Olivenhain Municipal Water District Honors 2023 “Pure Excellence” Award Winners

At its November 15 board meeting, Olivenhain Municipal Water District recognized several community members with “Pure Excellence” awards for making a positive impact in the community in 2023. The winners—Congressman Scott Peters, MiraCosta College, California Landscape Technologies, BCK Programs, and Rich Reimer—were acknowledged for advancing water use efficiency and protecting the natural environment.

“Tonight, we celebrate the extraordinary efforts of local leaders,” said OMWD Board President Christy Guerin. “The efforts of our honorees will have lasting impacts on our community by helping to develop new water supplies, more efficiently using existing supplies, and fostering respect and appreciation for local watersheds.”

Congressman Scott Peters was named OMWD’s Legislator of the Year for his efforts to secure federal funding for OMWD’s San Dieguito Valley Brackish Groundwater Desalination Project. The project will increase local sustainability by treating brackish groundwater via reverse osmosis to potable water standards and delivering it to customers for uses like drinking water and fire protection. His funding request of $959,752 was accepted by the House Appropriations Committee for the environmental phase of the project, and is pending approval by the Senate and President Biden.

MiraCosta College is OMWD’s Customer of the Year for making investments to incorporate recycled water into its San Elijo campus. The change will save more than 2.8 million gallons of imported drinking water every year. Additionally, MiraCosta continues to partner with OMWD to increase community awareness of water use efficiency.

California Landscape Technologies was recognized as OMWD’s Business of the Year for serving as a consultant, landscape designer, and workshop instructor. In addition, CLT has been performing water use evaluations for OMWD customers for over a decade, averaging over 200 evaluations each year since 2009, teaching customers how to save water indoors and out.

BCK Programs, LLC is OMWD’s Educator of the Year. This past year, OMWD partnered with BCK Programs on a hydroponics education campaign that helped students and community members understand the water-saving potential of hydroponic agriculture. It also maintained a hydroponic unit located in OMWD’s California-Friendly Demonstration Garden.

Rich Riemer is OMWD’s Volunteer of the Year. A retired statistician, he has been a volunteer at Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve since August 2021. He has conducted more than 78 trail patrols and visitor hikes, and volunteered countless hours in education events and school field trips. Mr. Riemer was also instrumental in identifying trees infested with Gold Spotted Oak Borers, helping to slow their spread.