Westlands Water District hires new Assistant General Manager

The district gains someone who has recent experience working on water issues for the federal government.

Westlands Water District announced Monday that Jeff Payne has been hired as Assistant General Manager. 

Payne comes to the nation’s largest agricultural water district with previous experience working in the Central Valley. 


The big picture: In his new role, Payne will primarily oversee Westlands’ legislative and regulatory affairs. 

  • He was most recently the Deputy Regional Director of the Bureau of Reclamation’s California Great-Basin Region. 
  • Before that, Payne worked at Friant Water Authority as the Director of Water Policy. 

What they’re saying: Westlands General Manager Allison Febbo said Payne has a unique background in both policy and water resources management that will make him an excellent fit with the district. 

  • “Jeff has been an effective advocate in collaborative forums on complex issues,” Febbo said. “I’m confident that his experience and approach will be of great service to Westlands’ efforts to manage water scarcity, address climate change, and promote accountability and effectiveness for regulatory constraints on our water supplies.” 
  • Payne added, “I’m thrilled to join the Westlands Water District team. Westlands has a rich history and plays an important role in California water policy and long-term planning. I look forward to being a part of its exciting future, advancing sustainable solutions and seeking a reliable water supply for the San Joaquin Valley.”
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