Veterans in Water: Chris Nelson, Public Information Officer

Career Stories, Veterans in Water

Chris Nelson, Public Information Officer
Tenure and certifications held:  20 Years with Carmichael Water District and 5 years prior with Arcade Water District.  Cross Connection Control Specialist, Distribution Operator Grade 3, Water Treatment Grade 2, Water Use Efficiency Practitioner Grade 2, Certified Landscape Irrigation Auditor
Name of agency:  Carmichael Water District
Branch and years of service:  United States Air Force, 6 Years

What is your role?

As the Public Information Officer for Carmichael Water District, it is my responsibility to plan, organize, and manage the public information, water efficiency, new construction, and regulatory programs for the District.

What / who inspired you to work in water?

I would have to say that my father played a prominent role in sparking my interest in the water field.  After leaving the Air Force, I was all set to join the county transportation department.  It was my father who suggested that I apply the skills I learned in the military to the water field. Soon after I started working as a distribution operator repairing leaks and maintaining the system.  As I gained more knowledge and higher certification, I started to take on more responsibility ultimately leading me to my current position.

What fuels your passion for your work?

My passion comes from problem solving.  The world of water is exciting and every day brings something new.  The constant challenges and rewards associated with overcoming hurdles, keeps me motivated.  Working in a team environment with my staff, watching them grow along the way, elevates my passion even further.

Chris Nelson (Right), Shelby Golden (Center), David John Flores (Left).

What is the biggest mis-perception about working in water?

One of the biggest mis-perceptions about the water industry is that a person’s career choices are limited.  The water industry employs professionals from a wide variety of backgrounds.  Scientists, equipment operators, and human resource professionals are just a few of the many vocations available in the water industry.

Why should veterans join this field?

The military instills a sense of pride, leadership, and strong work ethics among its members.  These are essential qualities for a successful career in the water field.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your work?

I absolutely enjoy interacting with our community.  Whether I am teaching a classroom of children about the water cycle, or discussing policy decisions with community leaders, it is the daily interaction with a diverse group of people that brings me the greatest satisfaction.

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