May 2, 2006
LONG-TIME KINGS COUNTY WATER LEADER GRAHAM NAMED
TO SUCCEED RETIRING HUGH JOHNS ON KRCD BOARD
Long-time Kings County and Central Valley water leader Brent Graham of Hanford has been appointed to the Kings River Conservation District Board of Directors.
Graham, General Manager of the Corcoran-based Tulare Lake Basin Water Storage District, succeeds Hugh V. Johns who retired in March after more than three decades of service to KRCD.
His appointment came Tuesday (May 2) during a special KRCD Board of Directors meeting. Graham will represent KRCD’s Division 5, which includes much of northern Kings County.
Graham is a 1964 graduate of Fresno State College. He began his career in the agricultural water supply business in January 1967 when he joined the Kings River Water Association—the agency that oversees the river’s water entitlements and diversions—as a hydrographer.
He joined the Tulare Lake Basin Water Storage District in June 1968 as Office Manager but quickly became responsible for details such as right-of-way acquisition, water accounting records and activities connected with the district’s initial receipt of State Water Project supplies.
Graham became General Manager in January 1969 and has since become one of the valley’s most active water industry participants. He chairs the Lower (Kings River) Board of Directors and Kings County Water Commission, and is the long-time secretary of the San Joaquin Valley Agricultural Water Committee. He is also secretary-treasurer of the Valley Ag Water Coalition as well as vice chair of both the California Farm Water Coalition State Project Water Contractors Authority. Graham heads the Tule River Improvement Joint Powers Authority.
With the Tulare Lake Basin Water Storage District, Graham oversaw development of a computerized assessment system and directs a $7 million annual budget. A few years ago, Graham was responsible for the design and construction of a new district office building. He helps administer water deliveries into the Tulare Lake bed region from the Kings, Kaweah and Tule rivers as well as the State Water Project.
Hugh Johns, who Graham succeeds, joined the KRCD Board of Directors in 1969. Johns farms along the Kings system’s Old River channel north of Hanford. During his tenure on the board, KRCD grew from a very small organization with limited responsibilities into a public agency that for years has effectively served agricultural, business, and community residents within 1.2 million acres in portions of Fresno, Kings and Tulare counties. KRCD has become a leading resource management agency, known for its efficiency and innovation, including the Jeff L. Taylor-Pine Flat Power Plant. The District in the last three years has developed its new 97-megawatt Malaga Peaking Plant and is further bolstering its involvement in adding to the valley’s electrical energy resources by laying the groundwork for a new power generation supply system known as Community Choice, along with development of a 500-megawatt base-load power plant.
KRCD is also a recognized leader in environmental resources studies and water management including flood control, on-farm water management, water quality efforts and groundwater management. Nearly all of those programs began during Johns’ board service.