H2O Learning Center Exhibit Receives Astrid Award

The Orange County Water District (OCWD; the District) H2O Learning Center exhibit received a 2017 Bronze Astrid Award for Design Communications.

The H2O Learning Center was developed by the Orange County Water District, executed by Cinnabar Design • Build, designed by Leon Rodriguez of LRLA, and inaugurated in August of 2016. It is a permanent interactive, museum-like exhibit that is used as an extension of the Groundwater Replenishment System (GWRS) tour and as a self-guided tour. 

As a self-guided tour, it is open to the general public between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. To be one of the thousands each year to tour the GWRS, the world’s largest advanced water purification project for potable reuse, sign up at https://www.ocwd.com/contact-us/book-a-tour/.

The mission of the H2O interpretive exhibit is to educate and inform visitors about the broad concepts of California’s water and how it works, water quality and the Orange County Water District’s international leadership, so they can leave with the understanding and confidence in the District’s management and the purity, reliability and cost-efficiency of the water that OCWD provides, which can be replicated worldwide.

The H2O Learning Center encompasses the extensive interactive exhibit and additional educational aspects at OCWD, including tours of the GWRS and the Advanced Water Quality Assurance Laboratory, Water 101 classes, workshops, field trips, public board and committee meetings, and vocational training and certification classes for water professionals. 

For decades, the District has been committed to exchanging ideas, best practices, challenges and solutions, which has resulted in better membrane technologies, better water production efficiencies, and better groundwater management practices that are now part of California’s Groundwater Sustainability Act and which are being emulated in other parts of the globe.

“This continued open exchange and access have earned OCWD great respect in the water industry and have been drawing professionals to the District from around the world,” says OCWD President Denis Bilodeau. “We appreciate being internationally recognized for the design aesthetics of the H2O Learning Center and we hope its design brings an enjoyable experience for visitors of all ages and walks of life—from those with little knowledge about water to water industry experts—as they learn about our unique world of water.”

The Astrid Award program was established to celebrate and reward the stellar qualities of creativity, craft, innovation, and originality in global design communications. Now celebrating its 26th year, the international ASTRID Awards program received nearly 550 entries from around the world in 15 categories. Additional winning client companies include Construction Industry Council (Hong Kong); Samsung Electronics (South Korea); Deutsche Telekom AG (Germany); Mastercard, PTE.Ltd. (Singapore); Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. (Italy); and Virgin Atlantic Airways (United Kingdom).