About Dirk

Dirk Marks is a native southern Californian. He graduated from California State University of Long Beach with a degree in Civil Engineering in 1979. He is a registered professional civil engineer in California.

He spent seven years in the private sector planning, designing, and overseeing the construction of potable water distribution systems along with other public works projects.

He joined the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California in 1987 where his work focused on the water and financial management of its State Water Project water supply contract. While there he also focused on the development of innovative water transfer and water banking programs.

In 2008, Dirk Marks moved to Santa Clarita to work for the Castaic Lake Water Agency as its Manager of Water Resources. In 2018, he became the Director of Water Resources at the newly formed Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency. During his time here in the Santa Clarita Valley he has:

  • Managed our State Water Project (SWP) and other imported supplies that make up over half of our water supplies in normal years. He worked with other State Water Contractors as co-chair of their Engineering, Operations and Maintenance Committee to assure reliable and cost-effective water supplies. He also served as Chair of the State Water Project Contractors Authority. He negotiated with DWR and other State Water Project Contractors a contract amendment that provides for flexible water management tools that enhance water supply reliability and he helped negotiate Agreement in Principle (AIPs) for our potential participation in the Delta Conveyance Project.

  • Lead development of critical dry-year water supplies that are currently providing over 30% of our drought water supply. Specifically, he negotiated the installation of extraction wells to assure delivery from our Rosedale Rio-Bravo Water Storage District water bank as well as participation in the Semitropic Water Storage District water banking program. While other areas in the state are experiencing water restrictions such as one day a week watering, Santa Clarita Valley residents are being asked to voluntarily reduce water use by 15% so as to extend access to these banked supplies should the drought continue.

  • Oversaw development in 2009 of our valley’s first comprehensive Water Use Efficiency Strategic Plan that mapped out conservation plans and initiated “cash for grass” programs for residents and businesses.

  • Coordinated the integration of imported and local supplies to maintain reliable water during the 2013-2016 drought.

  • Helped to develop a framework where wastewater from new development will be captured and treated to provide Recycled Water for irrigation purposes.

  • Guided preparation of the Valley’s Groundwater Sustainability Plan that preserves access to groundwater supplies while protecting sensitive groundwater-dependent ecosystems along the Santa Clara River

  • Directed the prepared its 2010, 2015, and 2020 Urban Water Management Plans which spell out how current and future water supplies will be available to achieve water supply reliability in the near and long-term.

He represents the Agency on the Reservoir Committee for the 1.5 Million Acre Foot (MAF) Sites Reservoir Project located north of Sacramento. He is working with the Antelope Valley East-Kern Water Agency to facilitate our possible participation in their High Desert Water Bank.

He is currently vice chair of the Safe Clean Water Program Santa Clara River Watershed Steering Committee.

To achieve a reliable, safe and affordable water supply for current and future customers, SCVWA will be faced with several challenges including:

  • Reduced local and imported water supplies due to climate change
  • Restoring groundwater supplies currently impacted by contamination
  • More stringent regulatory constraints on water supplies

Options exist to address and adapt to these challenges, including:

  • Water Conservation
  • Recycled Water
  • Local groundwater cleanup and dry-year supplies
  • Additional groundwater banking and surface reservoir storage

Updating the State Water Project infrastructure (i.e. needing to invest in future water supplies)

To continue to have resilient water supplies, the Santa Clarita Valley will need to thoroughly analyze potential investments in new programs and balance reliability, quality, costs, and the environment. Dirk Marks’ expertise uniquely qualifies him to contribute to sound policy decisions that will secure our water future.

Dirk and his Wife Cindy are long-term supporters of Santa Clarita Family Promise.

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