The Real-Life Success Stories of Two ACWA Scholarship Recipients

  • by Emily Allshouse
  • Apr 20, 2018
  • Newsletters

ACWA began its scholarship program in 1961 with the goal of investing in future water leaders and cultivating a rich workforce of water professionals dedicated to ensuring safe and reliable water for all Californians. Over the past 57 years, ACWA has awarded scholarships to numerous students, enabling them to pursue their water-resources related education and career goals. Ten years ago, those students included two now-notable names in California water: Daniel Holtz and Michael Kiparsky. 

Daniel Holtz

ACWA Scholarship

Daniel Holtz applied for an ACWA Scholarship in 2008 as a senior at Cal Poly majoring in bioresource and agricultural engineering. Citing first-hand experience with agricultural water challenges on his family’s avocado farm in northern San Diego County, Holtz expressed his commitment to California water and developing sustainable water solutions for the state’s agriculture industry. He was awarded one of two $3,000 ACWA scholarships that year.

At the time, he was working as an agricultural intern for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS). These days you can still find him at NRCS, but he now serves as the Field Office Engineer for Escondido, providing financial and technical assistance to landowners throughout San Diego County to help improve irrigation efficiency and reduce soil erosion. Holtz credits his early experiences on his family’s farm for his love for agriculture and compassion for those who farm.

“Being able to work with farmers on a daily basis is what I enjoy the most,” said Holtz. “Our goal is to help farmers use scientific methods to irrigate more efficiently. My degree in agricultural engineering has made this possible, and ACWA’s help was huge.”

In February of this year, Holtz also was selected by Valley Center Municipal Water District to serve as the district’s Division 5 director. As a Valley Center native and fourth-generation farmer, Holtz says he is happy to have a chance to give back to his community through his new role. According to Valley Center MWD Board President Robert Polito, the feeling is mutual.

“The appointment of Daniel Holtz is a refreshing reminder there are still young people willing to serve in public positions. I had occasion to see Daniel in action working at the NRCS. A few years ago I applied for a resource grant and he was a pleasure to work with.  As a civil engineer with an agricultural background, he will add another dimension to our board. We are very happy to have him on board,” Polito said.

Michael Kiparsky

Stephen K. Hall Water Law & Policy Scholarship

As a Ph.D. candidate in the Energy and Resources Group at UC Berkeley, Michael Kiparsky took home the very first award under ACWA’s Stephen K. Hall Water Law & Policy Scholarship in 2008. He was awarded $7,000 to work on a dissertation that examined risks to water supply from climate change, during which time he also researched science and policy in Delta governance.

Four years later, in 2012, Kiparsky became the founding director of the Wheeler Water Institute within the Center for Law, Energy & the Environment at the UC Berkeley School of Law, where he continues to work at the intersection of law, policy and science. Under his leadership, the institute has grown into a widely recognized voice on a range of California water issues.

Through the institute, Kiparsky has been working on key Sustainable Water Management Act (SGMA) implementation topics, including examining governance issues, groundwater market programs, groundwater/surface water interactions and innovative groundwater recharge programs through a series of reports. His work uses a variety of research methods and includes outreach to various stakeholders, including ACWA members, to ensure that the institute’s reports reflect a wide range of viewpoints and support water management decision makers.

“Our goal is relevance in the real world,” said Kiparsky. “SGMA implementation is an area of central focus for us. It reflects one of the other themes in our work, which is supporting the implementation of law and policy. We are not afraid to ask the difficult ‘how’ questions.”

Kiparsky’s ongoing research also focuses on water rights issues and using data to support better water decision making throughout the state, among many other topics.

“I still think back to the Steve Hall Scholarship as a crucial vote of confidence for me from the water community. Like many students, I knew I wanted to work on water but hadn’t yet found my niche. The scholarship helped to solidify my resolve, and no doubt will do so for many others,” said Kiparsky.

2018-’19 Scholarships

This year, ACWA will continue its scholarship programs by awarding five undergraduate scholarships and one graduate scholarship to qualified students majoring in water resources-related fields. This year also marks the first of two $5,000 awards under ACWA’s newest scholarship – the Ted and Nancy Way Scholarship for the Next Generation of Water Leaders.

For the 2018-’19 scholarship cycle, ACWA received a total of 56 applications from 22 students for the association’s four scholarship programs. This represents an increase in student applications over the last few years, a testament to the efforts of the ACWA Communications Committee Awards & Scholarship Subcommittee and ACWA’s new online application system.

The names of the students selected for this year’s ACWA Scholarship, Clair A. Hill Scholarship and Ted and Nancy Way Scholarship for the Next Generation of Water Leaders will be announced at ACWA’s Spring Conference & Exhibition, being held in Sacramento from May 8-11. The graduate student selected for the Stephen K. Hall Water Law and Policy Scholarship will be announced this fall.

 

Are you a past recipient of an ACWA Scholarship program? Share your success story with ACWA! Email us at scholarships@acwa.com.


