WASIR was formed in 2004 as a result of lessons learned during Jack Ravanís tenure as the Commissioner of the Department of Watershed Management (DWM) for the City of Atlanta (COA).
In 2002 when Mayor Shirley Franklin took office, she inherited a sanitary sewer system which had been issued a federal consent order with a compliance estimate of US$3.9 Billion. She formed the DWM, conducted a thorough national search, and appointed Jack Ravan as its first commissioner. The DWM was responsible for drinking water, wastewater and storm water for the COA. Jack appointed Fred Blankenberg and Tom Iseley to serve as Advisors to the Commissioner. Fredís area of responsibility related to personnel issues, labor relations, external organization relations, etc. Tomís area of responsibility related to identifying, evaluating, developing, etc. technical solutions.