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Veterans Career Day

Water Industry Wants You: Military Career Day at Cuyamaca College

The Center for Water Studies at Cuyamaca College and San Diego County water agencies are hosting a free career day August 10 for military veterans looking to transition into the water and wastewater industry. The in-person career day is 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Cuyamaca College Student Center, 900 Rancho San Diego Parkway in El Cajon.

Registration is online at CenterforWaterStudies.org. The San Diego County Water Authority is co-sponsoring the military career day.

Many water agencies are hiring, and veterans have key skills needed to provide safe, reliable drinking water for San Diego communities.

Retirements spur need for water and wastewater industry workers

The opportunities for both transitioning servicemembers and local water agencies are significant. More than 30,000 service members separate from the military each year in California, and more than half are transitioning out of active duty in the San Diego region. Roughly half of the current water industry workforce in the San Diego region will be eligible to retire in the next 15 years – and approximately 1,400 water and wastewater industry jobs are expected to open in the region in the next five years.

Veterans will have the opportunity to meet water agency recruiters, learn about industry pay and benefits, and receive advice on different career pathways and fast-track educational opportunities offered by the Center for Water Studies, which provides specialized training in water and wastewater operations.

“Warriors2WaterWorks” career day

The “Warriors2WaterWorks” career day will be filled with many opportunities for veterans entering the civilian work world:

  • Water agencies from throughout the San Diego region will be available at information booths with applications that may be filled out on the spot, job lists, and agency information.
  • An equipment demonstration will be on display for attendees to learn more about what kind of equipment and infrastructure they may work with in water jobs.
  • Tours of the Cuyamaca College Veterans Center and Center for Water Studies.
  • Among other speakers, Otay Water District General Manager Jose Martinez, a U.S. Navy veteran, will speak on “How Your Military Service Translates to a Career in the Water Industry” and San Diego County Water Authority Director of Water Resources Kelley Gage will give the lunch time keynote on “100 Years of US Military/Regional WaterWorks Collaboration.”
  • Other sessions include a panel of recently transitioned military personnel in the water industry and a panel of human resources professionals detailing the civilian employment process.
  • A Military Occupation Specialty (MOS) session will be given, to help translate the military career of a veteran to a civilian career with applicable skillsets.
  • Breakout sessions designed for active military and veteran/reservists. Military spouses are encouraged to attend.

Job Opportunities

In October 2020, The San Diego County Water Authority and its 24 member agencies launched a website – SanDiegoWaterWorks.org – that provides the first comprehensive posting of regional water and wastewater industry job openings in one location. The San Diego Water Works website includes:

  • Current water and wastewater job postings in the San Diego region
  • Training and education resources, career advice and internship programs
  • Featured jobs that highlight rewarding careers in the water industry
  • Information about special training programs and internships for military veterans
  • Tips and resources for transitioning military

Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve was originally developed when the Olivenhain Municipal Water District partnered with the San Diego County Water Authority and the Bureau of Land Management as an element of the regional Emergency Storage Project. Photo: Olivenhain Municipal Water District

Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve Celebrates 30th Anniversary

Since its opening in 1992, the Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve has evolved into one of San Diego County’s most precious natural resources.

Celebrating its milestone 30th anniversary, the reserve, or EFRR, was originally developed when the Olivenhain Municipal Water District partnered with the San Diego County Water Authority and the Bureau of Land Management as part of the regional Emergency Storage Project. Over the past 30 years, OMWD has managed the safe operations of EFRR to provide visitors with recreational, educational, and environmental experiences.

The 784-acre reserve in the heart of San Diego County offers 11 miles of hiking, biking, equestrian trails, picnic areas, and scenic viewing points. It is the central hub of more than 20,000 acres of contiguous open space with fully protected wildlife in perpetuity. Its facilities provide educational experiences for visitors of all ages.

