ANAHEIM, CA--(Marketwired - December 01, 2016) - The Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) today presented its Huell Howser Best in Blue Award to the Joshua Basin Water District for its innovative outreach program encouraging the public to plant water-saving native plants.

The award was presented during the annual ACWA Fall Conference & Exhibition in Anaheim, where more than 1,600 local water officials are gathered through Friday for programs and panel discussions on California's critical water issues. Joshua Basin Water District was among six finalists for the award that honors stellar communications and outreach programs developed and run by California water agencies.

"Joshua Basin Water District's creative and collaborative campaign to educate the public about the water savings inherent in native plants is a stellar example of the many local programs being offered by water agencies throughout the state to help California survive this multi-year drought," said ACWA President Kathy Tiegs. "The district reached out to partners throughout its community to collaborate on an educational and results-driven program to `Save Water…Grow Native.'"

Other finalists for this year's award were:

  • Las Virgenes Municipal Water District for outreach on its Conversion to Budget-Based (Water Budget) Rate Structure, which used hands-on demonstrations as well as social media to answer customers' questions.
  • Metropolitan Water District of Southern California for its water conservation campaign called "Let's All Take a Turn," which encouraged residents to turn off their faucets whenever possible.
  • Padre Dam Municipal Water District for its public education campaign on the Advanced Water Purification Program, a robust media campaign designed to improve the community's comfort level with the idea of indirect potable reuse of wastewater.
  • San Diego County Water Authority for its Citizens Water Academy, a program to educate customers on regional water issues, water supply, and regional water infrastructure.
  • Western Municipal Water District for its Free Sprinkler Nozzles Program, an outreach campaign that engaged customers and made it easy to obtain vouchers for free sprinkler nozzles.

ACWA is a statewide association of public agencies whose 430+ members are responsible for about 90% of the water delivered in California. For more information, visit

Contact Information:

Lisa Lien-Mager
Director of Communications
(916) 441-4545
C (530) 902-3815