Moulton Niguel Water District, which has earned national recognition for its leadership and innovation in water management, is educating the next generation of policymakers on how to efficiently prepare for the future.
In April 2018, more than a dozen young professionals participating in the prestigious Coro Fellowship program visited Moulton Niguel to learn how the district cost-effectively invests in and maintains its water infrastructure to best serve district ratepayers. The visit also comprised of an up-close look at the water agency’s facilities and operations center, including a site visit to watch a valve replacement job in action and stepping foot inside an above-ground water reservoir tank.
“From our capital improvement program, to local water supply, to careers in the water industry, we covered a lot during our visit and appreciated the opportunity to discuss the District’s leadership in ensuring water reliability for our customers,” said Moulton Niguel Director Dick Fiore, who accompanied the Fellows on their visit. “It’s inspiring to see so many bright, young minds interested in preparing Southern California for its long-term water needs.”
Coro Fellows: Future Statewide Leaders
For 60 years, Coro Southern California has operated one of the region’s premier civic leadership training programs. These aren’t your average Millennials. Coro Fellows have gone on to become state lawmakers, entrepreneurs and U.S. Senators.
“We want these future leaders to learn from Moulton Niguel’s leadership as an innovator in water management,” said Sara Loncka, Director,
Fellows Program in Public Affairs for Coro Southern California. “Coro and Moulton Niguel Water District share a mission to cultivate a diverse and talented workforce that is positioned to effectively tackle our region’s most complex problems, and implement concrete and meaningful change.”
Each year, the program serves a diverse cohort of 12 nationally-recruited students interested in gaining a deeper understanding of key issues affecting Southern California. The 2018 Class of Coro Fellows is specifically diving into water-related topics.
Addressing Cost-Effective Investments, Water Supply Reliability, the Water-Energy Nexus, and More
During the site visit, Coro Fellows spoke with Moulton Niguel staff about long-term, cost-effective planning, data-driven decision-making, and the importance of developing local, regional, and statewide partnerships to address the state’s water reliability needs.
Moulton Niguel is investing in reliable and sustainable water infrastructure that will serve Orange County for generations to come. Over the last decade alone, Moulton Niguel has invested more than $75 million to increase regional reliability, including having increased emergency water supply capacity, built emergency interconnections, and developed regional facilities to treat water locally.
The district, which has been recognized as the “water agency that thrived during California’s drought,” was recently honored by the WaterNow Alliance who recognized the Moulton Niguel Board of Directors with its 2018 Impact Award for accelerating innovative and sustainable water solutions. “Learning first-hand about Moulton Niguel Water District was a strong introduction to learning about SoCal’s water ecosystem,” said Fellows Jake Itzkowitz and Scott Schuler. “We were impressed with the district’s data-driven strategy, conservation initiatives, and dynamic workforce.”
Coro Fellows also gained insight into the nexus between water and energy by reviewing Moulton Niguel’s pilot project to reduce energy consumption. The district is working with the UC Davis Center for Water and Energy Efficiency to use real-time energy analytics to develop an energy management system that adapts to changing energy demands and rates. “We accomplished quite a bit in just one day by showcasing a broad range of the District’s programs and projects, but most importantly, we drilled down to the core of it all, which is the people behind the projects,” said Moulton Niguel Water District General Manager Joone Lopez. “It’s because of our Board’s leadership and our staff’s incredible work ethic that we’re able to deliver exceptional service to our customers and communities.”