Water Agencies Recognized for Environmental Excellence

ACWA on Dec. 2 presented the Water Replenishment District of Southern California, Padre Dam Municipal Water District and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California with the 2010 Theodore Roosevelt Environmental Award during the association's 2010 Fall Conference & Exhibition in Indian Wells last week.

“ACWA’s member agencies are making significant strides in resource management,” said ACWA President Paul Kelley. “The Theodore Roosevelt award honors these innovative projects that encourage responsible resource management and protection. The winners are among the best of the best.”

The winner in Category One (projects under $100,000) was the Water Replenishment District of Southern California for its Eco-Gardener Program. The free educational program teaches local residents and landscape workers about water-efficient landscape practices. Covering topics like drought-tolerant plants, irrigation basics, horticultural practices and garden design, the classes have contributed to improved job performance for attendees and have motivated many to continue coursework at local community colleges.

The winner in Category Two (projects between $100,000 and $1 million) was Padre Dam Municipal Water District for its Santee Lakes Solar Power Project. In partnership with Sun Edison, the district placed a 14,000-panel solar project on the rooftop of a newly built 300-space RV storage facility. The project produces more than 1 million kilowatt hours of clean energy per year, supplying half of the park’s power needs. 

The winner in Category Three (projects over $1 million) was the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California for its Quagga Mussel Control Program. In response to the discovery of quagga mussels in its system, the district developed a pilot program testing natural lake processes to control mussel colonization. The result is an environmentally sensitive approach that reduces oxygen levels in the lower portion of the lake without threatening water quality or fish or stimulating algae growth. Today, a tool-box approach is used to control the pest’s spread.