WMDVLGBTBE Business Certification and Registration
Calendar of Events
Supplier Terms and Conditions
Supplier Clearinghouse and Certification FAQ
About CWA Supplier Diversity Program
CWA Diversity Program Contacts
California American Water seeks to cultivate business partnerships with qualified suppliers that can provide goods and services at competitive prices and that add value to the service we provide our customers.
Our purchasing needs span every area of our business — Operations, Engineering, and all professional services that includes Legal, Finance, Marketing, and External Affairs. More specifically, our Operations and Engineeing Teams can use vendors for the following: underground construction, well rehab/drilling, tank painting, water treatment, water/wastewater consulting services, design/build services, inspections, surveying, etc. We are committed to cultivating relationships with suppliers who can help us provide the best value and service to customers. See our 2017 Supplier Diversity Annual Report or our Supplier Diversity Brochure for more information.
Most of our sourcing opportunities go through a formal, competitive request for proposal (RFP) and bid process. You should check our bid sheet included on our website (Under Upcoming/Current Bids).
Click on this link to register your business in our supplier database. Our Supplier Outreach Team uses this database and the profiles in it to identify suppliers for business opportunities.
Upon registering with us, we may reach out to you to discuss your qualifications and ask you to complete and send us the following information:
Forms can be e-mailed to MaryLou.Ruiz@amwater.com and Edward.Simon@amwater.com, faxed to (619) 230-1096, or mailed to California American Water, Attn: Supplier Diversity, 655 West Broadway #1410, San Diego, CA 92101.
By submitting the Vendor Prequalification Form, W-9 forms, and Certificate of Insurance, you hereby accept California American Water’s Terms & Conditions (Construction or Consultant) for doing business with us.
WMDVLGBTBE Business Certification and Registration
There are two initial steps interested suppliers must take to become qualified to do business with California American Water as a WMDVLGBTBE business. First, you must become certified with either the CPUC’s independent certifying body, the Supplier Clearinghouse, or the California Department of General Services (if you are a service-disabled veteran-owned business). And second, you must register in our online supplier database using the following link.
California American Water utilizes the established guidelines from the CPUC to qualify diverse suppliers and requires certification by the Supplier Clearinghouse and/or California Department of General Services. Diverse suppliers are defined as a business enterprise that is at least 51-percent owned, managed, and controlled by one or more of the following:
- Minorities: African-American, Hispanic-American, Native-American, or Asian-American
- Service-Disabled Veterans
- Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender Individuals
For additional information on the CPUC certification process, please visit the Supplier Clearinghouse. For more information on the service-disabled veteran-owned business certification process, please visit the California Department of General Services.
Our supplier outreach initiative is part of our overall business strategy to add value to the communities we serve. Company-wide, our employees share a commitment to being the leader in providing our customers and communities with traditional and innovative utility services, and Supplier Outreach is one of the ways we accomplish this.
Since 2005, California American Water has been committed to doing business with diverse suppliers in the communities we serve. Now, California American Water joins the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to further develop procurement opportunities for women-, minority-, disabled veteran-, lesbian-, gay-, bisexual-, and transgender- owned business enterprises (WMDVLGBTBE) under General Order 156, which establishes cumulative percentage goals for procurement from diverse businesses.
Supplier FAQ to find out what types of products and services California American Water purchases.
Commitment to Supplier Outreach
California American Water is committed to proactively building connections with diverse suppliers. Through supplier outreach, we are able to cultivate relationships with companies in our communities that are capable of providing commodities and services at competitive prices and add value to the service we provide to our customers. We are continually striving to exceed our goals to establish lasting relationships that create value for all parties.
Calendar of Events
California American Water occasionally offers opportunities for vendors to interact with our Supplier Outreach Team and learn more about our initiatives, processes, and current areas of focus.
