San Diego — The 2017 WateReuse California Awards were presented to recycled water facilities, customers, and advocates that are leaders in creating sustainable, locally controlled water supplies across the state. The awards ceremony was held in conjunction with the Annual California Conference at the Westin San Diego.

“These deserving winners are great examples of why California leads the nation in recycled water innovation,” said WateReuse California Managing Director Jennifer West.

The following awards were presented:

  • Recycled Water Agency of the Year – Small: City of American Canyon
  • Recycled Water Agency of the Year – Medium: Padre Dam Municipal Water District, Helix Water District, City of El Cajon and County of San Diego (East County Advanced Water Purification Program)
  • Recycled Water Agency of the Year – Large: Eastern Municipal Water District
  • Recycled Water Community Outreach and Public Education Program of the Year: Pure Water Monterey
  • Recycled Water Customers of the Year: City of Dublin, Lake Mission Viejo Association, Rose Hills Memorial Park
  • Recycled Water Staff Persons of the Year: Brent Eidson, City of San Diego Public Utilities Department; Roshanak Aflaki, City of Los Angeles, LA Sanitation
  • Recycled Water Advocate of the Year: Patricia Tennyson, Katz & Associates

In a separate press release, Allen Carlisle, CEO and General Manager of Padre Dam Municipal Water District, said, “The four-agency partnership on this program has made a significant impact towards advancing water reuse and creating a new source of water by purifying East County’s recycled water. Using state-of-the-art technology to purify East County’s recycled water, the East County Advanced Water Purification Program will create a new, local, reliable and sustainable drinking water supply. The end product is water so clean that it is near-distilled in quality.”

Padre Dam imports 100 percent of its potable water supply and Helix imports approximately 90 percent of its potable water supply. The Advanced Water Purification Program will diversify East County’s water supply and reduce its dependence on imported water by locally producing up to 30 percent of the drinking water for residents in the Padre Dam Municipal Water District and Helix Water District water service areas.

“Having a locally controlled water supply is good for residents and business owners — and it is a huge accomplishment for all the local agencies that are teaming up to make it happen,” said County Board Supervisor Dianne Jacob. “A balanced water resources portfolio is not easy to achieve, but by working together we are demonstrating that collaboration is the key to achieving cost-effective, beneficial projects that are a win for everyone.”

The medium category for the Agency of the Year Award is for beneficial reuse projects creating between 1,000 and 5,000 acre-feet per year. The award was presented to the program based on critical milestones achieved in 2016 to support the successful implementation of the program. The unique project elements included:

  • Developing a regional solution for creating new, local, sustainable, drought-proof, and environmentally sound drinking water supply.