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SBVWCD Executive Director Daniel Cozad Receives Statewide Honor

Daniel Cozad, General Manager, San Bernardino Valley Water Conservation District (SBVWCD)

“Daniel has demonstrated outstanding collaboration throughout his career, resulting in a legacy of significant water projects,” said ACWA President Pamela Tobin. “He is a visionary leader who continually bridged differences to establish fruitful collaboration among stakeholders.”

This week, California’s leading voice on water issues honored San Bernardino Valley Water Conservation District General Manager Daniel Cozad with his 2022 Excellence in Water Leadership Award.

Praising him for his leadership and collaborative approach to water management issues, the California Association of Water Agencies said Cozad’s work not only transformed the conservation district, but inspired several projects multi-agency regional offices that have significantly improved groundwater recharge, increased local water resilience. , established large habitat conservation areas and protected the economic health of thousands of families.

“Daniel has demonstrated outstanding collaboration throughout his career, resulting in a legacy of significant water projects,” said ACWA President Pamela Tobin. “He is a visionary leader who continually bridged differences to establish fruitful collaboration among stakeholders.”

With plans to retire this month, Cozad’s 12 years at the conservation district yielded an impressive legacy of contributions, which has resulted in unprecedented cooperation between agencies across the region, including:

  • An Enhanced Charging Collaboration Agreement, the first of many cooperative agreements and projects between local agencies.
  • the Plunge Creek Conservation Projecta model approach to water and habitat conservation, having received the state’s first Safe Harbor permit in Southern California.
  • The San Bernardino Basin Groundwater Boardreflecting an unprecedented voluntary and regional approach to local groundwater management.
  • A Wildland Trails concept plan, providing significant recreational/educational opportunities and helping to complete the Santa Ana River Trail from the mountains to the coast.

Cozad’s work doesn’t stop there. Similar collaborative transformations have followed him throughout his career, including:

  • Integrated Regional Water Management Plan: As General Manager of the Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority, Daniel was instrumental in the development of this important program and contributed significantly to the establishment of state grants to help sustain it.
  • Central Valley Salinity Coalition for CV-SALTS: Daniel grew this project from a startup to an established 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with a 28-member board of directors that consistently changed quality regulations water to provide achievable regulatory compliance and sustainable water quality for communities. and local management. As Executive Director, he organized a stakeholder-driven regulatory process and a comprehensive salinity management plan.
  • Ventura WaterPure Program: Daniel set up this project to improve the Santa Clara River estuary and develop a water supply for the city of Ventura by treating effluent entering the estuary to create aquifer storage and recover reserves of drinking reuse for the city. This project required more than a dozen major environmental permits or approvals, complex financing and the support of various vested interests.
  • Orange County Integrated Regional Planning Group: A county-wide effort to review and improve integrated planning, governance, structure, and competitiveness in funding Proposals 50 and 84. This effort involved various parties stakeholders, including Orange County and nearly a dozen primary water agencies in the region.

The Excellence in Water Leadership Award, Building a World of Difference®, recognizes individuals who have made outstanding and visible contributions to California water. The award, sponsored by Black & Veatch Corporation, was presented at ACWA’s 2022 Spring Conference and Expo in Sacramento, where approximately 1,300 leaders from California’s public water agencies participate in programs and panel discussions on a variety of key water issues. For more information on ACWA’s rewards programs, please visit http://www.acwa.com/about/awards.

About the San Bernardino Valley Water Conservation District:

For nearly a century, the SBVWCD has managed the San Bernardino Valley watershed and the native species of the Upper Santa Ana River Wash. Its collaborative approach to project management ensures a local supply of high quality water for people, agriculture and the environment. This includes groundwater recharge and monitoring, as well as the protection of habitat and native species in the Wash. http://www.sbvwcd.org.

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