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Home / DWP

George McGraw joins LADWP board of commissioners

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power Tuesday formally welcomed George McGraw, a leading expert on water and sanitation, as the newest member of its board of commissioners.

Mayor Karen Bass appointed McGraw and the City Council on June 20 confirmed him as a member of the board. He joined Board President Cynthia McClain-Hill and board members Mia Lehrer, Nicole Neeman Brady and Nurit Katz for his first meeting Tuesday morning.

“George McGraw is internationally known for his water policy expertise and experience working on issues related to climate change, equity and environmental justice, and ensuring that water is affordable and accessible for all people regardless of income, race or ethnicity,” McClain-Hill said in a statement.

“My fellow commissioners and I are excited to have Mr. McGraw join us on the board.”

McGraw took over the seat previously held by Cynthia Ruiz, the first Native American to serve on the DWP board of commissioners. Bass removed Ruiz from the panel in what was described as part of common “transitions at the beginning of a mayoral administration,” the Los Angeles Times reported.

McGraw, a longtime Angeleno, brings more than 12 years of expertise in water access, infrastructure and public policy, according to a statement from DWP.

He also served as the founder and CEO of DigDeep, a human rights nonprofit working to ensure that every person in the U.S. has equitable access to clean, running water and sanitation services at home.

During his tenure as CEO of DigDeep, McGraw also led research efforts to better understand water access challenges in the country. In 2019, he co-authored the “Closing the Water Access Gap in the United State,” the first national report to quantify water access challenges and establish a roadmap for solving the issue.

In 2022, he was the lead author of the follow-up report “Draining: The Economic Impact of America’s Hidden Water Crisis,” which calculated that allowing millions of people to live without a tap or toilet costs the U.S. economy $8.58 billion every year.

“I am honored by this appointment, and excited to put my passion and expertise to work in service of the city I love,” McGraw said in a statement. “I’ve dedicated my career to helping families across the US gain access to the taps and toilets that so many of us take for granted. Now I’m being given the chance to bring that same, relentless focus on solving the challenges facing my friends and neighbors.”

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