“We look forward to joining with our partners and the public to celebrate the 30-year anniversary of this unique recreational reserve that continues to provide for the conservation of habitats and native species and opportunities to connect with nature,” says Kimberly A. Thorner, General Manager of Olivenhain Municipal Water District.

Creating partnerships to protect open space

The 784-acre Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve offers 11 miles of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails. Photo: Olivenhain Municipal Water District

The 784-acre Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve offers 11 miles of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails. Photo: Olivenhain Municipal Water District

The nonprofit Escondido Creek Conservancy is dedicated to the preservation, restoration, and protection of the natural open space within the Escondido Creek watershed where EFRR is located.

In March 2008, the Conservancy and OMWD partnered to create the Elfin Forest Interpretive Center Honoring Susan J. Varty. Located at the reserve, it is a one-of-a-kind facility designed by local artist James Hubbell, known for his nature-inspired art and architecture. The center features green design elements, including recycled building materials, solar panels powered by photovoltaic cells, and a green roof.

The new Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve's Interpretive Center features The building also features green design elements such as recycled building materials, solar panels powered by photovoltaic cells, and a green roof. Photo: Olivehain Municipal Water District

The new Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve Interpretive Center Honoring Susan J. Varty features green design elements such as recycled building materials, solar panels powered by photovoltaic cells, and a green roof. Photo: Olivenhain Municipal Water District

The Conservancy has formed alliances with landowners, government agencies, and education and community groups to increase awareness of the invaluable resources intrinsic to the Escondido Creek watershed.

“From the very beginning in 1991, the Escondido Creek Conservancy had the intent to set natural lands set aside for the benefit of native plants and animals,” said Leonard Wittwer, Conservancy board president. “For the first few years of our existence, we focused on advocating for wise land-use decisions and physically cleaning up the creek so it could be perceived as worthy of protection.”

Educational experiences encourage outdoor exploration

Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve Park Rangers, Conservancy staff, and volunteers conduct guided group tours and student exploration programs to help promote environmental awareness and preservation of local watersheds. Photo: Olivenhain Municipal Water District

Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve Park Rangers, Conservancy staff, and volunteers conduct guided group tours and student exploration programs to help promote environmental awareness and preservation of local watersheds. Photo: Olivenhain Municipal Water District

For three decades, the reserve has been designed to unify the interests of domestic water supply development, natural resources management, and recreational opportunities. EFRR offers a variety of educational experiences from guided interpretive walks, hands-on learning in collaboration with local scout troops, publishing EFRR Birdwatching Guides for public use, and a free Junior Ranger program. The Junior Ranger program encourages children to explore the outdoors and helps instill an appreciation for our natural surroundings. Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve Park Rangers, Conservancy staff, and volunteers conduct guided group tours and student exploration programs to help promote environmental awareness and preservation of local watersheds.

Access to the natural world

Conservancy board president Wittwer says education and access remain priorities.

“We will continue to set aside natural open space, continue to provide high-quality outdoor educational experiences, and continue to operate the Conservancy to the highest business standards,” said Wittwer. “We are looking into ways to provide more access to our preserves, recognizing the many benefits to humans of interacting with the natural world.”

“These experiences don’t just happen,” said OMWD General Manager Kim Thorner. “They are the result of creative people trying to find ways to share the incredible natural gem that is Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve. OMWD looks forward to continuing to be the responsible steward of EFRR’s diverse natural resources and collaborating with the Conservancy and other organizations in providing the public outstanding educational experiences and access to nature through EFRR for many years to come.”

(Editor’s note: The Olivenhain Municipal Water District is one of the San Diego County Water Authority’s 24 member agencies that deliver water across the metropolitan San Diego region.)

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.

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. They were given certificates and prizes donated by Escondido merchants who support the program and the city’s conservation efforts.

The first, second, and third place winners will be featured in next year’s 2023 North County water agencies’ regional calendar.

