Thomas Esqueda, who oversees Fresno's sewer, water and trash services as head of the city's Public Utilities Department, is stepping down to take a water-leadership job at Fresno State.
Esqueda will be the university's first associate vice president of water and sustainability.
Esqueda, a native of Sanger, has been Fresno's public utilities director for almost four years. That period has included leading the city's efforts to come to terms with water-chemistry problems associated with the Northeast Surface Water Treatment Facility and how treated drinking water apparently contributed to rust in galvanized pipes inside of hundreds of homes.
He has also been the city's point person in the development of a new water treatment plant in southeast Fresno that is set to become operational later this year and will provide drinking water to most of the rest of the city.
At Fresno State, Esqueda will head the university's programs for water sustainability both on the campus and in the community. That will include coordinating academic and research activities with agricultural, business and government organizations.