The Orange County Water District (OCWD) has announced they have been recognized as a Special Districts Award Winner by AT&T and Government Technology Magazine in the Technology Innovation category for their virtual outreach and the use of technology to enhance services to the public during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s an honor to be recognized for our efforts to quickly and effectively adapt to the challenges of interacting with the community during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said OCWD President Vicente Sarmiento. “We’re committed to community education and outreach and are proud of our success in maintaining these efforts through technology and innovation,” he added.
In accordance with national, state and local guidelines, access to OCWD and Groundwater Replenishment System (GWRS) facilities have been restricted to the public. In response, OCWD created a wide range of virtual programs. Instead of in-person tours of the GWRS, a technical and a general video of were created. The public can view on-demand or register to participate in a Zoom format where the audience watches a tour video and then engages in a live question and answer session led by staff.
Additional programs designed in response to the pandemic include creating a COVID-19 resources webpage that includes multilingual factsheets, videos and a press kit; online student education programs; virtual community and industry presentations; and hosting District meetings virtually.
OCWD will receive the award at the virtual 2020 Year in Review & Recognition Summit on December 15, 2020.