OMWD recognized for water advocacy in Washington


The Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) recognized Olivenhain Municipal Water District Feb. 27 with its “Most Effective Agency on Federal Issues” award. The award was presented to OMWD General Manager Kimberly Thorner at ACWA’s annual conference in Washington, DC.

In 2018, OMWD engaged House and Senate committees as well as staff from the US Bureau of Reclamation and Government Accountability Office on the Title XVI program that facilitates water reclamation and reuse. The program has been an important funding mechanism for the development of recycled water infrastructure that ultimately increases the reliability of California’s increasingly taxed water supplies.

“OMWD takes great pride in leading the way on water infrastructure and water reuse,” said OMWD Board President Ed Sprague. “The award gives credit to the efforts made by our board and staff to ensure our customers’ voices are heard at the federal level.”

As a member of the North San Diego Water Reuse Coalition, OMWD works collaboratively with other local municipalities to expand recycled water infrastructure regionally. Four participating agencies—OMWD, Carlsbad Municipal Water District, Leucadia Wastewater District, and San Elijo Joint Powers Authority—constructed the North County Recycled Water Project in the late 1990s with $20 million in Title XVI funds. This partnership evolved into today’s Coalition, which expanded to include the City of Escondido, the City of Oceanside, Rincon del Diablo Municipal Water District, Santa Fe Irrigation District, and Vallecitos Water District.

OMWD currently meets approximately 14 percent of its demands with recycled water.

ACWA is the largest statewide coalition of public water agencies in the country, with more than 430 public agencies that collectively serve 90 percent of the water delivered to cities, farms, and businesses in California. — Submitted news release