Achievements

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

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. […]

Kelsey Ceccarelli (center), the Citizens Water Academy's 500th graduate, with Water Authority Assistant General Manager Dennis A. Cushman (left) and Board Chair Jim Madaffer (right). Photo: Water Authority

500th Community Leader Graduates from Citizens Water Academy

The San Diego County Water Authority’s pioneering Citizens Water Academy celebrated the graduation of its 500th community leader Friday at the conclusion of the fall class series. During the popular and award-winning academy program, civic leaders learn about visionary local efforts to ensure a safe and reliable water supply for the San Diego region. Participants […]

Lisa Marie Harris was selected to deliver the keynote address at the 2018 Municipal Bond Women’s Forum on October 18 in San Francisco. Photo: Water Authority

Harris Headlines Fall Conference for Women in Finance

For Lisa Marie Harris, serving as the director of finance for the San Diego County Water Authority is far more than a job. It’s part of a calling that started in college. As an undergrad, Harris secured a fellowship to study public policy at the University of Michigan, which confirmed her desire to pursue a […]

The San Diego County Water Authority presented its inaugural Water Innovation & Efficiency Award to Kyocera. Photo: Water Authority

Kyocera First Recipient of New Water Authority Award

In an effort to remind regional stakeholders in the business community about the importance of water to San Diego’s regional economy, the San Diego County Water Authority presented its inaugural ‘Water Innovation & Efficiency Award’ to Kyocera International during the Industrial Environmental Association’s 34th annual conference at the San Diego Convention Center on September 28. […]

Jeff Moore stands in his front yard featuring his award-winning waterwise landscaping work. Photo: Charlie Neuman, Water Authority Vallecitos

Waterwise Landscaping Blooms in San Marcos

San Marcos, Calif. – A beautiful native garden low on water use but not on style won first place in the Vallecitos Water District’s 2018 “WaterSmart Landscape Contest. To encourage customers to reduce outdoor water use, Vallecitos recognizes customers whose yards best exhibit the beauty of California-friendly, low-water gardening. The Vallecitos Board of Directors honored […]

Water Authority maintenance employees John Brown and Bobby Bond Jr. ready to compete at the National Skills Roadeo in Kansas City, Missouri. Photo: Courtesy Bobby Bond Jr.

Maintenance Men Bring Home the Hardware from National Contest

Two maintenance pros representing San Diego brought home awards from the 2018 American Public Works Association’s National Roadeo Skills Competition in Kansas City, Missouri , in late August. The San Diego County Water Authority’s Bobby Bond Jr. placed second in the backhoe/mini-excavator event, while John Brown, also of the Water Authority, placed third in the […]

Bobby Bond Jr. shows the skills that won him the title of "Master Opeartor" at the 2018 MSA San DIego/APWA Skills Competition. Poto: Courtesy MSA San DIego

Water Authority A Winner At Skills Competition

Two San Diego County Water Authority employees took home first place honors in the annual – and unusual – competition that tests the mettle of public works professionals with backhoes, wheelbarrows and other tools of the trade. And one Water Authority veteran – Bobby Bond Jr. – earned the title of 2018 Master Operator for […]

Former water conservation class graduate and rebate recipient Rosalba Ponce from Chula Vista was named the Otay Water District's 2018 winner for “Best in District.” Photo: Courtesy Otay Water District Landscape Makeover

Otay Water District Announces 2018 WaterSmart Landscape Contest Winner

As part of the countywide WaterSmart Landscape Contest, the Otay Water District has selected water conservation class graduate and rebate recipient Rosalba Ponce of Chula Vista as the 2018 winner of its “Best in District” award. Each year, participating water agencies in San Diego County honor residential customers who showcase the best water-efficient features in […]

Carlsbad resident Munira Coomber's landscaping project wins the 2018 Watersmart Landscaping Contest. Photo: Courtesy Olivenhain MWD

Carlsbad Resident Wins 2018 Olivenhain MWD Landscape Contest

Encinitas, Calif. — Olivenhain Municipal Water District’s Board of Directors honored Munira Coomber as OMWD’s 2018 winner of the annual Watersmart Landscape Contest at its June 20 meeting. Coomber’s landscape features attractive water-efficient plants in both front and back yards as well as creative design ideas. The centerpiece in the front of the home is […]

Maile Guerrero of La Mesa was honored for her photo of Sutherland Reservoir. Photo Contest

Regional Photo Contest Awards Top Prizes To Shots of Sunset Cliffs, Sutherland Reservoir

A beauty shot of an East County reservoir and a portrait of a young couple at Sunset Cliffs took the top prizes in the San Diego County Water Authority’s “Brought to You by Water” photo contest in honor of Water Awareness Month in May. Dozens of photographers from across the San Diego region putting their […]

Bobby Bonds Jr. on his great grandfather's tractor. Photo: Courtesy Bobby Bonds, Jr.

Backhoe the Perfect Ride for ‘Roadeo’ Champ

Bobby Bond Jr. was born to run a backhoe. His father, Robert Sr., owns a backhoe dealership in Riverside County and put his son atop a backhoe as a toddler. At age 12, the younger Bond dug a septic tank and leach lines for a new home. He operated heavy equipment like a pro for […]

The 318-foot-tall Olivenhain Dam in North County is a major component of the Water Authority’s Emergency and Carryover Storage Project. The dam added 24,000 acre-feet of water storage capacity. Golden Watchdog Award

Water Authority Project Named ‘Golden Watchdog Award’ Finalist

San Diego, Calif. – The San Diego County Taxpayers Association named the San Diego County Water Authority’s Emergency & Carryover Storage Project as a finalist for its prestigious “Regional Golden Watchdog Award” in the 23rd annual Golden Watchdog and Fleece Awards. The “Goldens” recognize the best and worst in local government spending, decision-making, and efficiency. […]

Don Billings receives the 'H2O Champion' Water Legacy Award from SDCWA Chairman Mark Muir and Vice Chairman Jim Madaffer. Photo: Water Authority

Five San Diegans Honored With Inaugural Water Legacy Awards

Five recipients of the first ever 2018 Water Legacy Awards received recognition in ceremonies at the Water Authority’s boardroom on May 2. Bestowed by the Authority’s Board of Directors, the awards honor each recipient’s individual impact on the region’s water issues through their leadership, advocacy, and public communication. Don Billings, recipient of the H2O Champion […]

Alfred and Audrey Vargas, a brother and sister team from Sweetwater High School, won top honors from the Water Authority for water-related projects at the regional Science and Engineering Fair. Their work is designed to provide low-cost fresh water to people in developing countries. Photo: SDCWA

Sweetwater High Students Aim To Avert World Water Crisis

Audrey and Alfred Vargas are trying to expand access to clean drinking water one drop at a time. The brother and sister duo, who live in National City and attend Sweetwater High School, have been refining a portable, low-cost, easy-to-use, simple-to-construct system that efficiently desalinates brackish water. “We see it as one of many possible solutions […]

The California Water Environment Association of San Diego recognized Vallecitos Water District wastewater treatment plant supervisor Dawn McDougle as its 2018 Supervisor of the Year. Photo: Courtesy VWD

Vallecitos Supervisor Honored for 28 Years of Environmental Protection

From her first day on the job at Vallecitos Water District in 1988, Dawn McDougle knew that she wanted to finish her career at the San Marcos-based water agency. Her dedication, innovation, and commitment to the community have paid off in many ways over the decades. In January, they brought McDougle to the forefront of […]