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accountability and opens up opportunities for dialogue about work expectations among supervisors and 
employees.   
 
Customers – The Water Authority has historically had a good relationship with its customers and has 
taken care to educate them on critical issues.  These outreach efforts, while successful, were limited in 
scope and focused on specific programs.  There was not a consistent, ongoing discussion with customers 
regarding the broad scope of the utility’s policies and mission.  To address this, the Water Authority 
developed Customer Conversations to generate ongoing public input regarding the utility’s plans, 
policies, and programs.   
 
The Customer Conversations program features interactive sessions intended to educate and inform 
while also soliciting ideas and opinions.  Staff provided short presentations but spend most of the 
“conversation” allowing the customers to discuss the issues in a round-table format with facilitators and 
recorders at each table.  The discussions are guided by staff-developed activities to draw customers into 
the discussion and to allow for full participation.   
 
Resource Management: Aquifer Restoration via Reuse 
After decades decline due to unsustainable overpumping, the aquifer beneath Albuquerque is on the 
rebound as a direct result of a multifaceted, community-supported effort that made groundwater 
renewal, and long-term water supply sustainability, its primary goals.  Aquifer levels have risen by as 
much as 15 feet since 2008 – during several years of drought.  And the rise is projected to continue for 
another decade.   
 
Reuse was one of the major components in the aquifer’s rebound.  Reuse projects have been in place for 
more than a decade and now account for five to ten percent of consumption in the utility’s service area.  
In the Northeast Heights, industrial effluent is combined with non-potable surface water and used on 
parks and golf courses.  In Southeast Albuquerque, reclaimed wastewater is being delivered to irrigation 
customers accomplished by “polishing” wastewater and using it to irrigate large turf areas such as parks 
and golf courses.  A planned facility will eventually serve the city’s northwest quadrant as well. 

 

 

ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE  

 

Proactive leadership that engages in both internal organizational and broader external 
community priorities  

 

Establishes a participatory, collaborative organization dedicated to continual learning, 
improvement, and innovation   

 

Workforce and leadership development program in place to assure recruitment, retention, and 
competency of utility staff relative to a Utility of the Future business model. Development 
program includes a leadership and management skills training program that provides both 
formal and informal leadership opportunities for employees  

 

Employee “in-reach” program established to share work experiences and ensure greater 
understanding of the utility’s key strategy relative to the Utility of the Future business model