The winners of the 2022 City of Escondido Student Poster Contest 

Escondido Poster Contest First Place: Camila Aguilar, Quantum Academy. Photo: City of Escondido

Escondido Poster Contest First Place: Camila Aguilar, Quantum Academy. Photo: City of Escondido

 

Escondido Student Poster Contest Second Place: Katalina Palacio, Heritage Charter. Photo: City of Escondido

 

Escondido Student Poster Contest Third Place: Addison Frew, Quantum Academy. Photo: City of Escondido

Escondido Student Poster Contest Third Place: Addison Frew, Quantum Academy. Photo: City of Escondido

Nine additional students received Honorable Mentions

(L to R): Honorable Mention winners Sonja Bolen, Noah Brumfield, and Alex Bredel. Photo: City of Escondido

 

(L to R): Honorable Mention winners Joshua Carpia, Natalia Guevara, Chance Hsieh. Photo: City of Escondido

 

Honorable Mention winners (L to R): Andres Olivas Maldonado, Jeinelle Love G. Millamena, Ella Olson. Photo: City of Escondido

Contest part of comprehensive science education program

The poster contest is a fun activity with a serious goal: teaching children the value of water and the need for water conservation. The City of Escondido supports local public and private schools by providing the Water Science Education Program to elementary and afterschool programs.

The program teaches water science to raise awareness of Earth’s resources through interactive and collaborative activities supplementing each school’s science curriculum. The lessons help meet Next Generation Science Standards. The annual poster contest is part of this yearly program.

(Editor’s note: The City of Escondido is one of the San Diego County Water Authority’s 24 member agencies that deliver water across the metropolitan San Diego region.)

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 from four schools within the Authority’s service area submitted posters for this year’s contest. Of the 20 selected winners, six students will have their artwork submitted to the Metropolitan Water District’s regional contest for the chance to be featured in the agency’s 2023 art calendar.

The six competitors moving on to regional competition are:

 

2022 Sweetwater Student Poster Contest winner: Camila Hernandez, Allen Elementary School. Photo: Sweetwater Authority

2022 Sweetwater Student Poster Contest winner: Camila Hernandez, Allen Elementary School. Photo: Sweetwater Authority

Camila Hernandez, Allen Elementary School

 

2022 Sweetwater Student Poster Contest winner: Christina Parrish, Allen Elementary School. Photo: Sweetwater Authority

Christina Parrish, Allen Elementary School

 

2022 Sweetwater Student Poster Contest winner: Roman Padilla, Allen Elementary School. Photo: Sweetwater Authority

Roman Padilla, Allen Elementary School

 

Sweetwater Authority contest

2022 Sweetwater Student Poster Contest winner: Vanya Herroz, Allen Elementary School. Photo: Sweetwater Authority

Vanya Herroz, Allen Elementary School

 

Sweetwater Authority contest

2022 Sweetwater Student Poster Contest winner: Melanie Garcia, El Toyon Elementary School. Photo: Sweetwater Authority

Melanie Garcia, El Toyon Elementary School

 

2022 Sweetwater Student Poster Contest winner: Andres Moreńo Rañon, Allen Elementary School. Photo: Sweetwater Authority

Andres Moreńo Rañon, Allen Elemetary School

Students recognized as winners also include Andreas Gonzales, Aryana Ojeda, Dylan Stevens, Elena Morales, Evelyn Avina, Iris Herrera, Jacob Macaspac, Kathryn Irvin, Naanalli Ulloa, Rebecca Garcia, Soffia Ong, Sydney Shatwell, Yaretzi Lopez, and Zoe Jauregui.

In 2021, Allen Elementary School fifth-grader Sydney Shatwell represented Sweetwater Authority in the 2022 MWD regional calendar with her artwork depicting the critical importance of water in everyday good health practices such as brushing your teeth, washing your hands, and staying hydrated.

Winners received art kits and gift cards delivered to their schools. All winning posters are available to view online at www.sweetwater.org/postercontest22.

The Authority’s annual poster contest challenges students to creatively showcase and celebrate the importance of water in daily life through their art. The contest is open to elementary school students who live or attend school in the Authority’s service area.

