Dana Haasz is not only WaterSmart’s Associate Director of Customer Support, she also serves as our in-house water utility expert. In fact, Dana recently was called upon to provide ‘water 101 class’ for some of our team members newer to the water sector, and let me tell you, there were MANY pages of notes taken.

Dana’s work on water issues started early in grad school and ultimately drove her to make the move to California, where a lot of the fun stuff in water was happening. Dana began her water career in the non-profit world at the Pacific Institute, where she worked to quantify statewide efficiency potential culminating in the release of Waste Not Want Not, which opened the door to travel the world from Spain to Amsterdam and Jordan talking about it.

Her second challenge was to test her theories with hands-on implementation as the Water Conservation Manager at the San Francisco Water Power Sewer. There she had some fun developing innovative programs like the low-income install program and performance-based conservation initiatives, which have since been modeled in other districts. After 6 years Dana wished to broaden her utility experience, so she moved into the consulting world at Kennedy Jenks.

This vast experience made Dana an integral piece of WaterSmart since its inception. Founders Peter Yolles and Rob Steiner called upon Dana for her wisdom immediately. As she watched WaterSmart expansd to focus on the bigger world of utility data and analytics, Dana knew it was time to jump on-board fully, “I was inspired by WaterSmart’s innovative approach to the persistent water challenges we are faced with, which motivated me to dive in full-time”.

Dana is incredibly passionate about supporting her utility clients through smooth implementations and using data to make better decisions. Supporting utilities to find solutions for their problems is a major aspect of the job, and one Dana enjoys. “This past July, when 40% of the wells in Indian Wells Valley Water District went down following two major earthquakes, I worked with their staff to empower them to send targeted alerts regarding repairs and necessary conservation measures. It was very rewarding to help them navigate this tough time and provide a successful solution,” remarks Dana.

In addition to her day-to-day work, Dana has been on the Board of the California Water Efficiency Partnership (formerly the California Urban Water Conservation Council) for many years and its only member to hit the trifecta of NGO, utility and private sector representative.

While Dana brings many things to the WaterSmart team, one of the brightest was her beloved pooch Banjo who came to work every day, attended meetings, conferences and interviews, happy hours and parties and even sent an email out a time or two. Banjo brought so much sunshine to our day, but unfortunately she passed this spring after a short but very well lived life.

After 25 years in the United States, and 20 in San Francisco, Dana moved back to Canada. So far so good on the move, she’s found a book club, some friends, adopted an annoying new dog and is slowly learning to be more polite and apologize unnecessarily.  You can find her starting her day walking the Vancouver seawall and saying hello to the ducks and gulls and Herons, otters and skunks and racoons that make their home there. She really wants to take up birding but is challenged by her inability to remember any of the bird names, maybe one day!

Favorite WaterSmart Memory?

“The Droplets! Our secret dance practices in the basement for a surprise performance of Nsync’s Bye Bye Bye at the WaterSmart talent show.”

Fun fact about you?

“Snowboarded competitively for a hot minute before everyone got good, then played ultimate frisbee competitively until I ended up in a hip to toe cast.

Best Book you read recently?

“Less by Andrew Sean Greet. When’s the last time a funny book won the Pulitzer? Let’s just say that the protagonist’s mid-life crisis, throw it all to the wind and travel the world strategy resonated.”

Wondering what the droplets are?

Check out WaterSmart’s dance teams first ever performance: Bye Bye Bye!