NGWA announces 2019 groundwater industry award winners

August 30, 2019

The National Ground Water Association congratulates the recipients of its annual Awards of Excellence, Outstanding Groundwater Project Awards, and Sectional Awards which will be presented this December during the NGWA Groundwater Week in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Long-time NGWA member Lee Orton is the recipient of NGWA’s most prestigious award, the Ross L. Oliver Award for outstanding contributions to the groundwater industry. Orton is President of Orton Management Associates Inc., and Executive Director of the Nebraska Well Drillers Association.  

Additional 2019 NGWA award recipients are as follows:

Awards of Excellence:

  • Bernard Kueper, Ph.D., NGWAF, Professor, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario — M. King Hubbert Award for major science contributions to the knowledge of groundwater

  • Todd Hunter, CWD/PI, President, Ground Water Pump Systems, Boulder, Colorado — Robert Storm Intersectional Cooperation Award

  • Curtis King, CWD/PI, Field Director, Healing Hands International, Centralia, Washington — Special Recognition Award

  • Craig Divine, Ph.D., Vice President, Arcadis, Irvine, California — Technology Award

  • Stewart Hitchon, President, Well Busters Canada Inc., Belleville, Ontario — Equipment Design Award

  • Albert Smith, Johnson Screens, New Brighton, Minnesota; Curtis King, CWD/PI, Field Director, Healing Hands International, Centralia, Washington; Don Baron, Johnson Screens, New Brighton, Minnesota; Mike Mehmert, Johnson Screens, New Brighton, Minnesota — Life Member Awards

  • Kevin McCray, CAE, Former CEO, National Ground Water Association, Mt. Gilead, Ohio — Honorary Member Award

  • Jeffrey Williams, MGWC, CVCLD, President, Spafford & Sons Water Wells, Jericho, Vermont — Standard Bearer Award

Outstanding Groundwater Project Awards:

  • San Gabriel Basin Water Quality Authority, Eco Voices Expeditions, Hand on Watershed —Groundwater Awareness Project Award

  • Illinois State Water Survey, Prairie Research Institute, University of Illinois, Assessing At-Risk Groundwater Supply in the Southwest Suburbs of Chicago — Groundwater Supply Project Award

Sectional Awards:

  • Yanxin Wang, Ph.D., Professor, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan, Hubei, China John Hem Award

  • Stephen Anderson, President, Merrill Manufacturing Co., Storm Lake, Iowa — Manufacturers Section Special Recognition Award

  • Ryan Arnett, Vice President, Austin Pump & Supply, Austin, Texas — Supplier of the Year Award

Read more about NGWA awards, which honor the best of the best in the groundwater industry, at


The National Ground Water Association is a not-for-profit professional society and trade association for the global groundwater industry. Our members around the world include leading public and private sector groundwater scientists, engineers, water well system professionals, manufacturers, and suppliers of groundwater-related products and services. The Association’s vision is to be the leading groundwater association advocating for responsible development, management, and use of water.