Outgoing President’s Message—Employee Acknowledgement
I’d like to close the year recognizing the accomplishments of our Orange County Water District employees through the agency’s numerous awards—182 since 1975 and 12 just this past year.
Yes, the Groundwater Replenishment System receives a large number of the total awards we receive. But we sometimes need to remind ourselves that it took, and it takes, people to conceive, design, engineer, run, and modify it. Being recognized as the world’s largest advanced water purification project for potable reuse distinguishes not only the agency, but it underscores the ingenious minds of its employees and the sage support and guidance of its board.
There are a number of other awards and categories that illustrate the purpose and work ethic of our OCWD family—several related to our environmental and economic leadership, others for engineering and research and development achievements, still others for our exceptional education programs such as the Children’s Water Education Festival, the H2O Learning Center and the recent GWRS Bottled Water Campaign.
The latter project, which has already received six awards, was devised by both OCWD and Orange County Sanitation District personnel to generate acceptance of water reuse facilities throughout California. You can read more about the GWRS Bottled Water Campaign in the Huell Howser Best in Blue Award article in this issue of Hydrospectives.
Additional GWRS-like facilities will spur creativity to make current purification technology even better. They also will help water agencies become more self-reliant and greatly relieve the need to buy imported water—which is becoming more and more costly and less and less reliable—especially during recurring droughts.
OCWD is a leader in groundwater management and recycled water. Its employees are frequently sought out for their areas of expertise and freely share information for the betterment of all—worldwide. At the District, we also emphasize that water should be provided in a cost-effective and environmentally responsible manner.
This mission mirrors OCWD’s core values: sound planning, appropriate investment, highly reliable water supply, high-quality water, environmental stewardship, sound financial management, and transparency. All of these are, as well, reflected in the reasons for the awards the District has garnered and the mindset of its employees.
OCWD employees are known to work hard, are productive beyond expectations, are trouble shooters and not only think far outside the box, they sometimes create the box that others rely upon.
Our awards translate into our employees’ passion for the business of water and the well-being of our consumers, success for partners in our industry and high-quality, reliable drinking water for the communities we serve.
I invite you to view a short year-end video about OCWD and our accomplishments for 2018.
In closing this President’s Message, I want to say that It has been a pleasure leading the OCWD team as its president for the past two years. Voting to move forward with the final expansion of the Groundwater Replenishment System and witnessing the GWRS receive the Guinness World Records™ title for the most wastewater recycled to drinking water in 24 hours have been very proud moments for me.
Now, I would like to welcome our new president, Vicente Sarmiento, and give confidence that he has the best people available who will do everything possible for their president to reach positive resolutions.
Happy holidays to all!