July 1, 2024

CVWD’s Robert Cheng Receives AWWA Award of Excellence

Staff & Wire Reports

Coachella Valley Water District’s Assistant General Manager Robert Cheng’s accomplishments and service to the water profession have been recognized by the 2024 Abel Wolman Award of Excellence presented by the American Water Works Association (AWWA).

The award spotlights those whose career in the water works industry exemplify the vision, creativity, and excellent professional performance characteristic of civil engineer Abel Wolman (1892-1989). He was a world-renowned water treatment expert and pioneer of modern sanitary engineering.

AWWA’s Board of Directors citation says Cheng “has been a significant contributor to the Partnership for Safe Water and the Partnership for Clean Water from inception. His active service and leadership on the AWWA Standards Council and Water Utility Council, and with the Water Research Foundation, have demonstrated vision and beneficially impacted the drinking water and wastewater communities.”

The award was presented at the AWWA Annual Conference & Exposition in Anaheim on June 11. AWWA is the largest organization of water supply professionals in the world and promotes effective water management.

Cheng’s dedication to the water sector spans over three decades, during which he has held various technical and management positions at the Metropolitan District of Southern California and the Long Beach Water Department. Since 2013, he has been serving as the Assistant General Manager of the Coachella Valley Water District.

Cheng served as president of the State Water Contractors Board of Directors from May 2023 to May 2024, among his numerous posts.

A graduate of Vanderbilt University with a Bachelor of Engineering and Master of Science in Chemical Engineering, he holds a doctorate in Civil Engineering from UCLA.  He is a California Registered Professional Engineer and Registered Professional Operator, and he has California drinking water T5 and D5 certifications.

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