By Staff Reports
(Apple Valley)– Continuing with its mission to be an asset to the Town of Apple Valley and its residents, Apple Valley Ranchos Water Company (AVR) recently released its first Sustainability Report.
The report, available at avrwater.com serves as a window to stakeholders of AVR’s ongoing progressive initiatives along with potential challenges as the company works to ensure its town customers continue to enjoy clean, reliable water service. It also gives stakeholders a window into AVR’s business model along with policies, which are designed to put quality, reliability and customer service at reasonable rates above all.
AVR General Manager Tony Penna explained that this Sustainability Report represents AVR’s continued commitment to the Town of Apple Valley and the High Desert. “Our main goal is to formally share with customers, community stakeholders and employees our commitment to sustainability, the challenges we face in a desert environment and our role as a water utility.”
The High Desert and the Town of Apple Valley offer its residents quality of life, beautiful landscapes and a unique small-town feeling for Southern California. With these many unique features in mind, AVR staff operates everyday to embrace sustainability as a cornerstone of community commitment and corporate responsibility. “Our staff comes into work everyday with the goal to deliver for our customers’ high quality, clean, reliable water service,” Penna, a longtime resident of Apple Valley, added.
In the report, AVR’s parent company, Park Water, lists saving water, saving energy, saving resources and maintaining a strong company as some of the main topics of interest impacting consumers.
Locally, Penna explained that the objectives of AVR are as follows:
Infrastructure Investment – Ranchos had a humble beginning and historically has underfunded system improvements. Over the past two years significant investment of $14M has been made to bring the system to an improved condition of readiness and an additional $44M of ongoing investment is planned for 2014-2017, which is needed for sustainable reliable delivery of drinking water to our customers.
Resource Management – More demands are being placed on a limited resource, particularly here in the High Desert. In order to ensure reliable water service regardless of potential environmental challenges, such as multiple year droughts, conservation is the most cost effective and immediate way to address this challenge. Tiered rates and price incentives are the mechanisms in place to encourage conservation and they are working. For example, between 2007 and 2013, Apple Valley Ranchos Water saw a decline of more than 100 gallons per person in daily water consumption.
It Pays to Conserve – For those customers that conserve, the average monthly bill has increased only 3% a year since 2003. Almost two thirds of our customers have an average monthly bill of under $66.
AVR also strives to support our local community. Much of the company’s capital investment is spent with Diversity Vendors and local businesses. AVR has a long-standing history of working with local schools and non-profit organizations within the community.
Park Water Company CEO Christopher Schilling noted that one of AVR’s top priorities is to continue a dialogue of understanding with the Town of Apple Valley and its residents, while also keeping the utility’s staff passionate about their daily responsibilities to deliver the best quality of water and customer service. “We have made tremendous progress toward building a sustainable company,” said Schilling. “By maintaining a great work environment and embracing innovation at all levels of our operations, Park Water will continue to contribute to healthy communities long into the future.”
In closing, Penna underlined that operating AVR on the basis of a sustainable economic model benefits customers and residents in a meaningful way.
“We do this with a mission of reliably providing quality water service to our customer’s tap every minute of every day. A critical component of our operation is effective maintenance and planned improvements to our water delivery infrastructure. We invest prudently to maintain a viable water utility and to ensure a sustainable future.
AVR’s Sustainability Report can be viewed at avrwater.com
About Apple Valley Ranchos Water Company
Since our humble beginnings in 1945 when Newton T. Bass and Bud Westlund formed a small water company they then called the Apple Valley Mutual Water Company, the Apple Valley Ranchos Water Company has proudly provided “safety and service” to residents and businesses of Apple Valley. Now more than sixty years later, we have grown to serve more than 61,000 people within our 51 square mile service area. With close to 20,000 service connections, over 450 miles of main, 24 wells, 16 emergency generators, 11 storage tanks, 4 booster pump stations and 8,000 valves, AVRWC continues to ensure reliable delivery of high quality water for all our customers and support the economic prosperity in our region.
About Park Water Company
Park Water Company is an investor-owned water utility that delivers reliable, quality water service to about 133,000 people in southeast Los Angeles County; 61,700 people in Apple Valley and Victorville, Calif.; and 72,000 people in Missoula, Mont.