OPARC Program wins Huell Howser Best in Blue Award at
ACWA Annual Fall Conference

Rowland Water District’s (RWD) OPARC program was recognized for achieving communications excellence by the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) at its 2017 Fall Conference and Exhibition in Anaheim.

RWD received the Huell Howser Best in Blue Award on Nov. 29, 2017 at the conference for its OPARC Fire Hydrant Maintenance Program.

The first-of-its-kind community outreach effort, employing adults with disabilities to paint fire hydrants, launched in January 2016, in partnership with OPARC, a non-profit organization that facilitates meaningful employment opportunities for adults with disabilities in Southern California.

“This program inspired our District, our community and our region,” said Rowland Water District General Manager Tom Coleman. “We are humbled to be honored with this prestigious award.”

Four special needs employees were selected by the OPARC organization to be a part of Rowland’s work force. They were paid $15.00 per hour, more than twice the amount they would otherwise receive from government subsidies. In just one year, the four participants repainted more than 1,000 hydrants.

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Expansion of a Rowland Water District (RWD) recycled water pipeline project will save enough fresh water to allow for a 450,800-square-foot development with retail stores, a restaurant, hotel rooms and meeting space.

The Future 3 Recycled Water Pipeline Project in Rowland Heights and the City of Industry was approved by RWD’s Board of Directors on July 11. The project will supply 28 other sites with 99 acre-feet of recycled water per year so RWD can serve the proposed Rowland Heights Plaza and Hotel mixed-use project.

“It is part of Rowland’s mission to pursue additional water supplies and diversify our portfolio,” said RWD General Manager Tom Coleman. “Recycled water brings reliable, local water supplies to our region, and we are committed to expanding these programs every chance we get.”

The Board also approved an addition to a previously certified environmental impact report to reduce any impacts from the project.

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