FREMONT -- As it grapples with supplying water amid the state's worst drought in decades, the water district soon will ask a new leader to help meet the challenge.
Robert Shaver has been named the new general manager of the Alameda County Water District.
Shaver, a district employee for 23 years, will replace Walt Wadlow, who will retire in December.
Shaver, the district's assistant general manager and head of engineering since 2010, received an annual salary of $245,000 last year. His total compensation was about $305,000.
Wadlow, the district's general manager since 2009, was paid a salary of $246,000 last year, district officials said. His total compensation was about $310,000.
Shaver will be the ninth general manager in the Fremont-based district's 100-year history.
Shaver's "comprehensive water utility experience, technical and financial expertise, and knowledge of the community will greatly contribute to his leadership of the district," Board President Paul Sethy said in a written statement.
Formed in 1914, the Alameda County Water District today serves 336,000 people in Fremont, Newark and Union City.
The agency's most pressing short-term issues are maintaining its water supply and managing its finances, which have been further challenged by the drought, Shaver said Friday.
"There are lots of challenges, but it's a great community," he said, "And I look forward to working with the board and the community as we meet these challenges head-on."
Shaver said he soon will meet with the district's board of directors to discuss solving those problems.
"Some strategies will involve partnerships with regional water utilities and investing in conservation," he said. "But it's too premature to say specifically that we'll do this or we'll do that."
Shaver, who holds a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from Virginia Tech, is a member of several public service and water industry organizations, including the American Society of Civil Engineers and Rotary International.
He lives with his wife and daughter in Fremont.
Contact Chris De Benedetti at 510-293-2480. Follow him at Twitter.com/cdebenedetti.