 

 

Vista Irrigation District Recognizes Scholarship Winners and Student Artists

The Vista Irrigation District awarded college scholarships to seven high school seniors selected as winners of the district’s annual scholarship contest. Three fourth-grade students from the local community were also selected as winners of the district‑sponsored Student Poster Art Contest.

Elementary School Poster Contest Winners Illustrate The Importance of Water

Chula Vista, Calif. – Last week, twenty local elementary school students were named winners of the Sweetwater Authority (Authority) “Water is Life” Poster Contest. The yearly contest gives K-6 students the chance to demonstrate how water is a precious and essential resource. By creating water-related art, students enhance their understanding of the importance of water.

Over one hundred students from four schools within the Authority’s service area submitted posters for this year’s contest. Of the twenty selected winners, six students will have their artwork submitted to the Metropolitan Water District’s regional contest for the chance to be featured in the agency’s 2023 art calendar.

(L to R) Left to right: Scholarship winners Grace Koumaras, Jennifer Galan, Emilie Taylor, and Abigayle Paliotti. (Not pictured: Samantha Bailey, Kenneth Morales Reyes, and Mateo Sulejmani). Photo: Vista Irrigation District

Vista Irrigation District Recognizes Scholarship Winners and Student Artists

The Vista Irrigation District awarded college scholarships to seven high school seniors selected as winners of the district’s annual scholarship contest. Three fourth-grade students from the local community were also selected as winners of the district‑sponsored Student Poster Art Contest.

Emilie Taylor received a $2,500 scholarship, Samantha Bailey received a $2,000 scholarship, and Abigayle Paliotti received a $1,500 scholarship. All three scholarship winners are graduating seniors at Rancho Buena Vista High School. Runners-up Mateo Sulejmani, Jennifer Galan, and Kenneth Morales Reyes who also attend Rancho Buena Vista High School, and Grace Koumaras from Mission Vista High School, each received $1,000 as runners-up in the scholarship competition.

The scholarship contest is intended to increase the knowledge and awareness of water-related issues impacting the Vista Irrigation District. High school seniors living or attending school within the district’s service area are eligible. Students had to submit an essay and provide a personal statement related to their background and/or goals. Selection criteria also included community involvement or volunteer service, and letters of recommendation from high school faculty.

Poster contest winners promote water awareness

The annual poster contest is designed to promote understanding of water issues in elementary schools. This year’s theme was “Love Water, Save Water.” The three winning posters were selected from 176 entries based upon their depiction of the theme, artwork, originality, and poster design.

First Place: Sophia Puckett, Empresa Elementary School. Photo: Vista Irrigation District scholarship winners

First Place: Sophia Puckett, Empresa Elementary School. Photo: Vista Irrigation District

Sophia Puckett, a fourth-grade student from Empresa Elementary School, is the 2022 first-place winner in the Vista Irrigation District 2022 Water Awareness Poster Contest. Sophia received a $100 award.

Second Place: Stevie Jones, Casita Center. Photo: Vista Irrigation District

Stevie Jones from Casita Center received a second-place award of $50.

scholarship winners

Third Place: Valeria Martinez, Elementary School. Photo: Vista Irrigation District

Valeria Martinez from Hannalei Elementary School received a third-place award of $25 for her entry.

Sophia Puckett with her award winning artwork. Photo: Vista Irrigation District scholarship winners

Sophia Puckett with her award-winning artwork. Photo: Vista Irrigation District

Sophia’s poster will appear in the 2023 Water Awareness Calendar, available free of charge at the district’s office in November 2022.

(Editor’s note: The Vista Irrigation District is one of the San Diego County Water Authority’s 24 member agencies that deliver water across the metropolitan San Diego region.)

Fourth-Grade Artists Win OMWD Water Awareness Poster Contest

Three fourth-grade student artists were recognized for their award-winning artwork by the Olivenhain Municipal Water District Board of Directors at its May 18 meeting as the top three entries in the 2022 “Love Water, Save Water” Poster Contest.

