ACWA in the News Sept and Oct 2017

Oct. 23, 2017


Join FOX26 tonight for a water storage town hall

FRESNO, Calif. (FOX26) — California voters approved a water bond issue three years ago.

It was supposed to bring in more than $7 billion in new money to build water storage.

But not a penny of that money has been handed out and the federal government hasn’t helped much either.

So what happens if there is no new water storage and there’s another drought?

FOX26 is holding a town hall meeting to look for answers to those questions.

We will also take a look at the argument some make that new water storage is a lot more important than a bullet train.

Scheduled Panel Guests:

Mario Santoyo is the Executive Director of the Temperance Flats Water Project. At this time it is the only storage project currently proposed for this area.

State Senator Andy Vidak is a local farmer and an outspoken proponent of building new water storage. He’s also been fighting against those who would not approve the tax money to do it. It’s been three years since the bond issue was approved to pay for same, and not one penny has been allocated.

Tim Quinn is the Executive Director of ACWA, The “Association of California Water Agencies”. Its website describes it as “the largest statewide coalition of public water agencies in the country.”

California Assemblyman Adam Gray is a Democrat who represents the northern part of our market. He goes against Governor Brown on water issues, and today the governor vetoed his Fair Water Rights Legislation that would have benefited many parts of the Central Valley.

State Assemblyman Jim Patterson, who is an outspoken water advocate.

U.S. Congressman Jim Costa (D) Fresno can’t be in there in-person but stopped by FOX26 to talk about water storage on Wednesday, October 18th.

Join us Monday, October 23rd at 7:00 p.m. for the live town hall meeting on Central Valley Water Storage.

It’s an issue that affects everyone who lives in the Valley.

You can attend the town hall in person at Peoples Church on Cedar Ave. just north of Herndon in Fresno.

If you can’t make it in person, you can watch it streaming live online and mobile at, on the KMPH Mobile App and on the FOX26 Facebook page.



Oct. 12, 2017

Valley Roadrunner

October 7-15 was…. Water (and Wastewater) Professionals Week: honoring the “silent service.”

By Gary Arant

With the recent passage of Senate Concurrent Resolution (SCR) 80, October 7-15 was officially designated as “Water Professionals Week.”

SCR 80, authored by Sen. Bill Dodd (D-Napa), was sponsored by a coalition of state water, wastewater and utility associations, including the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) to bring recognition to the service and contributions by the water and wastewater professionals serving the various communities across California.

Water and wastewater has long been described as the “silent service.” These systems are “out of sight, out of mind” as long as they work well, and the water comes out with the turn of the tap or the unmentionables are quickly taken away with a flush.

However, behind those two things we all take for granted are a great number of operational, treatment, construction, customer service, finance, IT, engineering, and administrative staff who make all that happen, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. More often than not, these individuals devote their entire careers to gaining the experience and developing the expertise needed to truly be qualified, knowledgeable and effective water and wastewater professionals.

In Valley Center, water comes to every home, business and farm, via an extensive water pumping, distribution, and storage system operated and maintained by the field and administrative water professionals here at VCMWD. Valley Center’s water system is connected to the San Diego County Water Authority Aqueducts. The SDCWA aqueducts are connected to the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California import systems serving to link our community to distant water sources from Northern California and the Colorado River.

From our local water and wastewater staff, through to the thousands of water professionals operating the regional water recycling, sea water/brackish groundwater desalination, and massive water importation systems, there are state licensed, certificated and degreed water professionals present each and every moment making sure the systems are working properly and prepared to respond quickly if there is a malfunction.

During emergencies and natural disasters, such as the major wild fires that impacted Valley Center and San Diego in 2003 and 2007, VCMWD’s water professionals were present along with firefighters and law enforcement.  Though given the option to evacuate, VCMWD staff chose to stay, protect and operate water systems providing the water supply so very critical to the efforts of the firefighters battling the fires.

In less dramatic circumstances, such as a fire hydrant knocked off, water main break or a no water complaint at 2 a.m., water professionals are on standby, ready to go to work to restore service no matter what time of day.  Most long-term water operations/construction professional has a story about a Christmas Eve spent fixing a water main.

Much goes the same for our wastewater staff, serving about 3,000 homes and businesses along the I-15 Corridor and in the Central Valley areas of the District.  Wastewater Reclamation Facilities operate round the clock and must be monitored and manned to ensure that waste is being treated to meet stringent state standards so that it can be recycled for irrigation use, or disposed of safely. Like the water supply, there are wastewater service emergencies which must be responded to no matter the day or time of day.

