EL CENTRO -General Manager Kevin Kelley has announced the appointment of two long-term employees with extensive water experience to the positions of interim manager to oversee the department following the decision of department manager Ismael Gomez to step down.
Mike Pacheco, assistant manager for the Northend Division, and Tina Shields, Colorado River resources manager will serve as interim department managers. Pacheco will be in charge of operations and maintenance and Shields will be responsible for planning and water conservation management.
Between them, they represent a combined 56 years of water conveyance and conservation management experience at IID. Kelley said he sees their roles as distinct but complementary.
Shields has been overseeing IID’s Colorado River water supply entitlement with a focus on the implementation of water management policies and the coordination of various water conservation and transfer programs. She represents the district’s water interests at local, state and federal levels to protect its senior water rights. She is a registered civil engineer with 22 years of Water Department experience at IID and is a graduate of California State Polytechnic University, Pomona where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering.
Pacheco has served the district for 34 years, all in the Water Department including the last four as assistant manager. He began his career at IID as a zanjero and worked as water coordinator, assistant superintendent of operations, superintendent of operations for the Northend Division and assistant department manager.
Gomez will return to his previous position as chief engineer. He cited an increase in family obligations for his decision.