SACRAMENTO — State Water Resources Control Board Chairman W. Don Maughan, who had come under fire from agricultural interests for his stand on water issues, was reappointed to his post Tuesday by Gov. George Deukmejian.
Maughan aroused the anger of farmers and water importers last fall when his agency released a draft plan that called for limiting the amount of water shipped to Southern California to 1985 levels and for imposing a strict program of water conservation.
The board backed away from the controversial plan in January and agreed to draft a new proposal to improve water quality in the San Joaquin-Sacramento River Delta and San Francisco Bay.
Maughan acknowledged in an interview Tuesday that the board's decision to revise the plan softened the opposition and probably made it easier for the governor to reappoint him.
"I would guess anybody seated in an office like that (governor) likes to see the people he appoints take positions that are not opposed from all angles," he said.
Maughan, a veteran of 40 years in various state and federal water agencies, said he met with Deukmejian recently to discuss the water plan and the water board's future.
"He gave me quite a bit of time to explain the whole situation," Maughan said. "He had received a number of positions of opposition toward me."
Although Maughan's term officially ended in January, Deukmejian had until today to reappoint the chairman to another four-year term or name a successor.
The governor also reappointed board member Eliseo M. Samaniego on Tuesday. Both Maughan and Samaniego are Republicans.
This is the fourth time Maughan, 66, has been named to serve on the water board. He initially served under Govs. Ronald Reagan and Edmund G. Brown Jr.