Skip to content

Palmdale receives award for Amargosa Creek project


The city of Palmdale has won the      American Public Works Association (APWA)  Southern California Chapter’s 2019 Project of the Year Award in the Drainage, Water and Waste Water category for the  Upper Amargosa Creek Recharge Project. The award will be presented to the City at APWA’s annual awards banquet later this month.

The award-winning project was State Prop 84 funded and consisted of a regional effort between the city of Palmdale, the Antelope Valley – East Kern Water Agency (AVEK), Palmdale Water District (PWD), Los Angeles County Waterworks District (LACWD) and Department of Water Resources (DWR) to improve the reliability of the region’s water supply.  Implementation of the project enables the storage of this precious resource in the local Antelope Valley Groundwater Basin for use by the region during periods of drought or disruptions in State Water Project operations.

“This project was a culmination of a decade’s worth of planning, design, and construction,” said Chuck Heffernan, Palmdale Director of Public Works. “It included a number of unique features and challenges that incorporated innovative solutions to regional needs for water storage while bringing in recreational components and environmental protections to enhance the quality of life for the local community.”

Major components of the Upper Amargosa Creek Recharge Project include a new turnout off the California Aqueduct, a mile of 48-inch in diameter pipeline, recharge basins and associated facilities, and nature walking trails with a pedestrian bridge in conjunction with improvement of the flood control channel to prevent flooding.

“The project required substantial coordination in addition to our partners, including the Department of Water Resources Turnouts & Special Projects Division as well as their Grant Divisions and the Department of Fish and Wildlife,” Heffernan noted.

Another benefit of the project includes 2.5 miles of multi-use nature trails with shade structures, educational signage, and landscaping that will connect the community to the local environment.  Additionally, the project will preserve natural hillsides and restore and enhance the Native Mojave Desert scrub, riparian vegetation and wildlife habitats along the creek, which will also protect water quality.

The Southern California Chapter of the APWA is a professional association of public works trades people, engineers and leaders in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. For 20 years, the annual APWA awards individuals, groups and projects that are outstanding in the prior year.  Awards are presented to agencies, public works leaders, as well as elected officials.

In the 20 years that the So Cal Chapter awards program has existed, the city of Palmdale has received 38 awards for many notable projects and programs implemented by the city.

For more information, call the Palmdale Department of Public Works at (661) 267-5300.