Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority (SAWPA) Remembers Alternate Commissioner Kelly Rowe

November 29, 2023

(Riverside, CA – November 29, 2023) – The Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority (SAWPA) is deeply saddened by the unexpected passing of Kelly Rowe, SAWPA’s Alternate Commissioner representing Orange County Water District (OCWD). Mr. Rowe played a vital role in supporting SAWPA’s efforts in the Santa Ana Watershed.

With a 40-year tenure as a licensed groundwater hydrologist, Commissioner Rowe accrued immense expertise. He was appointed as the Secretary-Treasurer of the SAWPA Commission and OWOW Steering Committee in February 2020. In March 2021, he was appointed to the SAWPA Commission to further advance SAWPA’s initiatives. This included increasing water supply, protecting water quality, implementing habitat restoration projects, and addressing the diverse needs of stakeholders in the watershed.

Mr. Rowe’s support for SAWPA’s Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) initiative exemplifies his dedication to advancing innovative approaches for water capture and conservation. He championed progressive methods, such as weather modification technology. An example of outgrowth of his commitment is SAWPA’s 4-year Santa Ana River Weather Modification Pilot Program, currently underway in the watershed.

Outside of work, Kelly Rowe was a Disney enthusiast and enjoyed playing frisbee golf. He was a longtime resident of Costa Mesa and is survived by his wife, Suzanne.

Kelly’s sudden departure is an immense loss to SAWPA and the Santa Ana River Watershed community. His dedication and commitment to the Santa Ana Watershed will be remembered and cherished by all who had the privilege of working alongside him.

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