Print PDF Version

Suggested Resources

15 RESOURCES prev next
Coalition Letter Supporting NPDES Permit Legislation

Sorry, but only ACWA members have permission to view this content. Member login is required.

March 2019 Federal Regulatory Issues Chart

Sorry, but only ACWA members have permission to view this content. Member login is required.

Comment Letter: Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program Third Preliminary Draft Regulations

Sorry, but only ACWA members have permission to view this content. Member login is required.

Safe Drinking Water Trust Toolkit

ACWA urges its members to use the following updated materials to help educate key audiences about how the proposed Safe Drinking […]

Comment Letter – OEHHA Draft Report on Human Right to Water

Sorry, but only ACWA members have permission to view this content. Member login is required.

Energy and Water Resources Policy Principles – Adopted Jan. 2019

In January 2019, ACWA released its updated policy principles on “Energy and Water Resources” in California. The updated principles will help […]

Comment Letter – Options for Implementation of a Statewide Low-Income Water Rate Assistance Program

Agency: California State Water Resources Control Board Subject: Options for Implementation of a Statewide Low-Income Water Rate Assistance Program Letter excerpt:  […]

2019 Legislative Outreach Toolkit

To assist  members in communicating and engaging with their legislative representatives, ACWA has published a 2019 Legislative Outreach Toolkit. Toolkit […]

Comment Letter on the California Water Plan Update 2018, Public Review Draft

Agency: California Department of Water Resources Subject: California Water Plan Update 2018, Public Review Draft Letter excerpt:  Dear Mr. Massera: The Association […]

Coalition Letter on Water Infrastructure Investment Needs

Sorry, but only ACWA members have permission to view this content. Member login is required.

Coalition Letter on Proposed Public Health Goals for Trihalomethanes in Drinking Water

Agency: Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment Subject: Proposed Public Health Goals for Trihalomethanes in Drinking Water Letter excerpt:  The Association of […]

Coalition Letter on Public Comment Period for Draft Technical Support Document for the Proposed PHGs for THMs

Agency: Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment Subject: Public Comment Period for Draft Technical Support Document for the Proposed PHGs for […]

January 2019 Federal Regulatory Issues Chart

Sorry, but only ACWA members have permission to view this content. Member login is required.

Joint Comment Letter on Toxicity Provisions

Sorry, but only ACWA members have permission to view this content. Member login is required.

Comments on Nutria Removal Program in Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta

Sorry, but only ACWA members have permission to view this content. Member login is required.

Suggested News

15 Articles prev next
ACWA News March 22, 2019

Sorry, but only ACWA members have permission to view this content. Member login is required.

WEST BASIN LAUNCHES WATER FOR TOMORROW PROGRAM

CARSON – On World Water Day the West Basin Municipal Water District introduced a renewed approach to addressing its service […]

ACWA Events Present the Best and Latest in Water

Attending ACWA’s D.C. Conference in February and our Legislative Symposium earlier this month, I was reminded of the key benefits […]

Member Spotlight – March 2019

Taking the Guesswork out of Infrastructure Replacement Work In the San Francisco Bay Area, two water agencies applied machine learning […]

Faces of Water March 2019

1. Describe your job. As a Human Resources (HR) department of one with exceptional management support, I have the pleasure […]

Coalition Touts Safe Drinking Water Trust at Senate Budget Subcommittee Hearing

ACWA and coalition members testify against water tax and in support of Trust legislation at subcommittee hearing ACWA and a […]

MMWD Replacing Over a Mile of 111-year-old Pipeline

Marin Municipal Water District (MMWD) will install new pipelines in various streets including Rosemont Avenue, Greenhill Road and Almonte Boulevard […]

ACWA, Members Testify at Assembly Budget Subcommittee Hearing

ACWA staff and several coalition members testified today at the Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 3 hearing to voice opposition to […]

DWR Increases State Water Project Allocation to 70 Percent

The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) today announced an increase to the 2019 State Water Project allocation to 70%, […]

Transparency Certificate of Excellence and District of Distinction Awarded to NCCWD

PACIFICA — The North Coast County Water District received the District Transparency Certificate of Excellence and District of Distinction Award […]

NEW DISTRICT FACILITY HONORS LONG-TIME EMPLOYEE

ROWLAND HEIGHTS – Rowland Water District recently organized a special tribute to a beloved late employee. The District dedicated its […]

New General Manager Selected to Lead Local Water Agency

In January, the Cucamonga Valley Water District (CVWD/District) Board of Directors approved a contract appointing Mr. John Bosler as the […]

Reclamation updates 2019 Central Valley Project water allocations

The Bureau of Reclamation today issued updated allocations for Central Valley Project contractors for the 2019 contract year. This update […]

Helix Water District Approves $8 Million Paydown of Pension Liabilities

The Helix Water District Board of Directors approved on February 13, 2019 a one-time, $5 million payment in 2019 and […]

EMWD Poster Contest Voting Now Open

PERRIS — Each year, Eastern Municipal Water District’s (EMWD) Education Program sponsors a poster contest for grade school students within […]