San Diego Water Dept. launches new business plan

The city of San Diego Water Department launched a new business plan designed to improve performance and protect the environment. The plan is called "Bid-to-Goal" and it's already received the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies 2004 Gold Award for Competitiveness Achievement...

SAN DIEGO, Dec. 16, 2004 -- The city of San Diego Water Department was one of two agencies honored Oct. 19 with the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies 2004 Gold Award for Competitiveness Achievement. This award is given to public water systems for their accomplishments in applying competitive business strategies to meet high expectations of drinking water consumers and municipal government leaders.

Showing its commitment to incorporate cutting edge management practices with environmental awareness in order to improve its services, the city of San Diego Water Department's Operations Division was recognized for its performance-driven business plan, "Bid-To-Goal," launched in July of this year. The 538 employees of the city's Water Operations Division has set a goal to become a "best in class" utility for their customers within the next five years.

"The employees of the City's Water Operations Division deserve the credit for this ambitious undertaking," said Frank Belock, the department director. "Workers, managers, representatives from labor unions and other City agencies, and the engineering consulting firm HDR Inc., collaborated on the division's strategies to discover additional ways to improve performance, and reduce costs in an environmentally sensitive way. We are continuing to take a leadership role and improve services that benefit all of us in San Diego. The benefits of the program will be: improving efficiency; reducing operations costs; creating an ongoing, scheduled, documented cycle to plan, check and correct courses of action; improving service quality; measuring performance; improving environmental sustainability; rewarding ratepayers through a multi-year savings plan; retaining and maximizing public control of major city assets; and motivating proactive actions by employees to meet or exceed our customers' expectations for quality services. Each employee will be held accountable for their performance by way of Management Scorecards and subsequent training related to performance goals."

One of today's biggest demands is combining technology with environmental protection. In order to achieve this goal the city of San Diego Water Department will be the first utility in the nation to integrate the Bid-to-Goal management tool with the internationally ISO 14001 Environmental Management System.

For more on the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies 2004 Competitiveness Awards see: www.amwa.net/features/awards/index.html.

The San Diego Water Department maintains the water system that serves San Diego, and provides water to the city of Del Mar, the city of Coronado and parts of Imperial Beach and National City. This includes the treatment and delivery of more than 200 million gallons of water daily that is transported through more than 3,000 miles of pipelines. For more information about the Water Department's programs and services, please visit www.sandiego.gov/water.

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