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Scholarship Applications Open for Aspiring Water Pros

If you’re a student considering college studies leading to a career in the water and wastewater industry, several California water associations and San Diego regional member water agencies offer college scholarships. Scholarships are available for community college, college, and graduate-level programs

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Scholarship Applications Open for Aspiring Water Pros 

If you’re a student considering college studies leading to a career in the water and wastewater industry, several California water associations and San Diego regional member water agencies offer college scholarships.

Scholarships are available for community college, college, and graduate-level programs. Here are a few of the funding opportunities for study in the 2021-2022 academic school year.

Statewide water scholarships

Approximately 1,400 water and waster industry jobs will become available in San Diego County in the next five years. Photo: Water Authority scholarship application

Approximately 1,400 water and waster industry jobs will become available in San Diego County in the next five years. Photo: San Diego County Water Authority

The Water Environment Federation’s Canham Graduate Studies scholarship provides $25,000 for a post-baccalaureate student in the water environment field. The scholarship is for education-related expenses such as room and board, tuition, and books. The scholarship may not be used to cover stipends or wages.

The applicant must be a WEF member, complete an online application, and be enrolled in a graduate program. Recipients must commit to working in the water industry for two years following graduation.

Deadline: March 1, 2021. WEF Scholarship Application Link

The California Water Environment Association is offering $30,000 in scholarships this year to students pursuing a career in the clean water profession. The deadline to apply for the CWEA Kirt Brooks Scholarship program is Feb. 15.

The Association of California Water Agencies offers a $3,500 scholarship to qualified applicants attending a University of California or California State University school pursuing an undergraduate degree in a water-resources related field such as engineering, agriculture, environmental studies, or public administration. The applicant must be a junior or senior attending full-time during the 2021-2022 school year.  Criteria include scholastic achievement and motivation to the vocation of water-resources management.

Deadline: March 1, 2021. ACWA UC and CSU Scholarships Application Link

The California-Nevada section of the American Water Works Association awards more than $20,000 in scholarships supporting students and professionals pursuing careers in a drinking water-related field. Two $5,000 graduate scholarships and four $2,500 undergraduate scholarships are available. Two additional $1,000 scholarships fund training as a drinking water treatment/distribution operator in trade or community college programs.

Suitable candidates include environmental and civil engineers; water, wastewater, and recycling treatment plant operators; distribution system operators; chemists; laboratory technicians; biologists, ecologists, and environmental scientists; and others whose roles support safe and reliable drinking water.

Deadline: March 15, 2021 AWWA Scholarship Application Link

 

Eight local scholarships are available from two member water agencies for students in the North County and East County. Photo: Water Authority

Up to eight local scholarships are available from two member water agencies for students in the North County and East County. Photo: San Diego County Water Authority

San Diego regional water scholarships

The Helix Water District offers two $1,000 scholarships to graduating high school seniors who will begin their university studies next fall. Applications are due April 1 for the Dr. Lillian M. Childs Scholarship and the Robert D. Friedgen Scholarship, which provide help with freshman year expenses. The scholarship committee reviews each applicant’s grades, extracurricular activities, volunteer and work experience, academic and career goals, and financial need.

High school seniors must graduate in Spring 2021 and attend a four-year college or university next fall. Applicants must live in Helix’s service area, including the cities of Lemon Grove, La Mesa, and El Cajon, the community of Spring Valley, and unincorporated areas of the county.

Deadline: April 1, 2021. Helix Water District High School Students Scholarship Application Link

The Vista Irrigation District offers up to six scholarships to high school students living or attending school within the district. Awards range from $1,000 to $3,000. The purpose of the scholarship program is to encourage students to learn more about water-related issues impacting their community. Students who compete for a scholarship must complete an essay and provide a personal statement related to their background and/or goals. Selection criteria also include community involvement or volunteer service and letters of recommendation from high school faculty.

Deadline: April 5, 2021. Vista Irrigation District High School Students Scholarship Application Link.

The San Diego County Water Authority and its 24 member agencies have created a regional workforce development task force to address the ‘Silver Tsunami’ of experienced employees reaching retirement age. With approximately 1,400 water and wastewater jobs expected to open up across San Diego County in the next five years due to retirements, water industry careers offer promising lifelong professional opportunities. For more information, visit sandiegowaterworks.org

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Water District to Sponsor Scholarship Contest

Vista, Calif. — Vista Irrigation District invites local high school seniors to compete for scholarships from the district. Up to six scholarships may be awarded; the minimum scholarship award amount is $1,000 and the maximum scholarship award amount is $3,000. The purpose of the scholarship program is to encourage students to learn more about water related issues impacting their community.

