Eva Plajzer, a 30-year civil engineering and management professional, has been appointed Director of Operations and Maintenance for the San Diego County Water Authority. She fills the position vacated by the retirement of Jim Fisher, whose 32-year career included nearly 10 years in a leadership role at the Water Authority.
The Water Authority is a regional wholesale water agency that provides about 80% of the water used in San Diego County, sustaining a $253 billion economy and quality of life for 3.3 million residents. The agency’s Operations and Maintenance Department is responsible for operating the aqueduct system; ensuring facility security and emergency preparedness; and maintaining and managing the fleet and various other assets. The department controls water deliveries to meet member agency demands; manages dam and reservoir operations; ensures water quality; oversees water treatment plant and power generation operations; maintains all vehicles and heavy equipment; and implements the Aqueduct Protection Program, among other functions.
Plajzer’s 30-year career spans private and public sectors where she took leadership roles in developing water resources and utility infrastructure for water, wastewater, and stormwater utilities. Since 2016, Plajzer has served as assistant general manager at the Rancho California Water District in Riverside County. She led the Engineering and Operations Departments of Rancho California Water District with operating, non-operating, and capital budgets of more than $170 million.
Before working at Rancho California Water District, Plajzer was the assistant director of engineering at Moulton Niguel Water District in Laguna Hills for nearly six years, where she led the engineering functions for that district. Plajzer also served in technical capacities at the City of Carlsbad and County of Orange. In addition to her water utility experience, Plajzer was a consultant for a multi-national engineering firm for more than 13 years serving numerous utilities in California and engaging with various state and federal stakeholders.
Some of her accomplishments include:
- Optimization of energy costs via an eight-megawatt solar project, on-site batteries, and continuous assessment of utility rates in addition to advocacy at the California Public Utilities Commission and the California Energy Commission for rate structures and programs that are beneficial to water and wastewater utilities.
- Advocacy at California Air Resources Board and California Energy Commission for fleet electrification rules that meet water utility needs.
- Extensive recycled water experience starting in 1995 with the Southern California Comprehensive Water Reclamation and Reuse Study for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, which included all the water and wastewater agencies in San Diego County and continued through master plans and implementation strategies at numerous water utilities.
- Development and implementation of asset management programs for water and sewer utilities resulting in substantial rehabilitation and replacement of infrastructure including a $37 million wastewater treatment plant rehabilitation, $3.5 million pump station rehabilitation, and $3.5 million well head treatment installation.
“Eva is known for building and leading successful teams through staff development, collaboration, respect, understanding, expectations, and accountability,” said Water Authority General Manager Sandra L. Kerl. “We’re delighted that her decades of experience and dedication will benefit the San Diego region, as we continue to bolster our water infrastructure to ensure the safe, reliable and affordable supplies of our most precious resource.”
Plajzer holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of California at Irvine, a Master of Science in Engineering from the University of California at Davis, and a Master of Public Administration from San Diego State University. She is a registered professional engineer in California and Virginia and possesses a Water Distribution Operator D2 and Treatment Operator T2. She is active with many professional associations including the WaterReuse Association where she served as Treasurer in 2004/2005; American Water Works Association; Association of California Water Agencies; and California Association of Sanitation Agencies.