ACWA Recognizes Three Agencies for Stewardship

The Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) has presented three water agencies with the water community's most prestigious award for environmental stewardship, according to a Dec. 3 press release.

Soquel Creek Water District, Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District, and Yuba County Water Agency received the 2008 Theodore Roosevelt Environmental Award during ACWA's Fall Conference & Exhibition in Long Beach.

"ACWA's member agencies are making significant strides in resource management," said ACWA President Glen Peterson. "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 Soquel Creek Water District for its Water Demand Offset Program. The program allows builders to "neutralize" the water supply impacts of their new developments by retrofitting existing homes with water-saving devices. Builders can get even more "credit" for installing high-efficiency products in their new developments. So far, the program has saved about 100 acre-feet of water per year.

Two winners were selected in Category Three (projects over $1 million). Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District won for its Lake Elsinore Stabilization Project, which delivers about 4.5 million gallons of highly treated recycled water daily into Lake Elsinore to combat low water levels, fish kills, and algae buildup. As a result, the lake has been restored to a healthy environment for fish, birds, and animals and has brought tourism and recreation to the community.

The second winner in Category Three was the Yuba County Water Agency for its Lower Yuba River Accord. Seeking to end nearly 20 years of litigation over diversions from the lower Yuba River to maintain fisheries, the agency facilitated an interest-based settlement process that brought together 17 state and federal agencies to work toward solutions. The resulting agreements meet the requirements for fish as well as local and statewide water supplies.

ACWA is a statewide association of public agencies whose 450 members are responsible for about 90 percent of the water delivered in California. For more information, visit www.acwa.com.

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