Brent Hastey: Yuba County Water Agency rebrands as Yuba Water Agency
If you haven’t already heard, Yuba County Water Agency is rebranding, changing our name to Yuba Water Agency, providing an easy-to-identify moniker and logo, as we strive to develop a stronger relationship with the people of Yuba County — the people we serve.
For those who know us, our decision to rebrand may seem confusing, as we’ve been around for a long time and are well-established in the community. But what we have found is that the majority of our residents don’t have any idea who we are, and that needs to change.
Since our establishment in 1959, we have actively worked to reduce flood risk and provide a sustainable water supply for the people who live and work in the county. And while we’ve been quite successful, we’ve flown under the radar and our vast accomplishments have gone largely unnoticed by the public.
We began this rebranding process by surveying local residents and found that many people had not heard of us, or were unclear about the water agency’s roles and responsibilities and the many improvements we’ve made for the people of Yuba County. Many believed we were a department within the government Yuba County or the people they pay their residential water bill to. We are not. We are a stand-alone government agency.
As a result, we decided to make our image one that people can easily connect with and identify out of the sea of government agencies and organizations that they come into contact with on a daily basis.
Now as Yuba Water Agency, we are committing to a more proactive effort to educate the public about who we are and what we do, and how the foresight of our founders all those years ago has led to a transformational time for Yuba County.
In 2016, our world changed. Our contract with PG&E that enabled the construction of our dams and powerhouses, known as the Yuba River Development Project, came to an end. That contract gave PG&E all of the power revenues for 50 years, in exchange for paying all the costs to build, operate and maintain the project.
Now the cost of running the project and revenues come to Yuba Water Agency, so we can reinvest the profits in Yuba County.
We are now in a position to make an even bigger impact in the lives of the people of Yuba County by further reducing flood risk, maintaining water supply reliability and other investments related to our mission areas, at a much faster pace, and I believe things in Yuba County are going to get much better in the coming years.
We’ve already made a huge impact on water supply reliability, and public safety by significantly lessening the flood risk in Yuba County, which is going to have a big impact for economics, but the next phase is finding ways to partner with foundations and industry to bring more jobs to the area.
It’s more than just our tagline. Yuba Water Agency is truly investing in Yuba County’s future. And our future looks bright.
Brent Hastey is the board chairman of the Yuba Water Agency.
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