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Water District Won't Sacrifice IT Services to Save a Few Bucks

Cabazon Water District Finds an IT Company That Can Deliver Reliable Technology

Industry: Utility
Industry: Utility
Location: Cabazon, CA
Location: Cabazon, CA
Population: 2,270
Population: 2,270

Cabazon Water District started their customer journey working with Accent Computer Solutions in 2016. They are now being supported by VC3 since the acquisition of Accent in 2022.

Operating on a Shoestring Budget is a Challenge

Between the two of them, Calvin Louie and Elizabeth Lemus are responsible for all the operations that keep the water flowing for the residents of Cabazon and the surrounding area. The Cabazon Water District is quite small compared to some of the other water agencies in the state of California, serving about 5,000 people, but the district needs to meet the same requirements that all the other districts have for regulatory compliance and security.

“Our biggest challenge is probably the same as other water agencies,” said Elizabeth, whose role is Business Manager. “We don’t have a surplus of funds, so we keep a strict shoestring budget.”

Skimping on IT Cost More in the Long Run

As Operations Manager, Calvin supervises everything from water systems and distribution to sampling and regulatory compliance. Water sampling tests are non-negotiable and, as a small district, these costs take a chunk out of their budget. Calvin and Elizabeth do everything they can to be frugal with funds but they know that they can’t sacrifice service to save a few dollars, especially when it comes to their technology.

A few years ago, the district contracted with a small IT company that promised to save them two hundred dollars a month. This decision actually cost them about $20,000 in the end because an electrical problem in their building blew out their entire backup files. They switched to VC3 when they realized that they couldn’t skimp on IT services if they were going to deliver on their mission to provide their customers with consistent, safe water.

“We live in an age when everything is so heavily reliant upon technology. An issue could bring everything to a complete halt,” said Elizabeth. “I’m happy to say that we’ve had very few tech issues since VC3 came on board with us. Those rare occurrences where we do have issues, we call VC3 and the techs there are all very great, and very responsive.”

Reliable Technology and IT Guidance for Efficiency and Security

Cabazon Water District has been partnering with VC3 for several years now. During this time, VC3 has made improvements to their network and implemented industry best practices that are necessary to provide the reliable technology that the district needs to run operations in the business office and out in the field. VC3 has also provided IT guidance on investments that has enabled the district to make improvements to maximize efficiency and security.

Setting Up Remote Access Saves Time and Decreases Liability

Cabazon Water District

A recent IT project created remote access to the district’s monitoring and operations software called SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition). Prior to the remote access setup, Calvin or another staff member would have to respond to an alarm by going physically to each facility to ensure that they were operating properly. Now, Calvin can not only reset an alarm but operate facility controls from his smartphone or tablet.

“Last night I had an alarm call. It’s a good 50 minute drive for me in the middle of the night but I can view and control our water production and water distribution system remotely so I just took care of it from my tablet,” said Calvin.

Not having to drive to the facilities saves Calvin and his staff time, but it also helps them limit liability since they can avoid being physically onsite. 

Confident that IT Security is Locked Down

As a provider of a basic life element to citizens, Calvin and Elizabeth understand that their small water district is a target for cyber criminals. They are serious about protecting both operations and confidential customer information and they are confident that VC3 has IT security locked down and that they are well protected.

The staff at Cabazon Water District depend on VC3 IT services for the reliable, secure technology they need to provide uninterrupted water service to their customers. They have also discovered that VC3's approach to IT services has helped them to be good stewards of the funds they have to work with.

“Everything just runs really smoothly around here,” said Elizabeth. “You get what you pay for."

About Cabazon Water District

The Cabazon Water District distributes water to about 5,000 residents in Cabazon and the surrounding area while promoting conservation and good stewardship of water resources.

Elizabeth Lemus, Business Manager

Cabazon Water District

You get what you pay for and we can't risk sacrificing services by always going the cheaper end. Now that we're with VC3, everything just runs really smoothly around here.

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