Our People

Sandi Matsumoto

California Water Program Director

Sacramento, CA

Sandi Matsumoto skiing with her son in Sierra Nevada.

Sierra Nevada I love skiing the Alpine Ski Resort with my 7-year old son, Tai, who can frequently be seen at the bottom of the slopes waiting for me to catch up. © Sandi Matsumoto, Assoc Dir, Water Program

Area of Expertise

Freshwater conservation, Sustainable Groundwater, Conservation Planning

Media Contact

Juvenio Guerra
ph. 310-755-0590

Sandi Joins Water Commission

In June of 2022, Sandi was appointed to the California Water Commission by Governor Gavin Newsom. The Commission consists of nine members chosen for their expertise in water issues. They provide a public forum on water, advise the Director of the Department of Water Resources, approve rules and regulations, and distribute public funds for water projects.

Sandi is honored to accept this position and continue her work to protect the waters that California relies on.


Sandi Matsumoto is The Nature Conservancy’s Director of the California Water Program. She leads a multi-disciplinary team focused on securing a sustainable and resilient water future for California.

During her tenure with TNC (which began in 2004), she has worked at the nexus of water and agriculture across the state, including by launching BirdReturns and TNC’s efforts to implement the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.

A Central Valley native, she earned her B.A. from Yale University and M.B.A. from the Anderson School at UCLA. In 2017, she was appointed by Governor Brown to serve as a board member on the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy. She is also a member of the first cohort of the Water Solutions Network.

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Drought Impacts Increase Due to Imbalanced Water Management

July 12, 2021

As Californians experience one of the most extreme dry years in recorded history, drought impacts are made more severe by a lack of planning and through imbalanced water management practices across our state—resulting in salmon die-offs already occurring in the North Coast, likely die-offs ahead in the Sacramento River, a high potential for migratory birds to succumb to diseases, and a loss of drinking water for communities in the Central Valley. 

The drought affects us all. As I think about the future my son is inheriting, our approach to water management must include the species and natural systems that make our water, our air, our food, and our existence possible. If we continue on the current trajectory, one-half of the plants and animals that are dependent on freshwater could go extinct in this century. This future is closer than you think—but we can still act now to ensure water is managed more sustainably.