As part of CAP’s Know Your Water series, you will be meeting some of the employees who work each day to ensure Colorado River water flows through our 336-mile aqueduct to reach our municipal, agricultural, industrial and tribal customers.
Learn more about Aaron Welch of Environmental Department via his words below and by watching this video.
Q: In a nutshell, what do you do for CAP?
A: I’m responsible for the overall supervision of CAP's environmental program, including compliance with various regulations and efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle. This includes oversight of hazardous and non-hazardous waste accumulation and disposal, remediation of hazardous materials spill and illegal disposal sites, overseeing environmental permits and programs involving air, water and waste.
Q: How did you get into this line of work?
A: I graduated from Glendale Community College with a fire science degree and hoped to work for a local fire department or emergency response company. But life took me in another direction; I spent the next five years as a consultant traveling the U.S and implementing health information systems and document management systems.
This experience opened the door to CAP with a job in the IMS Department as an Information Management Systems Specialist. During my 3 ½ years with the IMS Department, I went back to school and was promoted to the Environmental Department as an Environmental Programs Specialist. Over the next 10 years, I continued to learn and grown within the Environmental Department. I went back to school at Grand Canyon University to work towards my Master Degree in Public Administration.
In April of 2018, I was promoted to Supervisor of the Environmental Department.
Q: How does the work you do on a daily basis affect our water supply?
A: The Environmental Department strives to prevent pollution, reduce waste and minimize consumption of resources and to educate, train and motivate employees to work in an environmentally responsible way.
We encourage CAP employees to reduce, reuse, and recycle at home by offering employees the ability to use recycling and reuse containers at CAP facilities. Support for the 3 R’s program at work and at home can help employees, the community and the environment by saving money, energy and natural resources.
Q: What are some of the technical advances that allow you to do your job more effectively and efficiently?
A: The ability to go mobile by using a mobile device out in the field with or with without 4g or WI-FI (On-line or Off-line) has made a big impact.
This technical advancement and process improvement from paper inspections to electronic inspections is still is a work in process, but the team is becoming more comfortable using mobile devices and some minor improvements are being made to the application. The Environment team will have the ability to document environmental inspections and opportunities to correct as we are performing the inspections in the field. This will allow the team to do our job more effectively and efficiently!
Q: What's the most challenging part of your work?
A: Development of Environmental programs to meet legal requirements, regulations, and permits conditions with an overall goal of reducing negative environmental impacts.
Q: What's the most gratifying part of your job?
A: Every day is a new adventure; being able to get out of the office and build relationships by collaborating with others to meet the needs of the organizations is extremely gratifying.
Q: What is your favorite part about working at CAP?
A: Work life balance; four-day work week and the ability to continue to learn and grow to meet the challenges faced by the Environmental Department.