I’m Jared Lewis, Manager of Environmental Planning and Natural Resources at San Jose Water. In this role, I direct environmental management, stewardship, wildfire resiliency, and water resource programs and policy. I also manage watershed and asset planning, resource protection, risk mitigation, and oversee long-range planning initiatives for land use, conservation, and ecosystem restoration.

Jared in nature looking up at culverts

The best part of my job is that I get to work with great colleagues. There is so much to learn and share with one another. I’m so proud of the work we do and of San Jose Water’s long history of serving the community for more than 150 years. There is a lot of innovation going on in the water utility industry and it’s exciting to be part of it. I recently hosted a webinar on SJW’s Environmental Management and Stewardship programs, and highlighted some of the company’s key initiatives to enhance natural resource and ecological outcomes for the pristine watersheds in the Santa Cruz Mountains and beyond. As a public utility, SJW is deeply committed to protection and sustainable management of water and natural resources.

My career started out as an environmental consultant. Five years into my career, I moved into the public sector and worked for the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Prior to San Jose Water, I worked for Applied Technology & Science (A-T-S), an engineering consulting firm in San Francisco. My work focused on regulatory compliance and natural resource management with a strong focus on stewardship and conservation. I have been at San Jose Water for over two years.

For young professionals looking to get into the water industry, an internship is a great way to get your feet wet in utilities. There are a lot of different ways to work for a water utility that aren't necessarily related to water. For example, we have a huge IT division. Other departments include natural resources, infrastructure, customer service, and more. There's a lot of opportunities for different skill sets to become involved.

The Bay Area has been home to my family for generations. I am a sixth-generation Bay Area native. I grew up in Palo Alto and Santa Cruz.  and have lived in San Francisco for the past 15 years. Many San Jose Water employees have long ties to the Bay Area, and are all dedicated to doing our part to conserve water and preserve our natural resources. My personal water conservation habits include limiting shower time and by having drought-tolerant native plants.

When I’m not working, you can find me hiking around San Bruno Mountain or doing urban hikes in San Francisco.