AC23 Awards

94th Annual California Water Environment Awards: Recognizing Water Sector Honorees

Photos by Sal Ochoa
Announcements, Members in the News

Twelve organizations and nine individuals comprise the honorees of the 94th Annual California Water Environment Association (CWEA) Awards, celebrating those who have made significant contributions to improving the water environment in California. These organizations and individuals were selected from over 300 applications and received their awards at a ceremony on April 19, 2023, in San Diego, Calif.

Recognizing excellence for 94 years, the CWEA awards program honors individuals, institutions, and companies across the state that are leading California in engineering, wastewater operations, collection systems, laboratory, and pretreatment programs. Recipients of a CWEA award must undergo a rigorous application process and two levels of judging by their peers in the water sector to be considered for this prestigious recognition.

“We are thrilled to honor these trailblazers who are making remarkable strides to safeguard our state’s most precious resource,” said Jeff Tucker, 2022-2023 President of CWEA and director of finance at the Vallejo Flood & Wastewater District. “These awardees demonstrate the innovation, dedication, and commitment we need to protect our California water environment for future generations.”

For more information about the California Water Environment Awards, visit

2023 CWEA Awards, Organizational Recipients

Collection Systems, Large (Over 500 Miles)
City of San Diego Public Utilities Department
San Diego, Calif.

Collection Systems, Medium (Between 250-500 Miles)
Truckee Sanitary District
Truckee, Calif.

Collection Systems, Small (0-249 Miles)
Ross Valley Sanitary District
San Rafael, Calif.

Plant of the Year, Large (Over 20MGD)
Fairfield-Suisun Sewer District
Fairfield, Calif.

Plant of the Year, Medium (Between 5-20MGD)
City of Oceanside
Oceanside, Calif.

Plant of the Year, Small (Less than 5MGD)
Olivenhain Municipal Water District
Encinitas, Calif.

Safety Plant of the Year, Small (Less than 25 Employees)
City of Palm Springs Wastewater Treatment Plant
Palm Springs, Calif.

Dr. Jenkins Research Achievement
City of Oxnard, Jan Hauser (Wastewater Division Manager)

Engineering Achievement
San Bernardino Municipal Water Department
San Bernardino, Calif.

Community Engagement and Outreach: Project of the Year, Large (Over 20MGD)
Orange County Sanitation District
Fountain Valley, Calif.

Community Engagement and Outreach: Project of the Year, Medium (Between 5-20MGD)
Ventura Water Outreach Team
City of Ventura
Ventura, Calif.

Community Engagement and Outreach: Project of the Year, Small (Less than 5MGD)
Mission Springs Water District
Desert Hot Springs, Calif.

2023 CWEA Awards, Individual Recipients

Collection System Person of the Year
Miles Rex
Santa Margarita Water District
Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.

Supervisor of the Year
Robert Wilson
City of Santa Rosa
Santa Rosa, Calif.

Electrical Instrumentation Person of the Year
Michael Wilson
Central Marin Sanitation Agency
San Rafael, Calif.

Mechanical Technician Person of the Year
Dale Austin
Vallecitos Water District
San Marcos, Calif.

Operator of the Year
Manuel Dos Santos
City of South San Francisco
South San Francisco, Calif.

Pretreatment, Pollution Prevention & Stormwater Person of the Year
Kristopher McGinnis
Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts
Whittier, Calif.

Laboratory Person of the Year
Aaron Roberts
City of Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, Calif.

Outstanding Young Professional of the Year
Jamie Johnson
State Water Resources Control Board
Sacramento, Calif.

Community Engagement and Outreach: Person of the Year
Jennifer Kaiser
Vallejo Flood and Wastewater District
Vallejo, Calif.