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Vista Irrigation District Board Holds Annual Organizational Meeting

Vista, Calif. — Vista Irrigation District board of directors elected Patrick Sanchez as its president and Marty Miller as its vice-president for 2021 at its annual organizational meeting. Sanchez has served on the board since March 2017. This will be the first time he has led the
board since being elected. Sanchez represents division 4, which encompasses the Shadowridge area of Vista.

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Vista Irrigation District Announces New Smart Leak Detector Rebate Program

Vista, Calif. — Vista Irrigation District is now offering a smart leak detector rebate program. Residential customers will have more opportunities to save water and manage water use under this new program approved by the district’s Board of Directors.

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Vista Irrigation District Receives National Award for Financial Reporting

Vista, Calif. — Vista Irrigation District has been presented with the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada for its comprehensive annual financial report for fiscal year ending June 30, 2019. This certificate is the only national award for public sector financial reporting.

Jon Foreman-Water Quality videos-Vista Irrigation District

Region’s Water Quality Celebrated by Switchfoot Musician Jon Foreman

As part of its campaign to promote the quality of local water supplies, the San County Diego Water Authority and its 24 member agencies have partnered with Encinitas resident and Grammy-award winning musician Jon Foreman of Switchfoot to create a series of videos highlighting how tap water across the region meets or exceeds stringent state and federal standards.

The new videos are part of the Water Authority’s regional Trust the Tap outreach and education platform, which was launched in early 2020 to assure the public about the safety of water during the coronavirus pandemic. Related messages were shared in English and Spanish.

Region’s water quality celebrated

The videos highlight efforts to sample, test and treat water at three locations: Olivenhain Dam and Reservoir, the Twin Oaks Valley Water Treatment Plant and the Vista Irrigation District’s water quality lab. Foreman talks about sampling and treating with the Water Authority’s Chris Castaing and Javier Chavez, and he talks about testing with VID’s Distribution Supervisor Dean Farris.

The new videos are being shared on a variety of digital platforms, including website ads and social media (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram) in partnership with various radio stations. They also will be used as “pre-roll” video on streaming services.

Trust the Tap

Drinking water provided by the Water Authority and its 24 member agencies is treated by a combination of technologies – including sedimentation, filtration and disinfection – that chemically deactivate and physically remove bacteria, viruses and other contaminants.

The water quality outreach program is funded with a grant from the California Department of Water Resources.

This is the second time Foreman has partnered with the Water Authority. He interviewed Water Authority staff and toured various facilities for a series of videos in 2019 as part of the Brought to You by Water outreach and education program. The eight videos received more than 200,000 views on YouTube and were widely shared on social media.

Hauck Mesa Storage Reservoir to Improve Water Reliability

The San Diego County Water Authority is gearing up to construct a 2.1 million-gallon drinking water reservoir on the Valley Center Pipeline to enhance service reliability throughout the region. The Hauck Mesa Storage Reservoir project in northern San Diego County is part of the Water Authority’s Capital Improvement Program. Construction work is scheduled to begin in early 2021 and is estimated to be completed in the winter of 2022.

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Vista Irrigation District Will Not Increase Water Charges in 2020

Vista, Calif. — At its August 5 meeting, Vista Irrigation District’s Board of Directors voted not to increase its water service charge in 2020 in an effort to support its customers facing financial challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our board is concerned about the financial impacts that our customers are facing,” said Vista Irrigation District Board President Richard Vásquez. “Prudent financial planning and budgeting has provided the district with the opportunity to not raise its rates in support of its customers during this challenging and uncertain time.”

Family Project Wins Vista Irrigation District 2020 WaterSmart Landscape Contest

Two Vista homeowners received recognition from the Vista Irrigation District Board of Directors for their entries in the District’s 2020 WaterSmart Landscape Contest at its July board meeting.

The annual contest recognizes outstanding waterwise residential landscapes. Winners were selected based on the criteria of overall attractiveness, appropriate plant selection, design, appropriate maintenance, and efficient methods of irrigation.