agencies to the Colorado River Water Users Association. He has represented the District to a wide variety of state, federal, locally-elected and water industry officials. Peter is a grower of citrus, grapes and dates in the Coachella Valley, and has been involved in growing activities in the Palo Verde and Imperial valleys and Borrego Springs. Originally from the Bakersfield-Fresno area, he is now a 26-year resident of the Coachella Valley. Peter and his wife Darlene live in La Quinta, have 3 sons and 2 grandchildren.

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Division Five
Director Cástulo R. EstradaBoard Vice President Cástulo R. Estrada was elected to a four-year term on the board in 2014 and re-elected in 2018. He is the Utilities Manager at the City of Coachella. He is a native of the Eastern Coachella Valley, a graduate of Coachella Valley High School, and has a civil engineering degree from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. Cástulo is certified by the state Department of Health as a Water Treatment Operator Grade T2 and Water Distribution Operator Grade D2. He has also served on the Salton Sea Authority Board of Directors since 2014 and also currently serves as a member of the State Water Resources Control Board's SAFER Program Advisory Group. Cástulo is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, San Bernardino and Riverside Counties Branch, Newsletter Editor for the Younger Member Forum, and a member of the California Water Environment Association, Colorado River Basin Section, which honored him in 2014 with its Outstanding Young Professional award.

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  1. Below is an overview of Board of Director benefits:

    Board Directors receive up to $223 per meeting attended with a maximum of 10 meetings per month and one meeting per day.
    Form 806, Agency Reporting of Public Official Appointments

    Medical Coverage for Directors and their families: Directors have the choice of a PPO or two HMO plans. Premiums are partially paid by the District. If the Director chooses not to enroll in the medical coverage, they are eligible to receive reimbursement for medical expenses up to $450 per month when covered by a non-District plan.

    Directors who had served a minimum of 12 years, prior to January 2013, are eligible to receive Medicare Medigap insurance coverage for themselves and their spouses upon reaching Medicare eligibility. This benefit was eliminated in January 2013. No other Medical coverage is offered to Directors or their families upon leaving office, unless eligible for COBRA benefits.

    Dental Plan and Vision Plan: Both dental and vision coverage are provided for District Directors and their dependents. Premiums are partially paid by the District. No dental or vision benefits are offered after leaving office.

    Public Employees Retirement System (PERS): Directors of the Coachella Valley Water District do not participate in PERS.