For 29 years, the district has invited fourth-grade students living or attending school within the Olivenhain Municipal Water District service area to enter the contest and create posters depicting the theme “Love Water, Save Water.”

Fourth-Grade Artists Win OMWD Water Awareness Poster Contest

Three fourth-grade student artists were recognized for their award-winning artwork by the Olivenhain Municipal Water District Board of Directors at its May 18 meeting as the top three entries in the 2022 “Love Water, Save Water” Poster Contest.

For 29 years, the district has invited fourth-grade students living or attending school within the Olivenhain Municipal Water District service area to enter the contest and create posters depicting the theme “Love Water, Save Water.”

Larry A. Watt, OMWD Board President (center) with contest winners (left to right) Ariana Lemle, Emalyn Negrea, and Indira Jayanti. Photo: Olivenhain Municipal Water Districtv

Larry A. Watt, OMWD Board President (center) with contest winners (left to right) Ariana Lemle, Emalyn Negrea, and Indira Jayanti. Photo: Olivenhain Municipal Water District

“Given the drought conditions experienced throughout California, educational opportunities like this encourage students to learn more about water and their environment,” said OMWD Board Vice President Kristie Bruce-Lane. “The contest allows elementary school children to showcase their creative talents by conveying the importance of water use efficiency through art.”

 The 2022 OMWD Water Awareness Poster Contest winners are:

Indira Jayanti, Stone Ranch Elementary School: Indira’s poster depicts her creative interpretation of rainwater harvesting. Photo: Olivenhain Municipal Water District

Indira Jayanti, Stone Ranch Elementary School: Indira’s poster depicts her creative interpretation of rainwater harvesting. Photo: Olivenhain Municipal Water District

Indira Jayanti, Stone Ranch Elementary School: Indira’s poster depicts her creative interpretation of rainwater harvesting. Indira says she was inspired to participate in the contest “because I believe in saving water and I care about Planet Earth.” She saves water at home by sticking to a five-minute shower and turning off sprinklers when it’s going to rain. She like science and math, sports like tennis, basketball, and swimming, and loves to sing and dance.

Ariana Lemle, Flora Vista Elementary School: Ariana’s poster featured a large drop of water illustrating four different natural landscapes dependent on water. Photo: Olivenhain Municipal Water District OMWD Water Awareness Poster

Ariana Lemle, Flora Vista Elementary School: Ariana’s poster featured a large drop of water illustrating four different natural landscapes dependent on water. Photo: Olivenhain Municipal Water District

Ariana Lemle, Flora Vista Elementary School: Ariana’s poster featured a large drop of water illustrating four different natural landscapes dependent on water. Ariana repurposes materials around the home like old cereal boxes, food labels, egg cartons, and clothing fabric for her drawing and designing projects. On weekends, you can find Ariana swimming, spending time with friends, crafting, drawing, or camping with her dad. She is happiest when she is out exploring and trying new things.

Emalyn Negrea’s artwork shows two mermaids happily swimming in water. Photo: Olivenhain Municipal Water District

Emalyn Negrea’s artwork shows two mermaids happily swimming in water. Photo: Olivenhain Municipal Water District

Emalyn Negrea, Flora Vista Elementary School: Emalyn’s artwork shows two mermaids happily swimming in water. She says her artwork was inspired by her love of the ocean and helping our planet “so that we are able to continue to enjoy its beauty for many years to come.” She enjoys art, surfing, snowboarding, and soccer. On weekends, you can find her enjoying time with family and friends.

The contest teaches students the value of water as a limited resource and the importance of using it wisely, while providing OMWD with locally produced artwork to reinforce this message to its customers.

The recognized posters will be featured in a 2023 Water Awareness Calendar available to the public later this year.

(Editor’s note: The Olivenhain Municipal Water District is one of the San Diego County Water Authority’s 24 member agencies that deliver water across the metropolitan San Diego region.)