You are now in Achievements Features Heroes category.

Erick Del Bosque-Sweetwater Authority-Water Utility Hero

Water Utility Hero of the Week: Erick Del Bosque, Sweetwater Authority

This feature highlights water utility employees in the San Diego region working during the coronavirus pandemic to ensure a safe, reliable and plentiful water supply. The water industry is among the sectors that are classified as essential.

Water Utility Hero of the Week: Erick Del Bosque

Job/Agency: Engineering Manager at Sweetwater Authority

How did you become interested in working in the water industry?

I was in my junior year of college when I was having serious doubts about the major I chose civil engineering.  This was mostly due to required coursework that was not of interest to me and I was seriously considering switching majors.  However, during this junior year of college I got involved with a nonprofit organization called Engineers Without Borders and I got to design and construct a water filtration system with other engineering students, for a rural community in northern Thailand.  This was a great rewarding experience and sparked my interest in the water industry.  During my senior year of college when most of my coursework consisted of elective courses, I mostly selected elective coursework related to water resources, water distribution, and water treatment so I could pursue a job in the water industry.

How has job changed during the pandemic?

At Sweetwater Authority we have implemented a rotation schedule for when staff needs to work from the office and when staff needs to work remotely from home.  This ensures that we have sufficient coverage in the office for all areas while maintaining social distancing from each other.  For those days where I need to work remotely from home, the remote connection from the laptop at home to my office computer is very smooth and it’s just like if I were working from my office computer, with the exception that I don’t have an extra computer monitor at home like I have in my office.  Working from home does have some occasional challenges though, such as interruptions from my 3-year old son or having my dogs barking during conference call meetings, but overall, I have adjusted well to the different working conditions.

How are you keeping safe?

By following the recommendations from the Center for Disease Control and state and local governments, such as wearing a face mask when in public areas, washing my hands or using hand sanitizer after touching areas that might have been touched by others, following social distancing recommendations, and only going out of the house for essential things such as buying groceries.

What are you most looking forward to after the crisis ends?

To hang out with friends and family.

Editor’s note: The Water Utility Hero of the Week highlights essential work performed during the COVID-19 pandemic by employees of the San Diego County Water Authority’s 24 member agencies.

San Diego County Water Authority Member Agency Map

Essential Repairs Completed on Pipeline 5 in North County

The San Diego County Water Authority and its contractors have completed essential repairs on a section of Pipeline 5 in North San Diego County between Fallbrook and Escondido. The repairs included installing 156 feet of carbon fiber liner inside the 96-inch pre-stressed concrete cylinder pipe to extend its service life. The pipeline was returned to normal service over the weekend – ahead of the original schedule.

Judge Temporarily Blocks Trump’s California Water Plan

A federal court on Tuesday temporarily blocked the Trump administration’s efforts to pump more water to the agricultural Central Valley, which critics said would threaten endangered species and salmon runs.

Opinion: Here’s How Less than 10% of Farmland Could Solve the Colorado River’s Water Deficit

It is no exaggeration to say that a mega-drought not seen in 500 years has descended on the seven Colorado River Basin states: Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona and California. That’s what the science shows, and that’s what the region faces.

New Federal Clean Water Rule Puts Expensive Onus on Colorado

Colorado and other Western states will be hard-pressed to shield their rivers and streams under a new federal Clean Water Act rule finalized last month, largely because hundreds of shallow Western rivers are no longer protected, and writing new state laws and finding the cash to fill the regulatory gap will likely take years, officials said.

Though many agricultural interests and water utilities support the new Waters of the U.S. rule, as it is known, Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser and Patrick Pfaltzgraff, director of the state’s Water Quality Control Division, said they will take legal action to protect streams that are no longer subject to federal oversight.

Expecting to Lose Up to $12 Million, Oxnard Mulls Borrowing from Utilities

The first slide of the Oxnard chief financial officer’s presentation to be given on Tuesday contains this message: “Warning: Estimates subject to change.” No politician, economist or crystal ball can show exactly how deep and how lasting this recession will go. As municipal finance leaders put together a budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1, the best they can do is use projections with limited certainty.

Farmers, Ranchers Dispute Legal Limits of Revamped Water Rule

Cattlemen in the West are gearing up for a legal battle over the Trump administration’s revamped water jurisdiction rule, even as a national trade association of farmers that touts itself as the “unified voice of agriculture” supports the change.

EPA’s Independent Science Board, Critics Push for Stronger Lead Rule

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposal to address lead in water isn’t as aggressive as it could be, the agency’s independent science advisers, as well as outside groups, said Monday.

Lomita Receives Grant to Remove Chemical from Drinking Water

A grant of up to $2 million will allow Lomita to install a filtration system that removes a potentially carcinogenic chemical from its drinking water, allowing the community to resume using groundwater instead of more expensive imported supplies.

The small city had taken its sole well offline last year and drained its 5 million gallon reservoir after the levels of benzene discovered in its groundwater exceeded state drinking water standards.

The community was forced to tap pricey imported water from the Metropolitan Water District to serve its 4,242 residential and commercial customers.

Gusty Winds, Slight Chance of Rain Expected in San Diego County

Gusty winds are expected Tuesday in the San Diego County mountains and deserts, plus light rain could fall tonight in coastal and inland valley areas, according to the National Weather Service.

A weak, low-pressure system moving inland Tuesday will cause temperatures to drop through Wednesday, then the mercury will gradually rise heading into the weekend, forecasters said.

The NWS issued a wind advisory that will be in effect from noon Tuesday to 5 a.m. Wednesday in the mountains and deserts.

Winds out of the west are expected to be between 20-30 mph, with gusts possibly reaching 45 mph near desert slopes and through mountain passes, forecasters said.

There is also a slight chance of light rain showers in coastal areas and the western valleys tonight, according to the NWS. Coastal areas have a 20% chance while the western valleys have a 30% chance.