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December 06, 2022 5:19AM
December 06, 2022 5:19AM

customer care

Board of Directors

Steve LaMar

Steven LaMar

Steve LaMar (2018 - 2022)


Steve LaMar was appointed to the IRWD Board of Directors in February 2009 to fill a board vacancy and was subsequently elected to four-year terms in 2010, 2014 and 2018.

Previously, he served as board president in 2011, 2014, 2015, 2019 and 2020, and as vice president in 2013 and 2018.

He currently serves on the Finance & Personnel Committee, as well as various ad hoc representations and assignments. In 2020 and 2021, he served a two-year term as president of the Association of California Water Agencies.

LaMar is a water policy and planning expert with more than 25 years of experience on statewide business and industry committees. He has participated in many major water policy forums, and served on statewide task forces and advisory committees on drought planning, desalination, the California Bay-Delta, the California Water Plan and on water reliability and conservation issues. LaMar is president and owner of LegiSight, LLC, and has been a principal for Spinner LaMar Associates since 1993. He has served as a water policy leader with the California Building Industry Association for more than 20 years.

LaMar has extensive water policy service. He was a member of the California Water Plan 2009 Advisory Committee and a member of the Delta Vision Stakeholders Coordination Group. He was chair of the Economic Work Group for the 2006 California Landscape Task Force. He served as a member of the 2005 State Water Desalination Task Force and the 2000 Governor’s Advisory Drought Planning Panel, and was chair of the California Building Industry Association’s statewide Water Resources Subcommittee and Task Force.

LaMar was the recipient of the 2001 Ernest Hahn Achievement Award from the California Business Properties Association, and the Building Industry Association of Southern California’s Gary Anderson Memorial Award. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Pittsburg State University; and a professional certificate from the Environmental Management Institute, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency environmental training program administered by the University of Southern California. He is past president of the Alzheimer’s Association Orange County and is an avid hiker in regional parks.

A resident of Irvine since 1981, LaMar and his wife, Jeanne, live in Northwood. They have two grown children, Kelly and Jack.

email Steve LaMar


Karen McLaughlin

karen mclaughlin

Karen McLaughlin (2020 - 2024)

Vice President

Karen McLaughlin, Ph.D., was elected to the Irvine Ranch Water District Board of Directors in 2020, representing Division 4.

She currently serves on the Water Resources Policy & Communications, and Engineering & Operations committees, as well as various ad hoc representations and assignments.

McLaughlin is an environmental scientist with extensive experience in water research projects associated biogeochemical cycling and contaminant source tracking in coastal waters. She is a senior scientist with the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project, a public agency providing impartial science for water quality management, where she serves as the regional monitoring coordinator, facilitating implementation of the Southern California Bight Regional Marine Monitoring Program. Her research includes integrating and optimizing monitoring programs to characterize the vulnerability of coastal marine ecosystems to multiple human stressors, and developing appropriate tools to assess the health of Southern California waters. Her research also includes understanding factors and processes controlling nearshore ocean acidification and hypoxia, and understanding ecosystem response to human nutrient loading.

McLaughlin earned her Bachelor of Science degree in geosciences from Penn State University, with specialization in hydrology, her Ph.D. in geological and environmental sciences from Stanford University, and worked as a post-doctoral researcher at the University of California, Irvine.

McLaughlin is an active participant in scientific societies. She is a member of the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation, the American Geophysical Union, the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography, and the California Estuarine Research Society, in which she serves as membership coordinator and has served on planning committees for several conferences, including the National Monitoring Conference.

Her community activities include volunteering with the Cub Scouts and Scouts, BSA, and local environmental conservation activities.

McLaughlin lives in Woodbridge, with her husband Steven Allison and two children.

email Karen McLaughlin


Doug Reinhart

Douglas Reinhart

Doug Reinhart (2018 - 2022)

Doug Reinhart was appointed to the Irvine Ranch Water District Board of Directors in 2004 to fill a vacancy and was subsequently elected to four-year terms in 2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018.

Reinhart served as president in 2007, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2017, 2018, and 2021, and as vice president in 2006, 2016 and 2020. He serves on the Supply Reliability Programs, Serrano Water District/IRWD, and Engineering & Operations committees, as well as several other ad hoc representations and assignments.

Reinhart is a licensed civil engineer with more than 30 years of experience in the private sector, directing projects in water, wastewater and other infrastructure. Reinhart was president and part-owner of ASL Consulting Engineers before its acquisition by Tetra Tech in 1999. He served as the divisional executive vice president for Tetra Tech for the Western United States before starting an independent consulting business in 2004.

