Shade Balls, Water Conservation and LEED Gold Status Recognized with Industry Award
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) was recently recognized by the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA), along with 13 other public drinking water systems nationwide, for excellence in management.
AMWA, an organization of the largest publicly owned drinking water suppliers in the United States, presented the awards during ceremonies on October 16 at AMWA’s 2017 Executive Management Conference in St. Simons, Ga. Three award categories with recognized a total of 14 honorees; each category highlighted different aspects of management practices that have resulted in notable achievements.
LADWP was a recipient of the 2017 AMWA Sustainable Water Utility Management Award, sharing the honor with systems from Georgia, Virginia, Arizona, New York and Florida. This category recognizes excellence in management that makes possible, innovative and successful efforts in the areas of economic, social and environmental endeavors.
“As people more and more recognize how vital adequate, reliable supplies of safe, clean drinking water are to public health and community sustainability, AMWA is pleased to spotlight the impressive achievements of public drinking water utilities that are leading the nation in their efforts toward sustainability through innovative management practices, executive leadership and employee engagement,” said AMWA President Scott Potter, Director of Nashville Metro Water Services. “Our 2017 management award winners are a credit to their communities, and we salute their formidable accomplishments.”
LADWP reached its goal of 20 percent water savings through incentive programs, operational changes and improved technologies, in conjunction with implementation of conservation ordinances. The US Green Building Council also awarded LEED Gold status to LADWP’s headquarters downtown, the John Ferraro Building, for making energy efficiency improvements. LADWP broke ground on the Tujunga Spreading Grounds Enhancement Project which will double the stormwater capture capacity of the facility and help further recharge our local groundwater resources and increase the reliability of water service during extended droughts and emergencies.
Perhaps the most widely-known LADWP innovation is the Department’s use of nearly 100 million shade balls to cover the surface of the Los Angeles Reservoir to uphold drinking water quality standards. As an added benefit, the shade balls serve as a barrier between the water and the sun, preventing excessive water loss to evaporation, controlling algae and saving money.
“Our commitment to developing a sustainable water future can be seen in all aspects of our water operations, from expanding water conservation and water recycling to enhancing stormwater capture and cleaning up the San Fernando groundwater basin,” said Richard Harasick, LADWP Senior Assistant General Manager, Water System. “LADWP is proud of and humbled by AMWA’s recognition of our Department’s management practices and our innovations and successes in the area of sustainability."