Veterans in Water: Robert Delgado, Inland Empire Utilities Agency

Veterans in Water

Robert Delgado, Inland Empire Utilities Agency

Robert Delgado
Manager of Maintenance, Inland Empire Utilities Agency
Certifications held: Mechanical Technologist, Grade 4. Other non-CWEA Certs: Certified Maintenance & Reliability Professional (CMRP), Certified Reliability Leader (CRL), and Certified Asset Reliability Practitioner.
Education: Bachelors in Business Administration
Branch and years of service: U.S. NAVY – 4 years
CWEA Volunteer – 5 Years

What is your role at the Agency?
My role as the Manager of Maintenance is to provide day-to-day leadership in areas of planning, scheduling, execution, reliability, and asset management. Provide expert professional assistance and guidance to personnel working on Agency assets to ensure work is done in a safe, reliable, and cost-effective manner that meets all regulatory requirements.

What / who inspired you to work in water?
My introduction to water came when I served in the military. I was assigned the rating of Engineman and part of my responsibilities was to operate and maintain the reverse osmosis onboard the ship which turned sea water into potable water. Additionally, I was also responsible for the equipment that treated the sewer onboard the ship before it was discharged into the ocean.

What fuels your passion for your work?
My passion comes from understanding the value of the precious and limited resource we are working with; water. I appreciate the dedicated professionals I work with, their talent, their unwavering commitment to the environment, and their passion for turning yuck into life. I’m also passionate about developing the future generation(s) of water professionals. I love to give back time to mentor and educate those that may not know about the opportunities this industry offers. Water is more than opening a faucet or flushing the toilet, it is a whole world of opportunities.

What is the biggest mis-perception about working in water?
The biggest misconception is not knowing the vast opportunities for employment the water industry offers. You can be a warehouse technician, an electrician, an engineer, or a general manager, and everything in between.

Why should veterans join this field?
Individuals transitioning from military to civilian should consider the water industry as it offers a culture of caring, dedication, commitment, and loyalty, all which the military trains you on. Many of the military skills and knowledge translate to the water industry and there’s so many different opportunities, there’s a good chance you will find a fit for your skills. Furthermore, the military has taught you discipline, initiative, ownership, and commitment; all of these traits and skills are highly desired in the water industry.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your work?
Working with so many talented and like-minded individuals. I have never felt like I needed to know it all as I can rely on my team to strengthen me in areas where I may not be as strong. The water community is passionate about the environment and making this world a better place; that in itself is rewarding and makes you feel good at the end of each working day.