Cal Poly Pomona and UC Riverside Secure Victories at CWEA’s 7th Annual Student Design Competition


The California Water Environment Association (CWEA) recently hosted its 7th Annual Student Design Competition on May 13th, showcasing the brightest young minds in the field of water and wastewater engineering. Two exceptional teams represented their respective universities, earning the chance to compete in the Water Environment Federation (WEF) Student Design Competition at WEFTEC in Chicago this fall.

Help us Send Two California Teams to WEFTEC


Your logo will be featured right here and in upcoming CWEA email newsletters.

Help support the future of California water professionals. CWEA is fundraising to help reimburse these students for their WEFTEC travel expenses. Get involved today:

  • Gold sponsor $2,000
  • Silver sponsor $600

For details and to show your organizations support, please contact Alec Mackie on CWEA staff.


The competition tasks students to prepare and present a design that helps solve a water quality issue. Teams evaluate alternative ideas, perform calculations, and recommend solutions in the form of an engineering report and presentation. Both teams displayed remarkable talent, dedication, and ingenuity throughout the competition.

The Cal Poly Pomona team’s winning water environment design solution showcased their deep understanding of the challenges faced in surface water quality. Their project goal was to develop an integrated design for remediating any impaired surface water body in California by utilizing nature’s biological, physical, and chemical processes to heal the environment at Puddingstone Reservoir. Puddingston Reservoir is a 250acre body of water located in Southern California, with the primary purpose of flood risk management and recreational use for the local community.

The University of California, Riverside’s WasteWater Women (WWW) analyzed the impacts of water conservation on total dissolved solids (TDS) at the Western Riverside County Regional Wastewater Authority (WRCRWA). The WRCRWA is a wastewater treatment facility with a permitted capacity of 14 MGD of disinfected tertiary treated wastewater effluent. 

The success of the Cal Poly Pomona College of Engineering and the University of California, Riverside reflects not only the talent and hard work of the students involved but also the commitment of these institutions to nurturing future leaders in the field of water and wastewater engineering.

The next stop on this journey is Chicago, where they will represent California in the WEF Student Design Competition at WEFTEC. The WEF Student Design Competition promotes real-world design experience for students interested in pursuing education and careers in water and wastewater engineering and science and brings together the brightest minds from across the globe to showcase their innovative solutions for the water environment industry. CWEA holds their own Student Design Competition in the spring and allows student teams to bring problems they are currently working on.

Volunteers Needed

If you know a great college team we should invite to next year’s competition or wish to volunteer as a judge, please contact [email protected]. Join incoming chair Guy Yager of Black and Veatch for the 2024 competition.