This week’s Hometown Hero is Dr. Dave Moreau, a professor at UNC-Chapel Hill in the City and Regional Planning department and one of the founders of the board for The Orange County Water and Sewage Authority. He has contributed to efforts for clean air and water for Chapel Hill, Durham and other nearby communities through his involvement with OWASA.

OWASA is a member of the Partnership for Safe Water, an association that promotes high standards in water treatment and distribution systems. In 2013, OWASA was one of the first utility providers in the nation to receive the Partnership’s “Director’s Award” for optimizing their operations and safety measures of the drinking water distribution system.

Moreau served as chairman of the Environmental Management Commission from 1993 to 2008. The EMC serves as North Carolina’s administrative commission for water quality, air quality and water allocation. He has published works involving systems analysis, planning and management of urban water systems, management of water supplies during droughts, and planning and evaluation of watershed management programs.

“He was looked up to as the water guru for the state of North Carolina,” said Alan Rimer, who worked with Moreau during his time with OWASA. “He contributed significantly to a variety of different aspects of what we now look at as our water resources policy. We owe a lot of gratitude to Dave for his leadership when we began to look at regional planning for water supply.”

Prior to the ‘70s, UNC-Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, and Carrboro relied on University Lake for their water supply, but quickly outgrew this resource. In 1976, an independent feasibility study concluded that Cane Creek would be sufficient in providing these areas with a reliable water source. Dave was a leader in getting the Cane Creek reservoir approved, and the reservoir provides Raleigh, areas around Falls Lake, Chapel Hill, Durham, Cary and surrounding communities with substantial access to clean water to this day.

“Dave is this great combination of professional expertise, technical detail and hilarity,” said Terri Buckner, who nominated Moreau as a Hometown Hero. “He is great to work with.”

Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau