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Olivenhain Municipal Water District Recycled Water Pipelines Named ‘Project of the Year’

Encinitas, Calif.—American Public Works Association’s San Diego and Imperial Counties Chapter has recognized Olivenhain Municipal Water District’s Avenida La Posta Recycled Water Project as “Project of the Year.” The award, celebrating OMWD’s engineering and project management efforts, was presented yesterday at a reception at Paradise Point Resort in San Diego.

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Olivenhain Municipal Water District’s 4S Ranch Water Reclamation Facility Named Recycled Water Plant of the Year in Statewide Competition

Encinitas, Calif. — Olivenhain Municipal Water District’s 4S Ranch Water Reclamation Facility was recognized today by California Water Environment Association as its 2019 Plant of the Year (Small). The award was presented during CWEA’s Annual Conference in Palm Springs and acknowledges OMWD’s efforts to increase water supply reliability by reducing imported water demand.

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OMWD Recognized for Water Advocacy in Washington

Encinitas, Calif.—The Association of California Water Agencies recognized Olivenhain Municipal Water District today with its “Most Effective Agency on Federal Issues” award. The award was presented to OMWD General Manager Kimberly Thorner at ACWA’s annual conference in Washington, DC.

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Water Authority Wins 2018 WaterSense Excellence Award

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today recognized the San Diego County Water Authority with a 2018 WaterSense Excellence Award for advancing water efficiency through its Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper (QWEL) program. The Water Authority received one of 21 WaterSense awards presented at the WaterSmart Innovations Conference in Las Vegas.

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.

Kyocera was honored for its strong commitment to reusing water multiple in its production processes, thereby decreasing its water use by nearly 20 percent since 2014. This conserves more than 6 million gallons per year.

“Water is our most precious natural resource, and it’s so rewarding to see major employers like Kyocera redouble their efforts to use – and re-use – water efficiently,” said Jim Madaffer, whose term as chair of the Water Authority’s Board of Directors starts Oct. 1. “Corporate leadership like this, coupled with investments in water supply reliability, will help sustain our thriving economy and unparalleled quality of life.”

Madaffer presented the award to Kyocera in front of about 250 people at the conference. “There are a lot of folks in the industrial community here in San Diego,” he said. “By Kyocera’s example, we’re hoping that other companies follow their lead, being able to do what they can to save water for all of our region as well.”

Kyocera’s Meridith Marquis, Roger Blankenship and Mark Brodie accepted the award on behalf of the company.“Kyocera’s corporate motto is ‘Respect the Divine and Love People,’ which compels us to manufacture in resource-saving, eco-friendly ways,” said Marquis, divisional vice president for general affairs. “It takes a lot of water to manufacture the technology that surrounds us, and we must act in good conscience to recycle as much of that water as possible. The fact that we can save money while doing this makes it a win-win all around.”

View the award presentation video here.

Kyocera’s innovative efforts pay off

Headquartered in San Diego, Kyocera’s North American operations were established in 1971. Today, the company employs about 625 people locally and manufactures high-tech products such as ceramic semiconductor packages and microelectronic devices at its San Diego plant.

Kyocera has been investing in water-use efficiency at its local plant since 2000, with a marked increase in savings since 2014. Recent water savings result from:

  • Converting to a closed-loop cooling system that uses water multiple times instead of once
  • Re-using water from plating operations to cool its onsite co-generation plant
  • Installing water meters for production groups and making them accountable for water use
  • Adding flow regulators to fine-tune the amount of water delivered for manufacturing processes
  • Replenishing plating tanks only when necessary instead of continuously

Kyocera achieved significant water savings by installing a basic, off-the-shelf $30 valve allowing the company to repurpose reverse osmosis water that didn’t meet purity standards, and instead use it as cooling water. This single creative adjustment alone saved about 373,000 gallons per month. In all, Kyocera is saving about $62,500 a year in water costs compared to 2014, while upholding its corporate mission to embrace sustainability.

The Water Innovation & Efficiency Award is part of the Water Authority’s Brought to You by Water outreach and education program, designed to enhance the regional appreciation for the value of the safe and reliable water supplies. That effort includes enhanced partnerships to highlight the importance of water reliability to the region’s economy for tourism, agriculture, brewing, manufacturing and other key sectors.

This fall, the Water Authority is focusing on manufacturing companies with “products that put San Diego on the map.” For more information, go to the Brought To You By Water website.


