PALMDALE – The Palmdale Water District has received “District of Distinction” accreditation from the Special District Leadership Foundation (SDLF) for its sound fiscal management policies and practices in district operations. The agency was also awarded the “Transparency Certificate of Excellence” for its exceptional efforts to promote transparency and good governance.
Specific criteria must be met in order to achieve this standard, including an audit review of the last three years of the District’s operations to ensure prudent fiscal practices; educational training in public governance, ethics and harassment prevention; and ensuring a spirit of openness by posting election procedures and deadlines, Board meeting schedules and agendas, the current District budget, most recent financial audit, and a listing of compensation to Board members and staff or a link to the State Controller’s webpage with the same data.
“Our District Board has worked tirelessly to ensure that we, as Board members, are educated in proper and open governance to ensure that our customers have the ability to easily communicate any concerns to the District and that all District information is available to the community,” said Kathy Mac Laren, Palmdale Water District Board President. “We expect ourselves to operate at a high level in order to provide our customers with the best and most cost-effective water we can.”
The PWD produces, on average, 6.83 billion gallons of water per year and maintains over 400 miles of pipe, 24 wells, 20 tanks, two reservoirs and a state-of-the-art treatment plant. Reinvestment into the District’s infrastructure has significantly reduced leaks and water waste and has assisted in keeping water rates low, while not impacting local property values. In 2010, the District reported 781 water main leaks alone. Comparatively, through August 2015, only 85 have been reported and fixed.
A recent survey of monthly residential water rates based upon similar production levels at 11 statewide water agencies shows that an average monthly bill ($46.87) for a four person household in Palmdale is significantly lower than most others reviewed. Additionally, the recent State-of-the-City address featured a rise in property values by 8.3 percent, even in the midst of the on-going drought and State mandated watering restrictions.
“The District has been focused during these difficult times on keeping rates low, continuing to provide clean, high quality water and, further, becoming an open and professional partner within the Palmdale community,” said Joe Estes, Director of the Palmdale Water District Board. “We are proud to have received these prestigious awards, but as our community continues to make sacrifices to reduce water use, due to the State of California’s mandates, our Board, our District, and all PWD employees will continue to help make those sacrifices a little easier.”
SDLF review committee members include district controllers, directors of finance and certified general managers. The independent, nonprofit organization was formed to promote good governance and best practices among California’s special districts through certification, accreditation and other recognition programs.
The Water District is asking the community to continue pushing to conserve water. Residents should only water outside on Wednesdays and Saturdays, before 10 a.m. and after 6 p.m., and report water waste or watering at non-designated times by calling 661-456-1099 or emailing email@example.com.
For more information on the Palmdale Water District’s watering restrictions, visit www.palmdalewater.org.
[Information via news release from the Palmdale Water District.]