DWR Announces New Deputy Director 



Kristopher A. Tjernell, Deputy Director of the Integrated Watershed Management Program

SACRAMENTO The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) today announced the appointment of Kristopher A. Tjernell as Deputy Director of the Integrated Watershed Management Program.


In this newly created executive position, Tjernell will be responsible for advancing policies and programs that integrate and provide multiple benefits including flood management, local water supply and ecosystem restoration elements. Tjernell will oversee the Division of Integrated Regional Water Management, the Division of Statewide Integrated Water Management, the Climate Change Office and DWR’s EcoRestore Program.

“Kris brings a broad and reputable water policy background to his new assignment. He has been instrumental in achieving measurable success for the California Water Action Plan, California EcoRestore and habitat restoration across the state,” said DWR Director Karla Nemeth. “I’m thrilled to have Kris join DWR’s executive branch – he’ll be a great addition to the team.”

In January, DWR created two executive-level programs from the Integrated Water Management Program. Eric Koch was announced Deputy Director of Flood Management and Dam Safety. Koch also served as Acting Deputy Director for the remaining divisions under the Integrated Water Management umbrella. With today’s announcement, Tjernell assumes responsibility for those divisions.

In 2014, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. appointed Tjernell to the position of Special Assistant for Water Policy at the California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA). Prior to his appointment with CNRA, Tjernell was a policy consultant at the Conservation Strategy Group where he specialized in integrated water management, Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta restoration and governance, ESA/CESA issues, land conservation, water supply, ecosystem conflict resolution and public finance. 

Tjernell graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. 




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Erin Mellon, Assistant Director, Department of Water Resources, Public Affairs

(916) 704-5529  erin.mellon@water.ca.gov