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Industry Person of the Week- Doa Ross

IPOW Doa Ross

Industry Person of the Week- Doa Ross

Our Industry Person of the Week is Doa Ross, Deputy General Manager – Engineering at Southern Nevada Water Authority and Las Vegas Valley Water District.

Q: How did you get started working in your field?

Doa: I was always good with math and science, but I wanted a career where I was making a difference in the community or in the world. Civil Engineering was my undergraduate degree and I quickly learned I was truly most interested in design, construction and maintenance of water infrastructure. I started doing civil improvement design for smaller projects, such as schools, residential and commercial projects, but I had my heart set on working for the Las Vegas Valley Water District and the Southern Nevada Water Authority. In 2000 I was hired on into the Engineering Department where I started my career working on some of the most critical water infrastructure projects in the southwest.

Q: What do you love the most about your job? What are you most proud of?

Doa: I love watching a project go from concept to fully operational. It is truly amazing what we are capable of doing in terms of treating and delivering safe and reliable drinking water to over 2 million residents, and over 40 million visitors, while in the middle of the desert. I would say that I am most proud of the organization’s willingness to be innovative and explore new ideas and technologies that only improve the system and how we operate and maintain it.

Q: What advice would you give to someone considering this line of work or new to the field?

Doa: Don’t be afraid to try something new. Look at every task or assignment as an opportunity to learn more and to grow. Start slow and build your knowledge and experience by working and learning from others. Whether you are interested in a technical career that requires a degree, or you are interested in becoming an expert in a particular trade in our industry, find someone that interests you, or someone in the position you are interested in, and ask for their personal journey. Not everyone takes the same path to get there, and you might find a completely new and exciting direction to follow for your career interests.

Q: Can you talk about a project you recently worked on?

Doa: In my role as Deputy General Manager for Engineering, we have so many different projects going at the same time, for the SNWA regional system as well as the LVVWD retail system. However, if I had to talk about one project that I am truly excited about, it would have to be the Horizon Lateral project. Approximately 40% of our customers are served from the South Valley Lateral, which is a single feed, meaning it is a dead-end line. In the event of an emergency or urgent repairs, shutting that line down is extremely limited, so the Horizon Lateral is a complete program that includes 27-31 miles of pipelines ranging from 42″ to 120″ diameter, 8 miles of tunneling, multiple pumping stations, clearwells, booster pumping stations, reservoirs and rate of flow control centers, ultimately delivering 375 million gallons per day to southern Nevada.

Q: Anything else you would like to add?

Doa: The world has a limited supply of drinking water, and it is imperative that we do everything we can to reclaim, recycle and reuse the water. Most don’t realize that in southern Nevada, we regionally recycle all of our indoor water. Every gallon treated and returned to Lake Mead is another gallon we can take out and use. We simply cannot let wastewater be water wasted!

Connect with Doa on LinkedIn.

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