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Water Authority Presents Kyocera With 2018 Water Innovation & Efficiency Award

San Diego, Calif. – The San Diego County Water Authority this morning presented its 2018 Water Innovation & Efficiency Award to Kyocera for reducing its annual water use by more than 6 million gallons at its San Diego facility, a decrease of nearly 20 percent since 2014.

The award marks the Water Authority’s inaugural effort to recognize water-efficiency investments among the region’s top manufacturing companies in conjunction with the Industrial Environmental Association. The 2018 Water Innovation & Efficiency Award was announced at the IEA’s 34th Annual Environmental Conference at the San Diego Convention Center.

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 skid steer competition. They are the only winners from west of the Rockies, and the only two winners from a single agency nationwide. A record number of 86 participants competed in three categories of competition: the backhoe/mini-excavator, skid steer, and mechanics.

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Water Authority Earns Regional Awards for Construction Project

San Diego, Calif. – The regional chapter of the American Public Works Association today conferred two Project of the Year awards on the San Diego County Water Authority for a pipeline upgrade in Scripps Ranch and a rebuilt pump station near Miramar Reservoir, both of which will help ensure reliable water deliveries across the San Diego region.

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Transparency Certificate of Excellence Awarded to Vallecitos Water District

San Marcos, Calif. – The Vallecitos Water District received the District Transparency Certificate of Excellence by the Special District Leadership Foundation (SDLF) in recognition of its outstanding efforts to promote transparency and good governance. California SDLF Public Affairs Field Coordinator Chris Palmer and California SDLF Board Member Jo MacKenzie were on hand to recognize Vallecitos for completing the essential requirements.

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 Award, remarked upon accepting, “I know it’s not the Academy Awards, but my favorite awards speech is when the actors says, ‘Saying the words is the easy part, writing the story is the hard part.’ All that we’re doing here is telling the phenomenal story written every day by the incredible leadership of the Water Authority who makes it possible.”

See video featuring highlights of the awards ceremony here.

Five recipients in four categories are:

Young Leader Award – Sophie Barnhorst

Barnhorst, a 2015 Water Academy graduate, leverages her deep understanding of our region’s water issues through public testimony against proposed water rate increases. She participates in Water Authority legislative roundtables, and also serves as co-chair of Leaders 2020, a network of young professionals committed to sustainable solutions for the San Diego region.

Social Influencer – Gabriela Dow

Dow shares news through engaging and informative social media posts with thousands of followers on social media, while writing about the Water Academy and water issues. Also a 2015 Water Academy alumna, her commitment to water goes back to her earliest days in San Diego, when she worked on water supply and sustainability projects. Dow remains active in sending comment letters to the State Water Resources Control Board, advocating for sensible water use policies.

Outstanding Advocacy – Jack Monger

Monger has been a strong supporter of prudent water legislation while meeting with legislators and policy makers in Sacramento and Washington D.C. Monger also keeps the region’s largest manufacturing companies up to date on water issues.  In addition, he encourages them to remain engaged in the region’s water future. Monger leverages his membership in key civic organizations to promote water education and informed policy decisions, including groups such as the San Diego County Taxpayers Association, San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, and San Diego Port Tenants Association.

There are two winners of the H2O Champion award in its first year.

H2O Champion Award – Don Billings

One of the most active and vocal alumni since the Water Academy was founded in 2014, Billings has attended numerous legislative roundtables, and alumni events and other forums. He authored a comment letter to the State Water Resources Control Board expressing his concerns about water use regulations. As former chair of the City of San Diego’s Independent Rates Oversight Committee, his informed opinions on water issues carry significant weight with our region’s thought leaders and journalists.


H2O Champion Award – Rorie Johnston

Johnston displays a Water Academy alumni license plate holder on her car, but her advocacy does not end there. As an alumna, Johnston attends and supports numerous alumni events. She wrote expressing opposition to the Metropolitan Water District’s controversial rate structure many years ago, as well as joining elected officials opposed to the water tax. She runs a local Chamber, using her post to keep local business leaders up to date on water issues, including newsletters.

The award-winning Citizens Water Academy is currently accepting nominations for its Fall 2018 class in the South County. The Citizens Water Academy is open to future and emerging leaders in the San Diego region who want to learn about critical projects and programs related to water.

Through the academy, the Water Authority is expanding and sustaining a diverse network of influencers who are willing to serve as outreach ambassadors on water issues and refer others to future academy classes. The selection process is competitive and acceptance is not guaranteed. The Water Authority typically receives many more applications than spots available.

Learn more about the upcoming Academy and submit a nomination here. The submission deadline is September 10, 2018.