A critical aspect to providing reliable water and wastewater service is the professional design engineering, project management, and inspection underpinning the development and maintenance of the water and wastewater systems. Engineers, project managers and inspectors are responsible for directing and overseeing the constant replacements, upgrades, overall system efficiency improvements which are required to sustain efficient, safe and reliable utility systems.

October 7 through the 15th was Water (and Wastewater) Professionals Week.  While you may not be so bold as to shake their hand and thank them for their dedication, diligence and work, you might just give a kind appreciative thought about the men and women operating, maintaining and administering the water and wastewater systems so key and valuable to your everyday life here in Valley Center.

* * *

Gary Arant is general manager of the Valley Center Municipal Water District



Oct. 7, 2017

Daily Republic

Press Release: October 7-15 is Water Professionals Appreciation Week

By Public Information Office, City of Vacaville

California’s first-ever Water Professionals Appreciation Week will begin October 7-15, 2017.

Water Professionals Appreciation Week recognizes the important role water industry professionals and local public water agencies play in ensuring safe and reliable water, wastewater, and recycled water in California.

Each year, the City of Vacaville’s water and wastewater professionals safely treat and deliver over 4.5 billion gallons of clean, safe, high quality drinking water to the residents and businesses of Vacaville. They also treat and safely discharge into the environment over 2.5 billion gallons of wastewater.

These highly skilled and experienced individuals ensure that the operation, maintenance, and water quality functions of the City of Vacaville’s water and wastewater systems are performed effectively, efficiently, and safely. With a growing City and increasing state and federal regulatory requirements, these water professionals are working on more projects under stricter conditions than ever before.

Water Professionals Appreciation Week was established by resolution by the California State Legislature on September 13, 2017 and chaptered on September 19, 2017.

The resolution, authored by Sen. Bill Dodd (D-Napa), was sponsored by a coalition that included the Association of California Water Agencies, Water Reuse California, California Association of Sanitation Agencies, California Water Association, and the California Water Environment Association.

Thanks to the City of Vacaville Utilities and Public Works Department teams, we were able to exceed all water conservation requirements as we helped California navigate through one of the worst droughts in state history. We continue to work toward completion of the Easterly Wastewater Treatment Plant Tertiary Project, which will improve the quality of our discharged wastewater and open the possibility of reuse of recycled water for other beneficial purposes.

We acknowledge and thank our water and wastewater treatment plant operators, utility plant mechanics, utility plant electricians, utility plant control systems technicians, cross connection specialists, engineers, environmental compliance inspectors, laboratory analysts, and all of the managers, supervisors, interns and administrative professionals for their dedication to their individual professions and to the water and wastewater industry.


Oct. 6, 2017

Dublin Patch

Water Appreciation Week: Love Your H2O? Thank These Folks!

By Susan C. Schena

Give a big salute to the people behind your pipes.

DUBLIN, CA – Shortly after midnight on a night in early September, on-call water systems operator Ray Robles received an alarm from a Dublin San Ramon Services District drinking water pumping station in central Dublin as suction pressure suddenly fallen to near zero.

Three minutes later, Dublin law enforcement called Robles to report Tuscany Drive pavement buckling due to a water main break.

As Robles arrived at the scene, Alameda County fire crews already had stopped the flow by turning off water to numerous homes, but Robles adjusted valves so only 25 homes were without water during repairs. As water drained off the street, the pavement over the leak began cracking and sinking.

Responding DSRSD employees discovered a 20-foot crack in a 14-inch water main buried 10 feet under the street, and, as the excavation grew, the City of Dublin sent a building inspector to ensure nearby homes were safe.

On his way to the scene at 3:30 a.m., DSRSD Acting Field Operations Supervisor Levi Fuller picked up 25 cases of bottled water, one for each of the homes where water was off, and then stayed on site until 3:30 a.m. the next day, when repairs were finished.

Other staff brought in jugs of water, so residents could flush toilets, and special equipment to vacuum up mud. DSRSD’s communications staff for 10 hours handed out water, answered questions and coordinated with Torrey Pines Homeowners Association Manager Paula Asbury, who kept residents informed.

“Those poor guys worked for more than 24 hours (same guys the whole time) and didn’t leave until it was repaired,” said a resident in a Nextdoor post that expressed her appreciation for the rapid response.

“Stories like this happen every day, in every community,” said DSRSD General Manager Dan McIntyre. “Our people keep the water on and the sewers and treatment plants working 24/7, but they’re rarely visible until something goes wrong. It’s a real boost when our customers go out of their way to say thank you.”

Major pipe failures of that size are rare in Dublin and the Dougherty Valley area of San Ramon where DSRSD provides water service, according to officials.

