The 2022 Dave Ford Award nomination period has ended


Dave Ford, Bob Potocnik, Craig Regalia (1991)

Originally known as the Kuehnast Award, the Dave Ford Water Resources Award was created in 2003, renamed for esteemed DNR hydrologist Dave Ford, who died prematurely from cancer in January 2003. Dave Ford was highly regarded by his water resources colleagues, who sought to honor him with an award to be presented to others in the field who also have made an indelible impact on Minnesota’s environmental landscape. Dave had an excellent theoretical understanding of various computer simulation models, along with the practical knowledge to effectively use those models to address a variety of water resource management issues. But, more importantly, he was a teacher, a mentor, a collaborator and a friend.

Dave Ford Award Recipients

Rebecca Flood

Rebecca Flood

Rebecca Flood has effectively partnered at all levels during her 40-year career protecting and improving Minnesota’s water resources, while exhibiting compassion, credibility, critical-thinking, collaboration and generosity. Rebecca served from 2008–2018 as Assistant Commissioner for Water Policy at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. She chaired the Clean Water Fund Interagency Coordination Team and served as state representative on the EPA’s Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia Task Force and Association of Clean Water Administrators.

Rebecca is currently a post-retirement manager at Metropolitan Council Environmental Services (MCES), where she also served from 1978–2008, much of that time as Environmental Compliance Manager. She was critical in the complicated process of decommissioning multiple small, noncompliant municipal wastewater treatment plants, and creating MCES’s effective regional wastewater system. She was instrumental in negotiating effluent phosphorus permits for this system, resulting in cost-effectiveness and a phosphorus removal rate above 80%. She also worked collaboratively and respectfully to resolve dewatering permit issues between MCES and the DNR—balancing protection of treatment plant infrastructure with impact to the Seneca Fen. Rebecca has been a most generous mentor. Many water professionals, especially women, currently stepping up to leadership roles in water resources have relied on Rebecca for trusted guidance.

Andrea Hendrickson

Andrea Hendrickson

Andrea Hendrickson has been a leader and innovator in transportation hydraulics for over 35 years. Andrea received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Minnesota, while working as a teaching assistant and research assistant. She started with the Minnesota Department of Transportation in 1985 as a Graduate Engineer and was the State Hydraulics Engineer from 2004 to 2022. Andrea was responsible for the standards, specifications, and guidelines used for the design and construction of bridges, culverts, and storm drain systems. These standards and guidelines are used by many agencies, providing the backbone for transportation drainage statewide. Andrea has been the go-to person for water resources issues at MnDOT. She was consistently asked to field questions, review and resolve disputes, and provide technical guidance on complex drainage matters.

Her reach and influence extend well beyond MnDOT. She championed and has been a panel member for numerous State and National research projects in bridge scour, asset management, Midwest region Atlas 14 and climate resilience. Andrea is a committed mentor and advisor and is a strong booster of the Graduate Engineer and Civil Engineering Internship programs at MnDOT. Andrea has developed and mentored an accomplished support staff, some of which are experienced technical experts and department leaders themselves.

Past award recipients of the renamed Dave Ford Water Resources Award

Year Recipient Year Recipient
2003 Heinz G. Stefan 2013 John Gulliver
2005 Marcel Jouseau 2014 Roland Sigurdson
2006 Ron Harnack 2015 Bruce Wilson (Respec)
2007 Patrick Brezonik 2016 Cliff Aichinger
2008 Steve Heiskary 2017 Dan R. Engstrom, Kent Johnson
2009 James L. Anderson 2018 Suzanne Jiwani
2010 Nels Nelson 2019 Al Kean, Bruce Montgomery
2011 Timothy Scherkenbach 2020 Deb Swackhamer
2012 Barbara Liukkonen 2021 Mike Trojan

Past Award recipients of Earl Kuehnast Award

Year Recipient
1986 Earl Kuehnast
1987 Ed Bowers
1991 Peter Fischer
1992 Howard Midje
1999 Ron Nargang

Dave Ford Award Criteria

To be considered for the annual Award for Outstanding Achievement in Water Resources, an individual should have an extended history of contributing to the betterment of water resources in Minnesota. Nominees can be from any discipline and can represent aspects such as research, administration, engineering, etc.

  • The Water Resources Award honors a person for significant long-term achievement or public service in Water Resource management, who exhibits the collaborative leadership style of Dave Ford.
  • Lifetime achievement can be within the person’s agency or company. Water resource achievements outside the agency/firm receive extra credit. Unpaid public service in water resources also receives extra credit.
  • The award is for professionals and other related disciplines working in water resources. Politicians and current members of the Planning Committee are excluded.
  • There will only be an award when there is agreement that an individual truly has made a significant contribution to Minnesota Water Resources. In some years, there will not be an award. In some years, more than one award may be given.
  • While the award is generally for lifetime achievement, it (or some other recognition) can be given to an individual for a particularly important one-time contribution to Minnesota Water Resources.