Yvonne Forrest is the Director of Houston Water. Ms. Forrest is responsible for the operation and maintenance of Houston’s regional water and wastewater utility systems. She also oversees regulatory compliance, infrastructure planning, and operations/program support. Houston is the fourth largest city in the United States, and the city’s public water and wastewater system is one of the largest utilities within the United States. She manages a staff of over 1,700 with an annual capital and operations and maintenance budget of over $657 million. The Drinking Water Operations branch is responsible for three surface water purification plants, 100 groundwater pumping stations, over 7,000 miles of water mains, 59,000 fire hydrants, and 159,000 valves. The Wastewater Operations branch is responsible for 39 waste treatment plants, over 370 lift stations, 127,000 manholes, and 6,100 miles of gravity and force mains. Prior to her career in public service, Ms. Forrest spent 15 years as an engineer in the private sector, developing processes to ensure compliance with environmental regulations, permits, and corporate standards. She holds a BSc in chemical engineering from University of South Carolina.