This year, DSRSD completed a $6.7 million, eight-year modernization of its automated control system and network.

So how to applaud these often unsung heros?

California’s legislature established Water Professionals Appreciation Week, Oct. 7 -15 this year, to highlight the important role of water industry professionals and local public water agencies in ensuring safe and reliable water, wastewater and recycled water services.

To attract new men and women to the specialized field, DSRSD teamed up with other agencies and Solano Community College to offer training that prepares students for state certification exams in water operations. The Bay Area Consortium for Water and Wastewater Education offers evening courses taught by working professionals at treatment plants throughout the Bay Area, including DSRSD’s facility in Pleasanton. The 22-agency partnership also pays for students’ tuition and books.

The District office is located at 7051 Dublin Blvd., Dublin CA, 94568. For more information about the District, visit


Oct. 6, 2017


Bill Rosen to Head Water Agency Region 5

News Release

Bill Rosen, a director since 2008 of Goleta Water District, has been elected chair of Region 5 of the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA).  ACWA is the principal advocate for pubic water agencies in California.

Rosen was elected vice chair of Region 5 in 2015 and has served as a member of the Board of Directors of ACWA. He will continue as a member of the Board of Directors by virtue of his position as chair.

Region 5 consists of 10 counties from San Francisco to Santa Barbara with more than 40-member water agencies.

“It is an honor to work on the leading edge of water policy in the state,” Rosen said.

A conference was held in Santa Barbara in September dealing with recycled water and water reuse. Rosen said these topics are the most important subjects on finding other sources of water.

Rosen said he appreciated the confidence shown by the Goleta Water District in permitting him to serve.










Oct. 4, 2017

Global Newswire

California’s First-Ever Water Professionals Appreciation Week Launches Oct. 7

News Release: Association of California Water Agencies

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Oct. 04, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — California’s first-ever Water Professionals Appreciation Week launches Oct. 7 and runs through Oct. 15 as part of a new annual designation intended to highlight the important role of water industry professionals and local public water agencies in ensuring safe and reliable water, wastewater, and recycled water for California.

Water Professionals Appreciation Week was established by Senate Concurrent Resolution (SCR) 80, authored by Sen. Bill Dodd (D-Napa).

“While this year’s rains eased drought conditions, supporting smart water policy and infrastructure has never been more crucial,” said Senator Dodd. “Our economy and our environment depend on water professionals working every single day to maintain and improve our water systems. Water truly is the lifeblood of our state and their work is indispensable.”

The measure was sponsored by an ACWA-led coalition that includes: WateReuse California, California Municipal Utilities Association, California Association of Sanitation Agencies, and the California Water Association. The California Water Environment Association also is a partner in the effort.

As part of Water Professionals Appreciation Week, local urban and agricultural water agencies across the state will host events and programs focused on staff appreciation, educating key audiences on the value of water and wastewater services, showcasing the important role that water professionals play in delivering water to California’s homes, businesses and farms, and promoting careers in the water industry.

“Water Professionals Appreciation Week is a proactive and exciting opportunity to showcase the ‘people behind the pipes and plants’ who work hard every day to ensure safe, reliable water for communities throughout California,” said ACWA Deputy Executive Director for External Affairs Jennifer Persike. “It also gives water agencies a chance to cultivate the next generation of water leaders by highlighting the rewarding careers in the water industry to young professionals and students.”

Other Contacts (Cosponsors and Partners):

  • Adam Link, California Association of Sanitation Agencies,
  • Matt Williams, California Municipal Utilities Association,
  • Jack Hawks, California Water Association,
  • Alec Mackie, California Water Environment Association,
  • Jennifer West, WateReuse California,

ACWA is a statewide association of public agencies whose 430+ members are responsible for about 90% of the water delivered in California. For more information, visit ACWA also manages Save Our Water—the state’s official water conservation outreach program – in partnership with the California Department of Water Resources. More information is at

Contact:  Pamela Martineau, Acting Communications Supervisor, 916/441-4545 or 916/832-7941

Blurbs and reprints:–25228427/



Sept. 25, 2017



CALIFORNIA, SEPT 25, 2017 — The state’s first-ever Water Professionals Appreciation Week will launch Oct. 7 as part of a new annual designation intended to highlight water industry professionals and local public water agencies role in ensuring safe and reliable water, wastewater, and recycled water in California.

