DC Water hires first water quality chief


DC Water has announced that Matthew Ries, PhD, P.E., will become its first chief of water quality and watershed management and will help oversee efforts to restore and renew the Anacostia River. He starts in November.

Ries will bring a focused approach to continue restoring and improving urban watersheds – like the Anacostia River – by taking a more high-tech approach to watershed management in data collection and analytics. DC Water has significant investments in green and gray infrastructure to improve the water quality of the receiving streams. Ries will assure a comprehensive approach to water quality beyond the successful completion of the DC Clean Rivers Project. His efforts will also help DC Water continue to not only provide affordable and reliable water and wastewater treatment, but also to be one of the most sustainable and environmentally-focused water authorities in the country.

“Matt understands the role DC Water plays in our city as a steward of the river and everything that means to people,” said George Hawkins, DC Water’s CEO and General Manager. “DC Water is gaining a well-known national expert to help us chart a course for the future of the Anacostia and other watersheds.”

The new position coincides with a renewed focused on the Anacostia River, including a resolution marking 2018 as “The Year of the Anacostia” – a broad-based initiative aimed at celebrating the 100-year anniversary of the Anacostia Park declaration. In addition, next year DC Water will transition many functions from Blue Plains in far Southeast to a new building under construction near the Navy Yard that’s more accessible to District residents.

Previously, Ries worked for 12 years as Chief Technical Officer at the Water Environment Federation, a global, not-for-profit technical and educational organization. There his work included outreach within the water industry on issues of innovation, resilience, stormwater, sustainability and nutrient management.

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