Bahman sheikh water reuse consulting



Bahman Sheikh, Ph.D., P.E.

Independent Consultant—Water Resources and Water Recycling Specialist

Text Box: Distinguished Fellow at University of California Santa Cruz Center for Integrated Water Research


Bahman Sheikh has over 30 years of domestic and international experience in research, planning, and design of water resources projects, specializing in water reclamation, reuse, and recycling.  His career began as a university professor, teaching courses in water quality for various irrigation applications. Dr. Sheikh’s water recycling experience includes service in the public sector with goal-setting, project planning, regulatory liaison, public outreach, and implementation of long-range water plans. The focus of much of this work has been on public health and safety of recycled water used for irrigation, industry, environmental, and other applications. Most of Dr. Sheikh’s client service is concentrated in California, Colorado, and Hawai’i. In addition, he has served clients in 21 countries, including Peru, Bonaire, Mexico, South Korea, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, India, Jordan, Kuwait, UAE, Syria, Bahrain, Morocco, and Tunisia.

Bahman Sheikh has extensive experience in all aspects of water reclamation, recycling, and reuse, including technical and regulatory issues, water quality, program management, alternatives analysis, feasibility studies, and planning for long-term development of water recycling for large regions and small communities.  He conceived, planned, and conducted major long-term pilot studies of pioneering water recycling programs in Monterey County, California, and in the City of Los Angeles, demonstrating the safety of reclaimed/recycled water.   


Independent Water Resources and Reuse Consultant, providing specialized services to public and private clients in their water reclamation projects.  Major current and recent clients include USAID, The World Bank, Petroleum Institute of Mexico, Marin Municipal Water District, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, Coachella Valley Water District, Las Virgenes Municipal Water District, Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency, the City of San Jose South Bay Water Recycling Program, West/Central Basin Municipal Water Districts, Parsons Engineering Science, Harland Bartholomew, Harza Environmental Services, Bechtel International, ARD, Inc., City of Chula Vista, and Central Contra Costa Sanitary District.  In addition to numerous projects in California, Bahman Sheikh serves clients with water reclamation projects in various countries, including the Netherland Antilles (Bonaire), Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Turkey, Peru, Tunisia, Morocco, and Egypt.


West Basin and Central Basin Municipal Water Districts.  Water Resources and Wastewater Reuse Policy Specialist.  In this capacity he advised the Districts’ management on water policy issues, represented the Districts at various State forums, interfaced with regulatory agencies, environmental groups, community organizations, and the public, and worked with water customers and member utilities to solve issues and problems arising as the District expanded its water reclamation service area.  Representing the Districts, Bahman Sheikh served on a number of Statewide committees working to manage the State’s water resources more efficiently, e. g.:

U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Executive Management Committee, overseeing the preparation of the “Southern California Comprehensive Water Reclamation and Reuse Study” with federal-local partnerships.

State Potable Reuse Committee, convened by the Directors of the State Department of Water Resources and the State Department of Health Services to develop and foster regulatory and public acceptance for safe augmentation of potable water supplies with potable reclaimed water.

Chair, Public Education Committee of WateReuse Association of California, planning and implementing public information and outreach programs on water reuse for the Association.

City of Los Angeles.  Executive Director, Office of Water Reclamation.  This Office was created within the Board of Public Works to bring into focus the City’s basic goal of maximizing the reclamation of its wastewater resource.  The City recognized the need for new water policy directions because of the increasing vulnerability of its sources of imported water supply.  Bahman Sheikh was recruited to set near- and long-term water reclamation goals, bring together diverse decision-making bodies, help establish funding mechanisms, be a good-will ambassador to the public and to outside agencies, and prepare plans and strategies to achieve the City’s basic goal.  Policy analysis, legislative recommendations, funding and financing, interagency coordination, and interdepartmental liaison were important aspects of Bahman Sheikh’s responsibilities.

Specific goals recommended by Bahman Sheikh were adopted as City goals by the Council and by the Board of Water and Power Commissioners.  Based on these adopted goals, a number of water reclamation projects have been developed and are now being implemented.  An important function of the Office was coordinating the water reuse activities of the major water purveyor (LADWP) and wastewater management entity (Department of Public Works) in the City, and establishing an outreach program to make the public aware of the safety and desirability of water reuse in all its forms.  He designed and directed a yearlong pilot project demonstrating the safety of using gray water systems for residential landscape irrigation.  The results of this pilot project were the technical basis for new regulations adopted Statewide for residential gray water use.  He provided testimony at numerous local and State hearings before a variety of boards regarding reclaimed water policy.

The Office of Water Reclamation worked closely with the Mayor’s Office, the City Council, and the Boards of Commissioners of Public Works and Water and Power.  Examples of initiatives presented to policy makers were the gray water legalization policy and ordinances to control water softeners and to require dual plumbing in all new high-rise construction.  The resultant policies caused implementation of several water reclamation projects.  Bahman Sheikh represented the City of Los Angeles at numerous statewide water forums, including the following:


CH2M HILL.  Civil/Environmental Engineer.  Directed and managed major water reuse projects and contributed senior review and specialized expertise to the firm’s water supply and reclamation projects.  Examples of his contributions include:


PARSONS Engineering-Science.  Manager.  He was Project Director and oversaw the work of several project managers and engineers performing assignments on a variety of environmental engineering projects for diverse private and public sector clients.  His projects are briefly highlighted below:

Areawide Water and Sewerage Master Plans:  Managed comprehensive areawide water and sewerage planning studies for mountainous, desert, and metropolitan areas of San Bernardino, Napa, and El Dorado Counties under a Farmers Home Administration planning grant program.

Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency:  Bahman Sheikh was responsible for the conception, direction, and execution of the 11-year pilot field demonstration project for Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency, investigating the feasibility of irrigating raw-eaten food crops with disinfected, tertiary-treated reclaimed water.  This project, known as the Monterey Wastewater Reclamation Study for Agriculture (MWRSA), attracted worldwide interest and has been reported at many conferences and professional publications.  Bahman Sheikh led MWRSA from its inception in 1976 continuously through the publication of its final report in April 1987.  His effective communication of the technical intricacies of water reuse to the local farmers, local health authorities, and a score of different governmental agencies was crucial to the successful completion of the project.  Large-scale irrigation with recycled water on 12,000 acres in the northern Monterey County is now routine, thanks in part to the success of MWRSA, credibility of its results, and the need for sources of additional water supply in the region.


University of Shiraz, Assistant Professor.  Bahman Sheikh taught technical courses in water systems design, water resources and supply management, water utility administration, irrigation, soils, hydrology and hydraulics at the University of Shiraz, College of Agriculture (in Iran).  He designed and supervised construction of a hydraulics teaching and research laboratory at the field campus of the College. 


Over the past two decades, Bahman Sheikh has completed numerous overseas missions of varying duration.  Typically, he provides expert and specialized consulting services in water resource management, wastewater treatment, water reuse and related topics, to governmental agencies in countries including Mexico, Peru, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Syria, Bahrain, Tunisia, Morocco, and most recently in India, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia.  Funding agencies for these projects are the World Bank, USAID, Asia Development Bank, and the local government agencies.


1967, Ph.D., Soil Physics (Soil-Water Relations), University of California, Davis

1964, M.S., Irrigation (Water Science and Engineering), University of California, Davis

1962, Pomona College (Interdisciplinary Studies in Liberal Arts), Claremont, CA

1957, B.Sc., Agricultural Engineering, American University of Beirut, Lebanon


¨ Gordon Cologne Award, WateReuse Association, California Chapter, March 19, 2019

¨ Honorary Lifetime Member, WateReuse Association, dedicated September 16, 2013.

¨ Resolution of Appreciation in recognition of 27 years of service from Board of Directors, Monterey Regional Water Pollution control Agency, March 29, 2004.

¨ Outstanding Service Award, WateReuse Association, 2002

¨ President’s Award of Appreciation, WateReuse Association, 2002

¨ Appointed to the Board of Directors of WateReuse Research Foundation, 2001, served until 12/2007.

¨ Appointed to the Research Advisory Board of National Water Research Institute, 1995.

¨ Recognized by City of Los Angeles City Council for “efforts and accomplishments,” 1994

¨ Recognized by City of Los Angeles Board of Public Works for “vision and commitment,” 1994

¨ Elected to Board of Directors, WateReuse Association, 1993, served until 2002.

¨ Integrated Resource Management Award, Water Policy Conference III, 1993

¨ Outstanding Service Award, WateReuse Association of California, 1991


Professional Engineer, Civil, California: C 26633


¨ WateReuse Association

¨ Water Environment Federation

¨ California Water Pollution Control Association

¨ National Water Research Institute, Research Advisory Board


Bahman Sheikh’s publications in journals, technical publications, and conference proceedings are available in a more detailed resume.

All Water Is Recycled



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