CMUA President's Message

For more than a century, California’s publicly-owned electric utilities and water agencies have reliably kept the lights on and the water flowing while also protecting the finances — and the health and safety — of millions of consumers. CMUA members are working hard to uphold these values, especially as we face this tumultuous time in history.

Now more than ever, it’s imperative that we join together through our participation in CMUA to carry forward our vision to be the leading voice for California utilities, enhancing our communities. We must continue to show the way forward. Together, we’re doing that in many ways.

First and foremost, CMUA and its member utilities are responding assertively to confront the impacts of COVID-19 on the customers we serve and upon our industry. We are working together to offer our customers new programs designed to reduce the impacts of the pandemic, while also making sure our valued employees have the protective equipment they need on the job. This ongoing public health crisis won’t diminish our commitment to provide safe and reliable water and power.  In addition to the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, many of our members have been having conversations with our employees as our industries continue to strive toward advancing racial equity and diversity within our workplaces.

CMUA members also are looking toward the future to effectively meet a wide array of long-term challenges, whether it be the increasing threat of severe wildfires and impacts upon water supply caused by climate change, the state’s transition to a reliable, carbon-free energy supply, or the recent focus on making clean drinking water readily available to all of California. These are a few of the many challenges ahead.

The future is ours to shape together. Change is the only constant in our industry, but it’s clear that California’s publicly owned utilities are up to the task. Our innovative solutions and best practices lead the world and show why California POUs and water agencies are adaptable, resilient, and strong.

By actively participating in CMUA, you help to ensure that our strong coalition endures. CMUA is our partner in supporting reliable, sustainable, and affordable services through member-led advocacy, education, and relationships. The association is our eyes and ears at the State Capitol — informing us about the latest legislative and regulatory developments. CMUA also keeps us informed about important happenings in our industry, and helps us build connections amongst ourselves by bringing us together for our Annual Conference, Capitol Day, and other in-person and virtual events.

I urge you to take advantage of the many services and benefits that CMUA provides and actively participate within our organization to maximize the value you receive.

It’s an honor to serve as CMUA President, and I look forward to working with all of you.

Chris Garner

CMUA Board of Governors President
General Manager, City of Long Beach Water Department