The San Diego County Water Authority and the City of San Diego Public Utilities Department recently jointly received the 2010 Public Water Agency of the Year Award of Distinction from the Global Water Awards. The agencies were selected from an international field of candidates for their leadership in managing scarce water resources in 2009 through the development of innovative projects and programs.
The awards cited the Water Authority for its effective and innovative leadership managing the supply shortages of 2009 and for its long-term strategy to diversify the San Diego region’s water portfolio through efforts that include conservation and desalination.
“We are honored to be selected as one of the top public water agencies in the world. When the Water Authority embarked on its water supply diversification strategy some 20 years ago, we knew it was critical to the future of our region,” said Claude A. “Bud” Lewis, chair of the Water Authority Board of Directors. “Because of that leadership and vision by the Board and the strong work of staff, we were able to manage the significant water supply challenges in 2009 with minimal impact to the region’s economy and quality of life.”
The City of San Diego was honored for its year-long coalition building program that resulted in approval for a pioneering indirect potable reuse demonstration project. This project could pave the way for a larger, full-scale plant in the future.
“Receiving this award is a testament to the commitment of a surprisingly diverse group of stakeholders, including business organizations, environmental groups and taxpayer advocates, who came together for a common goal to work with the City to develop more local water supplies,” said San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders. “I also applaud residents and businesses who have heeded the call to conserve water as this new norm contributes to local water supply solutions. However, conservation alone will not solve the region’s long-range water supply needs. We need to continue to work together to find creative solutions for more locally controlled water.”
The Global Water Awards recognize the most important achievements of the past year in the water industry worldwide. The finalists in each of the 12 categories are selected by an international panel. Subscribers to Global Water Intelligence and Water Desalination Report and members of the International Desalination Association then vote on the finalists and select a winner and an Award of Distinction in each category.
The award was presented during the Global Water Summit 2010 spring conference in Paris, France. It was officially presented to the Water Authority Board of Directors during its June 24 meeting by Timothy Brick, chair of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California Board of Directors, who accepted the award in France on behalf of the two San Diego County agencies.