Water System Administrators: Community and Program Info
A ‘Water System Administrator’ is a qualified specialist that provides Technical, Managerial, and/or Financial expertise to struggling water systems. Disadvantaged communities served by a failing water system on the Human Right to Water list are eligible for an Administrator Appointment funded by the State Water Board, through SAFER program funding.
Click to expand the sections regarding community participate below, or read through the FAQs for more details on the program.
Visit our Administrator Candidate page if you are currently appointed as an Administrator, approved as a potential Administrators, or interested in joining the Administrator pool.
How to Participate
Any ratepayer or person receiving water from the water system identified as needing an Administrator is part of the community and is invited to follow Administrator Appointment process and provide feedback to the State Water Board.
- All public meeting notifications will be posted in the documents table section of this webpage and submitted in writing to ratepayers and residents. Public meetings and other mailed notifications sent to the community are open to public input.
- The Office of Public Participation offers language services and additional community participation support.
- For more information on an Administrator Project in your community, call or email the assigned engineer in your region.
- If a community member believes the administrator has taken actions that are not in the best interest of the community, they can submit a complaint to the State Water Board at firstname.lastname@example.org or Petition the State Water Board to reconsider.
Subscribe to SAFER
Use this map directory to contact a SAFER engineer in your community.
There are two types of administrators:
- Full Scope. A full scope administrator is authorized to exercise total and complete managerial control over a designated water system. This includes: distributing water bills, legal responsibilities, operating the water system, hosting public meetings, and developing improvement projects.
- Limited Scope. This type of administrator does not have complete managerial or financial control over the water system. A limited scope administrator manages one or more of the specific areas listed above, for example an Administrator who manages only a grant-funded project.
- Community accountability. An administrator must act in the best interest of the water system and community it serves including ratepayers, renters, and property owners. Administrators will establish relationships through a Community Accountability and Engagement Plan that includes outreach, public meetings, and regular updates (at least every three months).
- Water system management. Each administrator develops and implements a plan to improve the water system’s capability to sustainably deliver adequate, affordable, and safe drinking water. The administrator trains the water system?? to develop their administrative and project management skills to maintain a sustainable governance model.
- Participate in the process. Community members play an important role in providing input to the administrator on safe drinking water efforts in their community. Community members can influence the administrator’s decision-making by attending meetings and providing input in the process.
- If a community member believes the administrator has taken actions that are not in the best interest of the community, they can submit a complaint to the State Water Board at email@example.com
1. System Notification
- The State Water Board will notify the water system they have been identified as consistently failing to provide an adequate supply of affordable, safe drinking water to a disadvantaged community.
- The system is given the opportunity to prove otherwise.
2. Public Notification
- The community is provided written notice of a public meeting to discuss the administrator appointment decision, at approximately 30 days before the public meeting.
- The potential administrator candidate will be disclosed in the public meeting notice, if already identified
3. Public Input & Meeting
- The State Water Board will review the administrator process with the community, including an overview of tasks, the qualifications of the administrator, and how they will be funded.
- The name of administrator candidate will be shared with the public by written notice when identified. The community will have the opportunity to provide comments on the proposed selected administrator.
4. Scoping & Funding
- The State Water Board will develop a plan for the water system including scope of work, budget, and funding for the administrator’s salary.
5. Administrator Appointment
- The Administrator Order appoints the selected Administrator to take managerial control of the water system.
- A Community Accountability & Engagement plan will be developed within 90 days of appointment.
- Administrators must hold public meetings to share updates at every 3 months.
- A Post-Administrator Service Plan will be provided within 12 months of appointment.
7. Appointment Concludes (Administrator Transition)
- The Administrator will transition managerial control of water system to a sustainable form of governance, with the Post-Administrator Drinking Water Service Plan in effect.