Whitaker worked to develop several programs in Southern California
Robb Whitaker, general manager for the Water Replenishment District (WRD) of Southern California, has been tapped as this year's recipient of the Recycled Water Advocate of the Year award from the California Section of the WateReuse Assn. The award recognizes an individual who has made "significant contributions to the advancement of water reuse through active support and promotion of recycled water."
"I am honored to be receiving this award on behalf of the Water Replenishment District team," Whitaker said. "I am privileged to work with an incredible group of professionals on a daily basis and a board of directors committed to securing the future reliability of our groundwater through the development of local sources such as recycled water."
Robb Whitaker was selected by WateReuse for his success in spearheading several of WRD's innovative water reuse and replenishment projects in the state.
Whitaker conceived the district's signature Water Independence Now (WIN) program. The WIN program is a nationally recognized model of local water supply development that includes the Leo J. Vander Lans Advanced Water Treatment Plant in Long Beach, Calif., and the Groundwater Reliability Improvement Program (GRIP) in conjunction with the County Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County. These efforts replace imported water with highly purified wastewater for the protection and replenishment of the groundwater basins.
Rounding out Whitaker's major water reuse accomplishments is his role in the incremental replacement of imported water with recycled water at the three barrier systems that protect the groundwater basins from seawater intrusion and contamination.
As a water industry veteran, Whitaker has more than 20 years experience in the water replenishment and water reuse sectors. Named general manager by the WRD in November 2003, he served as assistant general manager and district engineer prior to that time and has been with the district for nearly 20 years.
"Robb Whitaker has worked diligently in the effort to 'drought proof' the groundwater supply for the 4 million residents in our service area," said WRD Board President Sergio Calderon. "This award is recognition of his hard work, drive and vision. WRD is proud to be a part of his achievement."
The Water Replenishment District of Southern California is the regional groundwater management agency that protects and preserves the quantity and quality of groundwater for two of the most utilized basins in the state of California, with a service area that is home to more than 10% of California's population residing in 43 cities in southern Los Angeles County with a publicly elected board of directors.