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. The Board of Directors sets policy and represents the ratepayers. The Board of Directors generally meets the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at 8 a.m. at district offices. The public is encouraged to attend these meetings to learn more about the water district. The first meeting of the month typically is held at the Palm Desert office, and the second meeting of the month typically is held at the Coachella office. Exceptions to this schedule do occur. Meeting agendas are posted on-line three business days prior to a meeting and include the time and location. Anyone can subscribe to an e-mail distribution of upcoming board agendas.
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

G. 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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Director G. Patrick O’Dowd
Division Two
Anthony Bianco was elected to a four-year term on the board in 2016.
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Director Anthony Bianco
Division Three
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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Director John Powell Jr.
Division Four
Peter 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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Director Peter Nelson
Division Five
Board Vice President Cástulo R. Estrada was elected to a four-year term on the board in 2014. He is an Assistant Engineer with the City of Coachella, working toward obtaining his Professional Engineer's (PE) license. The native of the Eastern Coachella Valley, a graduate of Coachella Valley High School, has a civil engineering degree from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. He is certified by the state Department of Health as a Water Treatment Operator Grade T2 and Water Distribution Operator Grade D2. 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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Director Cástulo R. Estrada
  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.