The Carson Water Subconservancy District, or CWSD, is a regional watershed agency.  It is a unique multi-county, bi-state agency dedicated to establishing a balance between the water needs of the communities within the Carson River Watershed and the function of the river system.

CWSD’s fourteen member Board of Directors consists of representatives from each of the six counties within the watershed and include several agricultural representatives and an advisory member from Storey County.  Board members are selected by their respective county boards and serve four year terms.

Don Jardine, Alpine County

Don Jardine serves on the CWSD Board as a representative of the Alpine County Board of Supervisors. Don lived in Alpine County in the 1950s in the small town of Monitor where his father worked as a miner.  Life in a miner’s family was transient, but after Don graduated from high school and served in Vietnam, he came back to Alpine County.  Don has been a member of the Alpine County Board of Supervisors for over 21 years. He is currently a board member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, California’s Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board, Carson Water Subconservancy District, Alpine County Water Agency, Alpine County Local Agency Formation Commission, Alpine County Board Liaison to the Alpine Watershed Group, and Alpine Fire Safe Council, and is also a member of the Markleeville Volunteer Fire Department. In past years, he has served with Alpine County Search and Rescue and Alpine County Library Commission, and as an Alpine County Reserve Deputy Sheriff and Alpine County Emergency Medical Technician.  An avid reader, Don always has great recommendations for publications that are historically and scientifically accurate.  Don takes advantage of all Alpine County has to offer in his free time by enjoying the great outdoors kayaking, hiking, and four-wheel driving.

David Griffith, Alpine County

David Griffith serves on the CWSD Board as a representative of the Alpine County Board of Supervisors.

Don Frensdorff, Douglas County

Don Frensdorff is an Agricultural member on the CWSD board selected by Douglas County.  Don grew up in Northern Nevada, attended the University of Nevada Reno, and had a successful teaching career.  Upon retiring, he took up ranching and now helps to operate the Henningsen Ranch in Carson Valley with his wife, Caroline, and their children.

Steve Thaler, Douglas County

Steve Thaler serves as on the CWSD Board as a representative of the Douglas County Board of Commissioners.

Barry Penzel, Douglas County

Barry Penzel serves on the CWSD Board as a representative of the Douglas County Board of Commissioners.  Barry and his wife of nearly 50 years, Cindy, have lived in Douglas County since 1992.  He is a retired Colonel, US Army with 25 years of service as a Ranger, Aviator, and Combat Leader.  He has owned and operated businesses in Douglas County since 1993. He has served in many civic organizations including the Greater Genoa Business Association, the Carson Valley Renewable Energy Committee, and the Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce.  Currently, he is on the board of the Suicide Prevention Network of Douglas County, and also acts as a volunteer.  He recently retired from a successful business in the geothermal industry and wants to continue his commitment to public service in our community.  Barry is familiar with many aspects of Douglas County since he & Cindy have lived in Tramway Village at the Lake, in Sunridge, in Minden, and now in Saratoga Springs.

Fred Stodieck, Douglas County

Fred Stodieck serves as an agricultural representative on the CWSD Board appointed by Douglas County.  Fred is a lifelong farmer from Carson Valley.  Fred operates Stodieck Farm with the help of his wife, daughters, and grandsons.  Stodieck Farm has been in his family since his great – grandfather bought it in 1868 for $2,600 in gold coins.  Mentored by his father, Cecil (who was also Federal Water Master for the Carson River), and uncles, Elven and William, Fred learned animal husbandry, equipment management, ditch maintenance, water law, and many other ranching skills.  Fred has also worked as a road surveyor and in construction, and all of these practical skills have helped him remain successful in the difficult task of cattle ranching.

Brad Bonkowski, Carson City

Brad Bonkowski serves on the CWSD Board as a representative of the Carson City Board of Supervisors.  Hehas lived in northern Nevada for 35 years, has been a business owner in Carson City since 1986 and a Supervisor since 2012.  Brad owns a commercial real estate brokerage and has extensive experience with industrial, commercial and investment properties, redevelopment and economic development transactions, as well as land development and entitlement.  Prior to his successful career in commercial real estate, Brad owned and operated photo labs in Carson City, Reno, and Incline Village.

Brad loves to hunt, fish, bicycle, run, snowshoe, hike and kayak with his partner, Andie Wilson and their three children Zachary, Kyle and Mallory.

Austin Osborne, Storey County

Austin Osborne is the Administrative Officer/Planning Director for Storey County.  He serves in an advisory capacity on the CWSD Board.  Austin has a Bachelor of Science in Education and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Nevada, Reno. Austin likes to travel across the Nevada desert for weeks in search of historic ghost towns, mining sites, and natural wonders.

Ken Gray, Lyon County

Ken Gray serves on the CWSD Board as a representative of the Lyon County Board of Commissioners.

Carl Erquiaga, Churchill County

Carl Erquiaga serves on the CWSD Board as a representative of the Churchill County Board of Commissioners.  Carl is a lifelong resident of Churchill County, where he operated a family agriculture business for many years.  Carl divides his time serving as a Churchill County Commissioner, traveling with his wife, enjoying his children and grandchildren, hunting, shooting, and volunteering in wildlife enhancement programs.

Ernie Schank, Churchill County

Ernie.Schank serves as an agricultural representative on the CWSD Board appointed by the Churchill County Board of Commissioners.  Ernie was born and raised in Fallon, Nevada.  He was educated in the local schools and attended and graduated from Brigham Young University with a B.S. in Animal Science.  He served a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in New Zealand.  Ernie has been married to his sweetheart, the former Carmen Sorensen, since 1972.  They enjoy their three sons and one daughter, as well as 13 grandchildren.

Ernie owns and operates a family farming/ranching business.  He has worked as an instructor for the Western Nevada Community College, served on the Nevada Farm Bureau Federation Board of Directors, and served as President of the Newlands Water Protective Association.  In 1978, he was named Outstanding Young Farmer/Rancher of Nevada by the Farm Bureau.

Ernie was first elected to the Truckee-Carson Irrigation District (TCID) Board of Directors in 1978.  He served four years at that time.  In 1998, he was again elected to the Board and has served since that time as the President of the Board of Directors.  In his capacity as President he has represented the TCID before congressional committees, been involved in negotiations on all kinds of water related issues, and has been a witness in many legal proceedings. From 1982-1984, he was appointed and served on the Governor’s Select Committee to study the feasibility of building additional dams on the Carson River.   In 1994, he represented the Newlands Water Protective Association on the second generation negotiations for implementation of P.L. 101-618.  He also currently serves on the Carson Truckee Water Conservancy District Board of Directors.

He has done extensive research on the Newlands Reclamation Project history in preparation for the 100th anniversary celebration of the Project’s authorization and construction which occurred in 2003.  He has spent many years putting together a picture history of the building of the Truckee Canal from collections at TCID, Churchill County Museum, Nevada State Historical Society, and Bureau of Reclamation.  He has enjoyed the opportunity to make historical presentations on the building of the Newlands Project before many organizations, clubs, and groups.  He has also written many articles on water-related issues for local newspapers, Nevada Policy Research Institute, and for In Focus, a Churchill County Museum publication.

Major accomplishments at Truckee-Carson Irrigation District:

  • Improved relationships and communication with governmental leaders
  • Committee structure of the Board of Directors
  • Passage of Public Law 106-265-Transfer of Headquarters from US to TCID
  • Long-term lease with Sierra Pacific Power Company
  • Purchase of New Lahontan Hydro Plant
  • Improvements and modernization of Old Lahontan and V-Line Hydro Plants
  • Bonding of Truckee Canal Conduit Rehabilitation Project