ACWA Presents Water Leadership Award to Byron-Bethany Irrigation District

MONTEREY, CA–(Marketwired – May 10, 2017) – The Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) today presented its 2017 Excellence in Water Leadership Award to Byron-Bethany Irrigation District for its bold actions in defending the water rights of the farming communities they serve.

Byron-Bethany Irrigation District General Manager Rick Gilmore and the district’s seven-member Board of Directors launched an effective legal effort to protect local water rights when the State Water Resources Control Board issued unprecedented curtailment orders at the height of the drought in 2015.

BBID’s legal team pressed their case and argued firmly that the state’s analysis of available water was inaccurate. The district’s arguments were so effective that the state dismissed its case against BBID in 2016, marking a victory for small districts and cementing the water rights that are the foundation for the community.

“Byron-Bethany’s district staff and elected officials understood what was at stake for their community,” said ACWA President Kathleen Tiegs. “Their foresight, leadership and ability to build consensus in the face of extreme challenge kept water flowing for the residents, farmers, agricultural workers and families in their multi-county service area.”

The Excellence in Water Leadership Award — Building a World of Difference® recognizes groups or individuals who have made a remarkable and visible contribution to California water. The award, sponsored by Black & Veatch Corporation, was presented at ACWA’s 2017 Spring Conference & Exhibition, which continues through Friday in Monterey.

ACWA is a statewide association of public agencies whose more than 430 members are responsible for about 90% of the water delivered in California. For more information, visit

Lisa Lien-Mager
Director of Communications
916/441-4545 or 530/902-3815 (cell)