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Philip L. Anthony, one of 10 board members governing the Orange County Water District (OCWD) in California and past Orange County supervisor, has been selected for the 2002 E. Benjamin Nelson Government Service Award by The Groundwater Foundation.
The E. Benjamin Nelson Award was established in 1998 to honor and recognize an elected or appointed public official who has significantly advanced environmental and groundwater stewardship. The award is named after former Nebraska Governor Ben Nelson for his tremendous service to groundwater during his eight years as governor.
"It is an honor to receive an award from the foundation that leads the country in community outreach about groundwater, and to be among the very prestigious list of past Nelson award winners," said Anthony.
According to the foundation, Anthony was selected because of his leadership role in developing groundwater stewardship programs in Orange County, including the Orange County Water District Groundwater Guardian Team.
He has been successful in increasing the involvement of the Orange County Board of Supervisors and other local officials in groundwater protection projects and programs, helping form the regional system of representation for the Association of California Water Agencies that includes Orange and San Diego counties and establishing OCWD's basin-wide Groundwater Guardian Program to enable OCWD to proactively work within the community to protect groundwater.
"Thanks to Phil Anthony, many Californians and people across the U.S. have been informed and inspired by Orange County's programs, and diverse groups and communities have replicated many of them across the nation," said Susan S. Seacrest, president of The Groundwater Foundation.
The Groundwater Foundation is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to informing the public about one of our greatest hidden resources, groundwater. Since 1985, its programs and publications present the benefits everyone receives from groundwater and the risks that threaten groundwater quality.
Anthony will receive his award in mid-November at The Groundwater Foundation's national conference in Eugene, Ore. Previous recipients of the Benjamin Nelson Award include Governor E. Benjamin Nelson (Neb.), Senator James C. Scott (Ark.), Senator David Kelley (Calif.) and Ron Bishop, Central Platte Natural Resources District general manager.
Orange County Water District is a special agency created by the California State Legislature in 1933 to maintain and manage the groundwater basin under northern and central Orange County.
OCWD's groundwater basin supplies 75% of the water needs to more than 2 million area residents.