WRD shows strong fiscal outlook, responsibility; maintains 'AA+' rating
Standard & Poor's Rating Services announced that it has provided a consistent rating of 'AA+' to the Water Replenishment District of Southern California -- the second highest credit rating possible.
LAKEWOOD, CA, Feb. 20, 2015 -- Standard & Poor's Rating Services, a provider of high-quality market intelligence in the form of credit ratings, research and thought leadership, announced that it has provided a consistent rating of 'AA+' to the Water Replenishment District (WRD) of Southern California -- the second highest credit rating possible.
Despite facing recent challenges such as drought and various lawsuits, WRD is one of the few water agencies to achieve and maintain an AA+ rating. Along with this remarkable achievement, the District has received over $22 million in state and federal grants over the past year to fund key sustainability projects, such as its Water Independence Now (WIN) Program.
When complete, the WIN Program will provide a self-sufficient groundwater supply that provides 40 percent of the water for 4 million people in the region, or 10 percent of the state's population. WIN will also reduce pressure on the fragile Bay Delta and the Colorado River, provide long-term water cost stabilization, and continue to make the surrounding area a viable place for residents and businesses alike.
In addition, the Government Financial Officers Association (GFOA) also recently awarded WRD the "Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting" -- the highest recognition in the area of government and financial accounting -- for its strong fiscal responsibility. The GFOA is the professional association of state/provincial and local finance officers in the U.S. and Canada and has served the public finance profession since 1906.
In 2013, the Los Angeles Business Journal also recognized WRD Chief Executive Officer Scott Ota as Government/Public Sector CFO of The Year. Since joining the District in 2003, Ota has conducted a comprehensive overhaul of its budget development and rate setting process, which has since received the Award for Excellence for Operating Budgeting from the California Society of Municipal Finance Officers for eight consecutive years.
Ota also led WRD's efforts in the 2004, 2008 and 2011 issuance of Certificates of Participation. Further, he was responsible for leading the financing team -- bond counsel, financial advisors, underwriters, and underwriter's counsel -- throughout the process.
The Water Replenishment District of Southern California is the regional groundwater management agency that protects and preserves the quantity and quality of groundwater for two of the most utilized urban basins in the State of California. The service area is home to over 4 million residents, nearly half of Los Angeles County, across 43 cities. WRD is governed by a publicly elected Board of Directors which includes Willard H. Murray, Jr., Robert Katherman, Lynn Dymally, Sergio Calderon, and Albert Robles. For more information, visit www.wrd.org.