Meet Gei's

Leo Winternitz

Senior Project Manager – Water Resources & Environmental Management

Leo Winternitz specializes on ecosystem restoration projects, sensitive habitats and their relationship to water management in northern California. He is an expert on water and environmental issues pertaining to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and its major tributaries, and has authored or co-authored several professional articles on the subject. In addition to his role at GEI, Mr. Winternitz currently serves as a Director, and is a past President, of the American River Parkway Foundation, an organization that promotes environmental health and stewardship of the 23-mile long American River Parkway.

Prior to joining GEI, Mr. Winternitz held several prominent positions in the California water resources arena, most recently, as Delta Program Director and Senior Advisor for The Nature Conservancy. Prior to this position, Mr. Winternitz served as Deputy Director for the CALFED Bay-Delta Program, which focuses on water and environmental management activities in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay-Delta Estuary. He also served as Executive Director for the Sacramento Water Forum a diverse group of 40 stakeholder organizations representing business, agriculture, citizens groups, environmentalists and water managers who have collaboratively negotiated a regional water supply and environmental protection agreement to the year 2030.  With the Department of Water Resources, he served as Assistant to Chief Deputy Director working on issues ranging from water project operations to environmental management in the Delta. He has also managed the Department of Water Resources’ Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta fish and water quality programs.

During the 1980s, Mr. Winternitz worked for the Water Resources Control Board, serving as the staff specialist on Bay-Delta water quality and water right issues.  He served for eight years as an elected board member to the Arcade Water District, a public water district serving approximately 100,000 customers in Sacramento.

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Sacramento, California


  • Outstanding Professional Accomplishment and State Sustained Superior Accomplishment Award – DWR 1996, 2000
  • Water Forum Accomplishment Award - 2001-2006
  • Regional Water Authority Distinguished Service Award – 2006
  • California Water Policy Reform Award - 2009
  • Science and Technology as a Guide: Moving from Combat to Collaboration. Co-author, HydroLink, International Association for Hydro-Environment, Engineering and Research. Number 1/ 2015.
  • Landscape-Scale Restoration in the Sacramento San Joaquin Delta: Reconciling Properties with Projects for Better Ecological Performance, Less Cost and Stakeholder Acceptance. Co-author, HydroLink, International Association for Hydro-Environment, Engineering and Research. Number 1/2015.
  • Managing Conflicts on the Lower American River – Use of Water Rights for Instream Beneficial Uses: A Case Study. Author, in Proceedings on Water Rights and Related Water Supply, U.S. Committee on Irrigation and Drainage. January 2005.
  • Managing Conflicts on the Lower American River. Can Urban and Agricultural Demands be Met While Maintaining Healthy Fisheries? Co-author, in Proceedings on Effects of Urbanization on Aquatic Ecosystems, American Fisheries Society, 2005.
  • Implementing the CALFED Bay-Delta Program's Environmental Water Account, Co-author, in Proceedings on Transbasin Water Transfers, U.S. Committee on Irrigation and Drainage, 2001.