“Paul Cook brings a high level of creative leadership, institutional knowledge and industry expertise that will ensure our customers will continue to have a reliable and safe water supply at the lowest possible cost,” said IRWD Board President Steve LaMar. “We are confident that Paul Cook will continue the tradition of leadership that is the hallmark of the Irvine Ranch Water District.
“I am honored to be selected by the IRWD Board of Directors for the position of General Manager,” said Paul Cook. “IRWD is an outstanding agency that provides exemplary service to the communities we serve. I look forward to working with our excellent team of employees and visionary Board of Directors to further enhance the water resources, environmental stewardship, and customer service that our customers and others have come to expect from IRWD.”
Cook joined IRWD in 2004 as the Assistant General Manager and his responsibilities included the District’s operations, finance, engineering, water quality and administration. Prior to joining IRWD, Cook served as the Manager of Engineering for Central and West Basin Municipal Water Districts in Carson, California. There he was responsible for a $350 million, five-year capital improvements program that included one of the largest water recycling projects in the nation. Cook also served as the District Engineer for Los Alisos Water District in Lake Forest where he developed and implemented projects to improve the operating efficiency of the agency.
In the private sector, Cook held engineering and project management positions with BFI Constructors and Turner Construction Company. He was responsible for many projects ranging from high-rise office construction to various water treatment, storage, and conveyance projects. In 2000 he received the Young Engineer of the Year award from the Orange County Engineering Council.
A long-time resident of Irvine, Cook was elected to the Orange County Water District Board of Directors in 2002 to represent communities in Irvine, Tustin and Newport Beach. As a member of the Board of Directors, Cook was responsible for policies and decision making for the Orange County groundwater basin that supplies water to more than 2.3 million Orange County residents. He served on the OCWD Board through 2005, including a term as Vice President.
Cook received his Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from University of Pacific in Stockton, California. He went on to earn a Master of Science degree in civil engineering from California State University Long Beach and an MBA degree from University of California, Irvine. Cook is a Registered Professional Civil Engineer.