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Water Resources Staff


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Name Role Phone Responsibilities
John Ricker Water Resources Division Director (831) 454-2750

Manages the Water Resources sections of Environmental Health Services. Coordinates water resource management activities among the other county departments and works closely with other local, state, and federal water supply and resource management agencies in the County and the Central Coast. He is on the Steering Committee and is the designated lead contact for the Santa Cruz Integrated Regional Water Management Program.

Matt Bessee Water Quality Specialist

(831) 454-5010(office)
-4624 (laboratory)


Laboratory and field investigations to evaluate microbiological and chemical water quality with an emphasis on indicator bacteria, microbial source tracking, and nutrients. Manage field sampling program to meet montioring requirements of State and Federal Beach Saety Program and Clean Water Act (Total Maximum Daily Loads, Stormwater). Conduct water quality invesigations and forensic analysis of drinking water, groundwater, and ambient water systems.

April Woods, M.S. Water Quality Specialist

(831) 454-2739(office)
-4624 (laboratory)

Laboratory and field investigations to evaluate microbiological and chemical water quality with an emphasis on cyanobacteria and algal toxins, geochemical parameters, herbicides, and indicator bacteria. Manage laboratory quality assurance program and laboratory safety programs  in accordance with Environmental Laboratory Accredidtation Program (ELAP).

Kristen Kittleson Fishery Resource Planner (831) 454-3154

Watershed programs and projects to preserve and enhance steelhead trout, Coho salmon and aquatic habitats.  Serves as the administrative staff for the County of Santa Cruz Fish and Game Advisory Commission and is the project manager for an annual stream habitat and juvenile steelhead monitoring program.

Nathan Salazar Water Quality Specialist (831) 454-2145

Technical assistance and data review for the drinking water program to ensure that the small water systems (5-199 service connections) in the county are providing safe drinking water to their customers and are in compliance with local, state, and federal regulations. Conducts groundwater monitoring program and assists fishery conservation efforts, including habitat surveys, report preparation, and outreach.

Sierra Ryan Water Resources Planner (831) 454-3133

Lead for water conservation efforts, provides staff support to Groundwater Sustainability efforts in both the Santa Cruz Mid-County and Santa Margarita Groundwater agencies with particular focus on surface water interactions, manages groundwater recharge project implementation, and contributes to Integrated Regional Water Management Plan (IRWMP), among other sustainability efforts.

Troy Boone Environmental Health Specialist (831) 454-3069

Lead for Drinking Water Program. Oversees regulation of the 45 state small water systems (with 5 to 14 service connections) in our county and approximately 100 small public water systems delegated from the State Division of Drinking Water to our agency. Works to ensure compliance with standards related to well design, water quality, sampling, treatment, system design/storage, operational and organizational management.  Also assists water systems as a technical resource in interpreting, updating, and implementing changes in industry standards as well as Local, State, and Federal law, including implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. EH Liaison to HSA Emergency Preparedness and Sheltering Plan.