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The San Diego County Water Authority won two first place awards and a second place award for its communication efforts from the San Diego Press Club.

Water Authority’s Outreach Efforts Honored

The San Diego County Water Authority received two first place awards and a second place award for its public outreach and education at the 2018 San Diego Press Club’s 45th annual Excellence in Journalism Awards. The event took place at the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation’s Joe and Vi Jacobs Community Center on October 30.

San Diego’s finest reporters, photographers, writers, artists, and communicators were honored with the region’s top awards.

(L to R) Dennis Cushman, Assistant General Manager; Denise Vedder, Public Outreach and Conservation Director; and Mike Lee, Public Outreach and Conservation, accept their San Diego Press Club Journalism Awards. Photo: Water Authority

Left to right: Water Authority Assistant General Manager Dennis Cushman, Public Outreach and Conservation Director Denise Vedder, and Public Affairs Supervisor Mike Lee accepted the agency’s San Diego Press Club awards on Oct. 30. Photo: Water Authority

The Water Authority received the following Press Club awards:

Websites, Public Service or Consumer Advocacy Site: First Place, Water News Network

Websites, Blog by Corporation or Group: Second Place, Water News Network

Public Relations and Trade Publications, Annual Report: First Place for the 2017 Annual Report titled Pioneering. Visionary. Agile. Driven.

“The San Diego Press Club Excellence in Journalism awards shows that solid research, writing, reporting and photography matter more than ever,” said Kristen Castillo, 2018 Press Club president. “I’m proud our organization honors student and professional journalists and public relations professionals in San Diego.”

The San Diego Press Club’s journalism awards program is among the largest regional competitions of its kind in the nation. A total of 478 awards were presented in 188 categories, with a record number of entries. Press Club officials say entries continue to be robust from a diverse array of media and public relations professionals.

Judges included members of press clubs in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Rochester, Florida, Cleveland, Orange County, Milwaukee, Tulsa and Alaska.

Water News Network receives Award of Merit

Earlier this month, the Water Authority’s Water News Network received an Award of Merit for External Websites at the 26th annual Edward L. Bernays Mark of Excellence Awards ceremony on October 25, hosted by the San Diego/Imperial Counties Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America.

“As communication pros, we spend most of our time highlighting our clients and executives. The Bernays Awards are a unique opportunity for our fellow professionals to be recognized for all of their contributions and tremendous efforts,” said Jenny Corsey, chapter president.

Named after Edward L. Bernays, the “father of public relations,” the awards were open to all agencies and organizations in San Diego and Imperial Counties. They recognize excellence in public relations campaigns and tactics in a range of categories including media relations, community relations and public affairs. Members of the West Michigan PRSA Chapter judged all award entries.




OPINION: Water Supplies Sufficient for 2019 and Beyond

A welcome rainstorm in mid-October provided the first significant relief from months of very hot and dry weather — and then the weather turned hot and dry once again. That cycle is a reminder of two important facts of life of San Diego County:

  • On average, we get about 10 inches of rain a year — far less than what we need to sustain our $220 billion economy and 3.3 million people.
  • With continued investments in water supply reliability and water-use efficiency, we can continue to thrive in this amazing place.

As we look toward the rainy season, it’s worth taking stock of why we have sufficient supplies for 2019 regardless of the weather.

In a First, California Abolishes Compton’s Water District Board After Years of Dirty-Water Allegations

State officials on Wednesday removed the elected board and general manager of a water district that for years has been accused of serving brown, smelly water to its customers in Compton. With a 22-page decree, the State Water Resources Control Board abolished Sativa Los Angeles County Water District’s five-member board of directors and ousted its manager. In their place, the state appointed the county’s Department of Public Works to temporarily run the district while officials seek to merge the small district, which delivers water to about 1,600 homes, with a larger provider.

Officials: Oroville Dam Spillway Will Be Ready For Rain

California water officials said Wednesday that the $1.1 billion spillway at the nation’s tallest dam will be in full working order if it’s needed this winter, nearly two years after it was damaged and thousands were forced to flee. Crews have finished pouring concrete on the main spillway at Oroville Dam, though it still needs to cure for a month and other work is necessary before it can be used, the California Department of Water Resources announced. Crews will also continue pouring concrete on an adjacent emergency spillway.

Battle Ahead in Colorado on Water Conserved for Lake Powell Storage

Colorado’s western slope water managers have doubled down on their position that they will oppose federal legislation creating a new regulated pool of water to boost the falling level of Lake Powell unless Colorado adopts a policy that the pool should be filled only on a voluntary basis. At a well-attended water meeting last week, Andy Mueller, the general manager of the Colorado River Water Conservation District, said that without a new state policy putting limits on how water can be stored in the big reservoir, “You will find that our district, the Southwest District and hopefully others will be, frankly, opposing the federal legislation.”

San Diego Unified Taps Into National Lead Fears In Bond Campaign

The San Diego Unified School District argues that any amount of lead in school drinking water is damaging to children. At the same time, it has found lead in water at some schools, does not remove all of it and is allowing kids to drink it. The argument that lead is in the water and is hurting kids has become the main selling point for Measure YY, the district’s school bond campaign. Though the bond is expected to generate $3.5 billion, only $45 million – less than 2 percent – would go to remove lead from school district water, district documents show.

Water Talks Are On After Settlement Offer By San Diego

San Diego Water managers will meet with the Metropolitan Water District next week in a bid to end a long-running feud over water transfer costs. The San Diego County Water Authority made a surprise settlement offer a week ago. SDCWA Board Chair Jim Madaffer delivered a letter to MWD suggesting the two water agencies stop fighting over water fees. MWD’s initial reaction was cool, with the Los Angeles-based water wholesaler canceling a closed-door meeting on the issue that was originally scheduled for this week.

The Biggest Share of Colorado River Water in the West is up for Grabs

A public agency and a powerful farmer are gearing up for a high-stakes court battle to determine who owns the largest share of Colorado River water in the West, complicating the river’s future as seven western states scramble to avoid severe water shortages. There’s a long history of fighting over water in California’s Imperial Valley, which has a legal right to more than 1 trillion gallons of Colorado River water each year — twice as much as the rest of California, and as much as Arizona and Nevada combined.

Southern California To Face Enhanced Fire Danger Through Start Of November

Locally gusty winds, warm weather and no signs of needed rain returning will keep the fire danger elevated across Southern California through the start of November. November is expected to pick up where October ended with winds blowing over parts of Southern California. “While the peak of the Santa Ana wind event occurred on Wednesday morning, locally gusty winds can persist in the wind-prone areas of Southern California late this week,” according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Maggie Samuhel.