Established by Senate Concurrent Resolution (SCR) 80, approved by the Legislature on Sept. 13 and chaptered on Sept. 19, Water Professionals Appreciation Week runs from Oct. 7-15. Participating organizations include the Association of California Water Agencies, WateReuse California, California Municipal Utilities Association, California Association of Sanitation Agencies and California Water Association. The California Water Environment Association also is a partner in the effort.

ACWA has developed a toolkit for use by water agencies that wish to participate in Water Professionals Appreciation Week. The new toolkit is available on ACWA’s website here.



Sept. 20, 2017

Sierra Sun Times

California Farm Bureau Federation Commentary: Disastrous Wildfires Show Need for Improved Policies

By Erin Huston

As dozens of wildfires burn across California and other Western states, the pressure ratchets up on Congress to take long-awaited action to reform federal policy on forestry and wildfire prevention.

During the past week, two members of the Trump administration responded to the escalating crisis.

First, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced plans to adopt more-aggressive practices to prevent and combat wildfires on federal land. He promised “robust fuels reduction and pre-suppression techniques,” and directed managers and superintendents of Interior Department units to use the full range of existing authorities to reduce fuels.

Two days later, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said wildland fire-suppression costs for the current fiscal year had topped $2 billion, making 2017 the most expensive year on record. He renewed his call for Congress to fix the way it funds U.S. Department of Agriculture fire-suppression activities.

The current, ineffective method is called “fire borrowing.” USDA has to borrow money from the fire-prevention part of the Forest Service budget to pay for fighting existing fires. This could change, if Congress treated wildfires the same as other disasters—such as the hurricanes that have done so much damage in Texas and Florida this summer. Money to respond to those disasters will come from emergency funds, but such funds aren’t available for wildfire response.

Farm Bureau has long advocated for an end to “fire borrowing,” as well as for legislation that accelerates forest restoration and enhances hazardous-fuel reduction. To address some of these goals, we’ve turned our attention to the upcoming rewrite of federal agricultural policy: the 2018 Farm Bill.

A few weeks ago, Farm Bureau hosted a group of timber operators, foresters, private landowners and others involved in forestry, to meet with Rep. Doug LaMalfa, R-Richvale, about forestry issues in the farm bill. For example, those of us in the meeting agreed that the new farm bill should streamline processes the Forest Service uses after a wildfire to remove dead trees more quickly.

Farm bill programs can help in fire prevention, for example by allowing declaration of emergencies due to insect or disease infestations and including removal of dead vegetation as part of reforestation activities. The farm bill can also encourage use of biomass power plants to reduce the fuel load in forests, and direct conservation and research funds toward forest management.

Support for improved forest management has broadened as wildfires have consumed more land. The California Farm Bureau Federation participates in an urban-rural coalition called the California Forest Watershed Alliance, or CAFWA, which brings together water districts, local governments, conservation organizations, agricultural and forestry groups. Coalition members include the Association of California Water Agencies, California Forestry Association, Rural County Representatives of California, the Nature Conservancy and CFBF.

In a list of recommendations for the 2018 Farm Bill, CAFWA focuses on a comprehensive solution to forest management—including wildfire prevention, suppression and restoration—in order to leave forests more resilient against disease, drought and wildfire. Among other things, that means more and faster forest thinning, hazardous-fuel removal, creation of firebreaks and other activities.

Our coalition supports projects that accelerate large landscape restoration, and supports expanded Good Neighbor Authority, which helps federal land managers enter into collaborative agreements with state governments to enhance forest management.

Other strategies the farm bill could support include technical assistance for landowners, secure funding for key conservation programs and grant funding to offset the cost of transporting wood to biomass plants.

And, of course, the CAFWA coalition supports an end to “fire borrowing” and a comprehensive solution to address the increasing cost of wildfire suppression.

As you can see, wildfire prevention and forest management represent a multi-faceted issue—and we need to pay attention to all of those facets in order to achieve the goal of healthy public and private forestland. Some factors that increase wildfire danger, such as long drought, may be beyond our control—but that just means we have to be more active in controlling the factors we can control.

We’ve seen the alternative: Lack of active forest management has created danger and severe economic hardship for Californians who live and work in rural communities.

Wildfires have burned millions of acres, endangered lives, displaced families, ruined wildlife habitat, damaged rural economies and degraded watersheds—among many other awful results. The only good thing that could come from any of this would be if Congress finally acts to end “fire borrowing” and takes other actions to reform forestry policy.

Farm Bureau will do all we can to make sure that happens. As discussions about the 2018 Farm Bill progress, be sure to let your member of Congress know that you support programs that restore balance to our forest and to the way we pay to fight wildfires.

(Erin Huston is a federal policy consultant for the California Farm Bureau Federation. She may be reached at


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