Bureau of Reclamation selects new deputy regional director for California area

The shakeup of California’s federally managed water agency continues.

The Bureau of Reclamation has named a new Deputy Director for the California-Great Basin Region. 

Wednesday’s announcement comes just one week after Karl Stock was named as the new regional director, replacing Ernest Conant, who is becoming a senior advisor to the deputy commissioner for operations. 


The big picture: Reclamation, which operates the Central Valley Project, announced that Adam Nickels has been selected as the new Principal Deputy Regional Director. 

  • Nickels will serve as a senior advisor to Stock, as well as deputy regional directors. 
  • He will advise on water storage projects, resources issues, compliance, operations and  maintenance on aging infrastructure, project management and planning. 
  • Previously, Nickels served as the Regional Resources and Planning Division Manager, where he managed water rights, water-related contracts, lands resources, facility inspections, planning, water conservation, WaterSMART, Native American affairs and water transfers. 
  • Nickels started as an archaeologist with Reclamation in 2003 at the Montana Area Office in Billings, Montana. He moved to California in 2006 and has served as a project manager and Deputy Program Manager for Water Management in the San Joaquin River Restoration Program. 

What they’re saying: “Adam’s selection for this senior leader position for the California-Great Basin reflects his proven leadership in advancing our region’s priorities,” Conant said in a statement. “Adam’s technical knowledge and seasoned relationship-building skills will shepherd the large, complex water supply, storage, safety of dam, and environmental projects that our region is currently undergoing and planning.”

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