Reinhart is familiar with special district functions, having served as a director on the board of El Toro Water District from 1998 to 2000. During that time, he served as vice president of the board and was the special district representative to the Local Agency Formation Commission of Orange County.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy (now Missouri University of Science and Technology), and he is a licensed civil engineer in both California and Arizona.

Reinhart has broad water industry service. He has served on the board of trustees of the Southern California Water Committee, the American Water Works Association Desalination Committee and the Association of California Water Agencies Groundwater Committee. He is a past member of the board of directors for the national WateReuse Association. He is also a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the American Public Works Association.

email Doug Reinhart


Peer Swan

Peer Swan

Peer Swan (2018-2022)

Peer Swan was elected to the Board of Directors in 1979, and held the position of president from 1982 to 1995, and again in 2006. He served as vice president in 1980, 1981, 1998, 2002, 2003, 2009, 2010, 2014 and 2017. He serves on the Finance & Personnel and Supply Reliability Programs committees, as wells as several other ad hoc representations and assignments.

He is a member of the Water Advisory Committee of Orange County, where he is a past chairman; a former member of the Metropolitan Water District Board of Directors; a member and past president of the board of the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary; and a member of the Steering Committee of the Southern California Water Dialog Committee. He has been active in the Association of California Water Agencies, where he served on the board of directors and on the executive committee. Swan also has been active in the California Association of Sanitation Agencies, where he served as chairman of the Directors Committee.

He was the treasurer of the Pacific Scientific Company prior to its acquisition in early 1998 and a member of the board of directors of the Southern California Bank and its parent, SC Bancorp, until its acquisition in 1997. He also has served as a board member of the YMCA of Orange County and the Orange Coast College Foundation, where he was the founding treasurer of the board. He was also a founding director of the Board of the National Water Research Institute, where he was chairman for four years. He is a longtime member of the National Audubon Society and its local chapter, Sea & Sage.

Swan lives in Newport Coast with his wife, Nancy. They have two grown children, Ashley and Michael.

email Peer Swan

John Withers

John Withers

John Withers (2020 - 2024)

John Withers was appointed to the IRWD Board of Directors in 1989 to fill a board vacancy and has been elected to subsequent terms, including 2020 when he was elected to represent Division 1 under a new division-based election process.  He served as board president in 2004 and vice president in 2012 and 2021. He serves on the Water Resources Policy & Communications, and Engineering & Operations committees, as well as various ad hoc representations and assignments.

Withers is a partner with California Strategies, LLC, in Irvine, a statewide, strategic government-relations firm. In past positions, Withers has served as vice president of community development for Lewis Operating Corp. and as director of water resources for Psomas & Associates, a civil engineering and planning firm. He was also the director of governmental affairs for the Building Industry Association Orange County Chapter, and a legislative advocate for Crocker Bank and a major trade association in Sacramento.

Withers is chairman of the Orange County Sanitation District Board of Directors, where he has served since 2009. He is chairman and board member of the National Water Research Institute; a former chair and commissioner of the Local Agency Formation Commission, and former chair and member of the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board. 

A native Southern Californian, Withers earned his bachelor of arts degree in economics from UCLA with a specialization in urban studies. He was then selected as a CORO Foundation Fellow and earned a master’s degree in urban studies from Occidental College.

Community activities include membership in the UCLA Alumni Association, youth sports and Mariners Church.

A resident of Irvine since 1984, Withers lives in Northwood with his wife, Katie. They have three grown children, Carolyn, Gordon, and Peter.

email John Withers


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 About the Board

Irvine Ranch Water District is governed by a five-member publicly elected board of directors. These officials are responsible for district policy and decision-making on a large range of issues. Board members participate in bi-monthly board meetings and committee meetings where they evaluate and provide guidance on important water resource and reliability projects, including water recycling, water use efficiency programs, infrastructure projects and the water banking program. They have approval authority on critical district projects.

Irvine Ranch Water District and its board members believe it is essential to be connected and accessible to the communities they serve. Board members frequently attend community and industry meetings within the service area, which includes Irvine, Lake Forest, Newport Beach, Costa Mesa and Orange, as well as unincorporated areas of Orange County, such as Orange Park Acres and Santiago Canyon. IRWD board members actively participate in meetings at the Orange County Water District, the Municipal Water District of Orange County, the Orange County Sanitation District and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. Board members connect with the business community through the Orange County Business Industry Association and the Orange County Business Council. Board members also contribute regularly to water supply reliability discussions and policy efforts at the state and federal level to ensure that IRWD customers continue to enjoy a high level of service at the lowest possible cost – now and into the future.

Public elections are held every two years and directors serve four-year terms. For information on elections, please visit the Orange County Registrar of Voters or read about the election methods. Terms are staggered to ensure continuity.