Liz Mendelson-Goossens & Denise Vedder
May 11, 2021
San Diego County Water Authority
Liz Mendelson-Goossens & Denise Vedder

The San Diego County Water Authority sustains a $245 billion regional economy and the quality of life for 3.3 million residents through a multi-decade water supply diversification plan, major infrastructure investments, and forward-thinking policies that promote fiscal and environmental responsibility. A public agency created in 1944, the Water Authority delivers wholesale water supplies to 24 retail water providers, including cities, special districts, and a military base.

Liz Mendelson-Goossens, Principal Water Resources Specialist

Liz Mendelson-Goossens joined the Water Authority in 2012 and is a Principal Water Resources Specialist in the Water Authority’s MWD Program. The MWD Program supports the Water Authority’s Board officers and four MWD delegates in developing and implementing strategies to achieve the Water Authority’s supply reliability goals. Program staff works closely with other Water Authority departments, linking MWD programs and policies to the Water Authority’s management strategies and operations. The program also works closely with MWD board members and member agency managers to advocate for the Water Authority’s positions relative to MWD programs and activities. An avid runner, Liz enjoys exploring trails and routes around her home in Orange County in her free time. She was a member of the Solana Beach Eco Rotary Club prior to moving to Orange County. Before joining the Water Authority, she was the Program Manager for the Solana Center for Environmental Innovation, an environmental non-profit located in Encinitas. She also assisted on various research projects at Pitzer College and Virginia Tech’s Hampton Road Agricultural Research and Extension Center. She has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies, with a minor in Spanish, from Pitzer College and a master’s degree in Environmental Science and Management, from the University of California, Santa Barbara. 

Denise Vedder, Director of Public Affairs

Denise Vedder is responsible for developing and executing regional outreach and public affairs programs that inform and educate the San Diego region’s residents and businesses on critical water issues. She has primary responsibility for planning, organizing, directing, and implementing comprehensive public affairs, community education, and outreach and media relations programs and activities. Vedder directs and participates in facilitating and enhancing two-way communication between the Water Authority and its multiple stakeholders, providing expert professional assistance and guidance to Water Authority board members, executives, managers, and others on public affairs, media relations, and community outreach matters. Prior to her appointment as director in 2018, Vedder served as the department’s senior manager for 11 years, directing two award-winning drought outreach programs. Before joining the Water Authority, Vedder was appointed as the first Communications Manager for the city of Carlsbad, where was responsible for designing and implementing a strategic communications plan and building the city’s outreach program from the ground up. Vedder also served two district attorneys as a public affairs officer. Vedder has a BA in journalism and political science from San Diego State. 

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