OCSD and OCWD Win 2008 Stockholm Water Award

The Orange County GWRS. Credit: OCWD

Our friends to the south have won one of the biggest honors in the water industry. The Groundwater Replenishment System, built jointly by OCSD and OCWD, has been awared the Stockholm Water Award by the Stockholm International Water Institute.  It’s the closest thing the wastewater industry has to the Nobel Prize.

Press release after the jump…

“Dear Friends:

Stockholm Water AwardGreetings from Stockholm. The Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) is extremely pleased to announce the 2008 Stockholm Industry Water Award laureate, The Orange County Water District and The Orange County Sanitation District. Please read on below to learn more on this year’s exceptional prize winner.

Extraordinary Water Purification Technology Wins Orange County 2008 Stockholm Industry Water Award

Pioneering work to develop the world’s largest water purification plant for groundwater recharge has earned the Orange County Water District and the Orange County Sanitation District, California, USA, the 2008 Stockholm Industry Water Award. The prestigious distinction will be presented on August 21 during the 2008 World Water Week in Stockholm.

People expect water to be there when they turn on the faucet. But in growing arid regions like Orange County in Southern California, sufficient water is not naturally guaranteed. Fortunately for the 2.3 million residents living there, the Orange County Water District and the Orange County Sanitation District jointly developed the Groundwater Replenishment (GWR) system, a water purification system which will provide enough water to meet the needs of an additional 500,000 people without diminishing groundwater resources for current or future generations.

The GWR System diverts highly treated sewer water that is currently discharged into the ocean and purifies it through a series of advanced techniques: microfiltration, reverse osmosis, ultraviolet disinfection and hydrogen peroxide. The cleaned water is returned to the groundwater basin to increase both water supply and quality. The GWR system has established a blueprint for large-scale wastewater purification that is already being emulated in dry regions and nations, such as Singapore.

“Both agencies have demonstrated how communities can develop, implement and achieve sustainable water reuse,” says Mr. Lars Gunnarsson, chairman of the Award Committee. “Their extensive involvement of private sector companies such as CDM and Trojan and Siemens, long-term commitment to research and development, and utilisation of cutting-edge technologies has established a model for water-stressed regions to replenish groundwater resources and improve water security.”

About the Stockholm Industry Water Award
The Stockholm Industry Water Award honours and encourages business sector contributions to sustainable development in the water sector and is presented each August at the World Water Week in Stockholm. It was established in 2000 by the Stockholm Water Foundation in collaboration with the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.”

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