The County of Hawai`i Water Board, unanimously confirmed Keith Okamoto as the Deputy Manager of the Department of Water Supply at their monthly meeting yesterday.
In a letter addressed to the Water Board, newly selected Manager – Chief Engineer Quirino Antonio detailed the many reasons for his selection of Okamoto as his Deputy. In his letter, Antonio wrote about Okamoto’s beginning at the Department in 1996 as a licensed civil engineer in the Water Resources and Planning Branch of the Engineering Division. Then, in 2000, Okamoto was promoted to the supervisor of the Water Quality Assurance and Control Branch in the Engineering Division. The main task of this Branch is to insure the Department remains compliant with the numerous rules related to the Safe Drinking Water Act. In this capacity, Okamoto represented the Department as liaison with the State of Hawai`i regulating authority, the Safe Drinking Water Branch of the Department of Health.
From there, Okamoto was promoted to Assistant Engineering Division Head in 2003. In this role, Okamoto assisted the Engineering Division Head in all duties of the position, including budget and personnel needs. He was also specifically assigned to oversee the status of the Department’s CIP projects as well as professional services procurement.
Throughout the various capacities in which he has served at the Department, Okamoto has developed in-depth understanding and knowledge of the potable drinking water industry, applicable Federal and State laws, County codes and ordinances, Departmental rules and regulations, and various policies.
After yesterday’s confirmation, Manager Chief-Engineer Antonio offered the following congratulatory remark, “I feel very confident that we complement each other well and will make a great team in moving the Department in a positive direction.”
Originally from O‘ahu, Okamoto has lived on Hawai`i island for 15 years.