News featuring innovations, accomplishments, and awards by water industry professionals and water agencies.

San Diego County Water Authority board member Lois Fong-Sakai has been elected secretary of the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

San Diegan Lois Fong-Sakai Elected MWD Board Secretary

San Diego County Water Authority board member Lois Fong-Sakai has been elected secretary of the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. Fong-Sakai, who represents the City of San Diego on the Water Authority board, is a registered civil engineer in California and Nevada. She becomes the first Asian-American to service […]

2022 Top Workplaces-San Diego County Water Authority-Top Workplace

San Diego County Water Authority Named a 2022 Top Workplace

The San Diego County Water Authority has been named a Top Workplace for 2022 by The San Diego Union-Tribune – the second straight year the agency has been recognized. The newspaper’s honor roll is based solely on employee feedback through third-party surveys by Energage LLC, an employee engagement technology firm. “Everyone in San Diego County […]

The Vallecitos Water District honored Dawn McDougle by naming the administration building at its Meadowlark Reclamation Facility in her honor. Photo: Vallecitos Water District Dawn McDougle honored

Building Named to Honor Water Industry Pioneer Dawn McDougle

The Vallecitos Water District honored former staffer and water industry pioneer Dawn McDougle by naming a building in her honor. The McDougle Building, at the Meadowlark Reclamation Facility, celebrates her three decades in the wastewater industry. McDougle, who retired at the end of 2021, joined district and industry colleagues, friends and family, at a dedication […]

Press Club-Best Public Service Website-San Diego Press Club Winners

Water News Network Best Public Service Website 5th Time at SD Press Club Awards

The Water News Network was awarded first place as the Best Public Service or Consumer Advocacy Website in the 49th annual San Diego Press Club Excellence in Journalism Awards. It’s the fifth consecutive year the WNN website has won first place in that category. The award for best public service website is one of seven […]

Third generation Oceanside strawberry grower Neil Nagata of Nagata Brothers Farms is the 2021 San Diego County Farm Bureau Farmer of the Year. Photo: California Strawberry Commission

Neil Nagata is 2021 San Diego County Farmer of the Year

The San Diego County Farm Bureau named third-generation Oceanside farmer Neil Nagata its 2021 Farmer of the Year. The Farmer of the Year award is presented to an active or retired farmer who has had a positive impact on the agriculture industry, is active in the community beyond agriculture, and has represented the agricultural industry […]

WateReuse Award-Olivenhain Municipal Water District-Primary

Olivenhain Municipal Water District Receives Recycled Water Award

The Olivenhain Municipal Water District received the WateReuse Association of California’s 2022 award for Recycled Water Community Outreach. The award was presented at WateReuse’s annual conference in San Francisco. OMWD’s community outreach campaigns are intended to educate customers on the importance of water use efficiency, new supply development, and water reuse as a means to […]

Randy Qualin-Division 5-Padre Dam

Padre Dam Board Appoints Rocky Qualin to Division 5

The Padre Dam Municipal Water District Board of Directors appointed Rocky Qualin to the Board of Directors. He fills the vacancy in Division 5 as the result of the recent passing of James Peasley. Qualin took the oath of office at the Board meeting on September 7, and then participated in his first meeting. Randy […]

Director of Public Affairs Denise Vedder and Public Affairs Manager Mike Lee with the EPIC Award for the Water Authority’s “Drought Safe San Diego” public outreach campaign. Photo: Ed Joyce EPIC Awards

Drought Safe San Diego Program Honored at 2022 CAPIO EPIC Awards

The San Diego County Water Authority received two awards at the 2022 California Association of Public Information Officials (CAPIO) EPIC Awards competition for California public agency communication programs. The Water Authority’s “Drought Safe San Diego” public outreach campaign won an EPIC Award (first place) for Communications or Marketing Plans/Campaigns – In-House; and an Award of […]

David Edwards-top lawyer-San Diego County Water Authority

David J. Edwards Joins Water Authority as General Counsel

The San Diego County Water Authority’s Board of Directors on August 25, announced the hiring of David J. Edwards as the agency’s new general counsel after a nationwide search. He starts his post on Oct. 3, replacing Mark Hattam, who is staying on staff for a few months before retirement to help with the transition. […]

The Helix Water District is the San Diego region’s second largest water utility, after the City of San Diego. Its service area includes La Mesa, Lemon Grove, El Cajon, Spring Valley, and other unincorporated areas of the county, with a population of 277,000. Brian Olney

Helix Water District Names Brian Olney New General Manager

The Helix Water District Board of Directors appointed Brian Olney as the organization’s new general manager, effective September 1, 2022. Olney was previously the Assistant General Manager and before that, the water district’s Director of Water Quality and System Operations.  He has 28 years of experience in the water industry. “Brian’s experience spans system operations, […]

Sandra L. Kerl-CUWA Board Chair

Water Authority General Manager Sandra Kerl Named CUWA Board Chair

San Diego County Water Authority General Manager Sandra L. Kerl is taking the reins as board chair of California Urban Water Agencies (CUWA), a nonprofit corporation that supports development of sound water policy statewide. The Water Authority is one of 11 member agencies of CUWA that are collectively responsible for serving drinking water to about […]

City of Escondido Student Poster Contest winners posing at City Hall. 1st row (L to R): Chance Hsieh, Ella Olson, Camila Aguilar, Noam Brumfield, Sonja Bolen. 2nd row (L to R): Joshua Carpia, Katalina Palacio, Andres Olivas Maldonado, Jeinelle Love G. Millamena, Natalia Guevara, Addison Frew, Alex Bredel. Photo: City of Escondido

Escondido Poster Contest Celebrates Winning Water Awareness Artwork

Twelve finalists from Escondido schools join a long tradition of fourth-graders entering the annual City of Escondido Student Poster Contest. Students were asked to depict the 2022 contest theme “Love Water, Save Water” to illustrate the value of water resources through creative, hand-drawn art. The students were recognized at the May 25 City Council meeting. […]

First Place winner: John Wozny, “Casting A Sunset.” Photo: Helix Water District Lake Jennings 2022

Lake Jennings 2022 Spring Photo Contest Winners Depict Lake Activities

Sunsets, wildlife, and family fun inspired the winning photos in the 2022 Lake Jennings Spring Photo Contest, held by the Helix Water District. Winners were named this week and recognized at the June Governing Board meeting. The water district offers two yearly contests to connect with their customers and recognize their achievements. Now in its […]

La Mesa resident Nick Voinov stands in front of his 2022 Helix Water District Landscape Contest winning yard. Photo: Helix Water District water efficient yard

Water Efficient Yard is 2022 Helix Water District Landscape Contest Winner

A thriving, water-efficient yard in La Mesa is the winner of the Helix Water District’s 2022 WaterSmart Landscape Contest. Homeowner Nick Voinov worked for a decade to transform his turf into its current watersmart residential landscape. It didn’t always look as bright and colorful as it does today. “I love plants and found them more […]

Students Illustrate the Importance of Water in Sweetwater Authority Contest

Twenty local elementary school students were recognized as top entrants of the Sweetwater Authority “Water is Life” Poster Contest. The yearly contest gives K-6 students the chance to demonstrate the ways water is a precious and essential resource. By creating water-related art, students enhance their understanding of the importance of water. More than 100 students […]