image description

WSC Supports One Water Solutions at CWEA Annual Conference

May 29th, 2017

Celebrating the People of Water” was the primary focus of the recent California Water Environment Associations (CWEA) Annual Conference in Palm Springs this year. Several WSC professionals and a team of local municipal leaders led one of the main CWEA conference events, the Water Resiliency Leadership: One Water Solutions on California’s Central Coast workshop. The workshop celebrated One Water leaders from the California Central Coast, followed by facilitated small-team role playing to envision and create collaborative water resiliency solutions.

We set out to deliver a workshop format that would engage participants differently on the One Water topic. We wanted to provide high value for the participant’s time. This format allowed participants to practice their One Water dialogue and leave with insight and tools they can take back to their organizations,” said Jeff Szytel, workshop facilitator and Founder and CEO of WSC. Jeff worked closely with Carrie Mattingly, Director of Utilities for the City of San Luis Obispo, and a team comprised of the City of San Luis Obispo, City of Pismo Beach, and WSC to organize the 3-hour workshop.

The workshop began with a comprehensive look at recent and local recycled water resiliency efforts. It brought to light the many challenges associated with gaining support, collaboration, funding, and implementation of projects that secure our existing and future water needs. “Our Central Coast water leaders have many success stories that demonstrate the value of water, and the needed creativity, collaboration, and foresight required to make the paradigm shift in achieving water resiliency,” Jeff said.

Radhika Fox, CEO of US Water Alliance, a CWEA conference guest, and a nationally recognized One Water leader, began the Panel discussion with an overview of the recently published One Water Roadmap guiding principles.

The One Water Approach

Other Panel Members included:


The full program agenda is available here.

Role Playing Table Discussions:

Following the Panel discussion, each table team participated in a role playing exercise and One Water solution collaboration. Participants were asked to assume the role of their selected role card. Each table had varying interests including: Water District, Agriculture Private Interest, City, County, Wastewater District, Investor Owned Water Utility, and State Water Resources Control Board representative. As CWEA conference organizers recognized, the guided discussion proved to be fun and engaging. Live Tweets from the workshop were posted to #OneWaterCWEA

Role Card

Following the collaborative discussions, table teams depicted their One Water solutions to share with the other workshop attendees. See some examples to below:

Example Work

WSC was honored to be part of this important event. The workshop planning team worked for several months to ensure the workshop was a success and provided value to participants.

A recent blog post by Ms. Fox captured her experience as a presenter and an audience member. She highlights the innovative work being done along the Central Coast, with the support of WSC, including: The City of San Luis Obispo’s Water Resource Recovery Facility Upgrade Project and the Regional Groundwater Sustainability Project (RGSP), a collaboration between five agencies. The City of Pismo Beach and South San Luis Obispo County Sanitation District are leading the RGSP, and the Project will also benefit the cities of Arroyo Grande and Grover Beach, as well as Ocean Community Services District.

To view her blog post, click here: