SOURCE: Association of California Water Agencies

Association of California Water Agencies

May 05, 2010 16:00 ET

ACWA Honors Alameda County Water District With 2010 Clair A. Hill Award

District's School Outreach Program on Water Conservation Honored at Statewide Conference

MONTEREY, CA--(Marketwire - May 5, 2010) - The Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) today presented the prestigious Clair A. Hill Award to Alameda County Water District for its innovative "Stop that Running Toilet" school outreach program.

The award was presented during the annual ACWA Spring Conference & Exhibition, where more than 1,700 local water officials are gathered through Friday for programs and panel discussions on a variety of key water issues. Alameda County Water District was selected from among four finalists to receive the award.

"Alameda County Water District is an outstanding example of a local agency implementing creative solutions to manage California's water resources," ACWA President Paul Kelley said. "Alameda's program demonstrates innovation, but also achieves real water savings by actively engaging school-age children in water conservation activities."

Seeking a measurable way to reduce water consumption, the district called in ZunZun, a musical duo from Santa Cruz, to teach students about water conservation using fun songs, unusual instruments and audience participation. After the assemblies, the district distributed Toilet Leak Detection Kits to the students so they could test their toilets at home and record their results on a postcard. The district followed up with students with leaky toilets by sending a free flapper valve with installation instructions.

During the 2008-2009 school year, more than 15,000 students attended the assembly and about 600 later reported having a leaky toilet. The district estimates that more than 13 million gallons of water will be saved each year as a result of the program.

ACWA's Clair A. Hill Water Agency Award for Excellence is an annual award program that recognizes outstanding achievements by public water agencies. The winning agency has the honor of awarding a $5,000 scholarship to a deserving student in the name of Clair A. Hill, founder of the consulting engineering firm CH2M Hill.

Other finalists for this year's award were:

  • City of Santa Rosa, for its Water Shortage Response Program, which achieved a 25 percent reduction in water use during a water shortage.
  • Coachella Valley Water District, for its seminar, "Water Management for Landscape Professionals," a bilingual, hands-on workshop educating local landscapers on water conservation practices.
  • Irvine Ranch Water District / Santa Margarita Water District, for the South Orange County Interconnection Project, which improved water supply reliability when a key treatment plant is shut down or during an emergency.

ACWA is a statewide association of public agencies whose 450 members are responsible for about 90% of the water delivered in California. For more information, visit

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Jennifer Persike
    ACWA Director of Strategic Coordination and Public Affairs
    916/296-3981 (cell)