Three water agencies were recognized this week by the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) for excellence in environmental stewardship. ACWA presented its Theodore Roosevelt Award for Environmental Excellence to the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, South San Joaquin Municipal Utility District and Irvine Ranch Water District at the groups biannual conference in Anaheim.
"In Californias early history, providing water for human benefit often came at the expense of the plants and animals in our natural environment," said ACWA Executive Director Steve Hall. "Today, water agencies play an active role in protecting sensitive ecosystems. Each action an agency takes must balance human and environmental impacts, and the agencies winning this years award are great examples of this philosophy."
The San Francisco PUC received recognition for its Alameda Creek Watershed Grazing Management Program. A diverse collection of stakeholders helped develop this plan to allow continued grazing in the watershed under guiding principles that kept the water source protected from waterborne pathogens carried by cattle.
South San Joaquin MUD was recognized for its new Reynolds Hub Reservoir. This innovative project fulfilled the districts goals of improved water management by combining supplies from several sources into a central "hub" reservoir. It also provided residents with an attractive local fish pond, and offers a new resting stop for migratory and wetland birds.
The award-winning project with the largest budget was Irvine Ranch Water District, for its San Diego Creek Diversion and Natural Treatment System. This project involved increased water flows through San Diego Creek and restoration of several pools in the San Joaquin Marsh.