Recycled Water Stakeholders Group Wins Leadership Honor

The Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) on May 21 presented its 2009 Excellence in Water Leadership Award to the Recycled Water Stakeholders Group, a coalition of water and environmental interests that mounted a breakthrough effort last year to negotiate a new statewide policy on recycled water.

The effort, launched in response to a draft policy by the State Water Resources Control Board, was aimed at bringing a new approach to the task of balancing existing state policies on protecting water quality and encouraging water recycling.

"This award is ACWA's way of recognizing leadership and contributions that make a lasting difference in California water," ACWA President Glen Peterson said. "This unlikely group of water and environmental stakeholders certainly fits that bill. During an intense round of negotiations last summer, they bridged their differences and crafted a workable policy on recycled water that was adopted by the State Water Resources Control Board with few changes.

"They took on a tremendous challenge, and the result is a policy framework that makes the permitting process more predictable for recycled water projects," Peterson said. "This is a terrific model for collaborating on policy reforms in many other regulatory areas."

Participants in the Recycled Water Stakeholders Group include: David Aladjem, Downey Brand; Jonathan Bishop, State Water Resources Control Board; Martha Davis, Inland Empire Utilities Agency; Gus Dembegiotes, Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation; Conner Everts, Environment Now; Mark Gold, Heal the Bay; Bob Hultquist, Department of Public Health; Roberta Larson, Somach Simmons & Dunn; Mindy McIntyre, Planning & Conservation League; Bert Michalczyk, Dublin San Ramon Services District; Linda Sheehan, California Coastkeeper Alliance, Fran Spivy-Weber, State Water Resources Control Board; Nancy Sutley, formerly with the City of Los Angeles; Gary Wolff, former member of the State Water Resources Control Board; and Gary Yamamoto, Department of Public Health.

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