Month Event Web Site
April Annual SBA Southern California 8(a) Conference www.socal8aconference.com
May Disabled Veteran Business Alliance Keeping The Promise www.gousvba.org
June WBENC National Conference & Business Fair conf.wbenc.org
July American Indian Chamber of Commerce Annual Expo www.aicccal.org/events/EXPO.htm
August The Elite SDVOB National Convention www.sdvobconference.com
August NGLCC Annual Conference www.nglcc.org/
September California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Annual Convention chccconvention.com/
October NMSDC Annual Conference www.nmsdc.org/conference
December VBOC and DGS Small Business Summit www.vbocix.org
Varies CPUC’s Small Business Expo ia.cpuc.ca.gov/rsvp
Vendors should negotiate payment terms during the contract negotiation process. If a diverse vendor has any issues / concerns with the company (or its prime suppliers) meeting its payment terms and obligations, the vendor should contact Edward Simon via email: Edward.Simon@amwater.com outlining their detailed issues/concerns. Ed Simon will engage the necessary team members to address and resolve the issue.
New vendors are required to register and join Taulia, our e-invoicing portal; it makes invoice processing much more efficient. There are many benefits with using Taulia, including free, 24/7 access to POs, invoice, and payment status, flexible E-Invoicing options, improved processing efficiency, and optimization of early payment discount revenue. The Taulia portal facilitates the transmission of purchase orders and invoices between suppliers and their customers. It allows us to communicate with many suppliers through a single connection to our SAP system. Invoices are sent to us as electronic files, which avoids the handing of paper and significantly reduces errors in invoice processing.
Suppliers will receive an invitation email from American Water to invite them to join once you are entered into our accounting system. After enrollment has started suppliers will have the opportunity to read FAQs or contact My Helpdesk with questions. American Water, partnered with Taulia, is available to ensure this process is simple to use, transparent, and greatly improves our transactional dealings with Suppliers.
Vendors must submit all invoices to the Taulia System through which all invoices will be processed. Instructions for invoice processing are available at the following website address: http://supplierinfo.taulia.com/americanwater
What types of products and services does California American Water buy from suppliers?
California American Water’s purchasing needs span every area of our business — from construction, maintenance equipment, and tools to office supplies and business services — and we are committed to cultivating relationships with suppliers who can help us provide the best value and service to customers.
We seek suppliers in nearly every area of our business, including:
- Catering Services
- Construction-Related Tools and Equipment
- Corrugated and Paper Recyclers
- Courier Services
- Engineering Consultants
- Fence Repair Services
- Hazmat Retrieval and Recyclers
- Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Maintenance Services
- IT Software and Hardware, Copiers, and Phone Equipment
- Janitorial Services
- Legal and Accounting Services
- Microwave, Electrical, Electronics, and SCADA Equipment
- Pest Control Services
- Pump and Motor Repair
- Security Services
- Underground and Landscaping Contractors
- Vehicle and Auto Body Repair
- Well and Tank Rehab/Maintenance
What are the steps I need to take to become a qualified supplier for California American Water?
A prospective supplier must meet the following minimum qualification requirements:
- Register using the Online Registration Form
- Submit the Vendor Prequalification Form, W9 Form, and Certificate of Insurance
- California American Water requires certificates of insurance and must be named as an additional insured (endorsement of additional insured is required). Insurance requirements vary by the type of service / work performed. Our team will discuss these requirements at the appropriate time.
- For field related work, registration with Avetta and green flag status is required.
- Ability to collect and pay appropriate sales tax and other taxes to appropriate agencies.
- Acceptance of California American Water’s Terms & Conditions (Construction or Consultant).
- Ability to provide financial reporting and references upon request
- Knowledge of your company’s most applicable and appropriate SIC codes, which will also be required on our Vendor Information Form. (To look up codes for your business, please visit either www.naics.com/search.htm or www.osha.gov/pls/imis/sicsearch.html.)
- Review and acceptance of the DBE (Diverse Business Enterprise) Requirement Statement
How do I learn about upcoming opportunities to work with California American Water?
You can click on this link (Upcoming Bid Opportunities) to learn more about current bid opportunities.
What are the next steps after I register with California American Water’s supplier database?
After you have submitted the Vendor Prequalification Form and we have agreed your services are needed, we will contact you to discuss details including submission of W-9, Certification of Insurance, and other final paperwork required.
Does California American Water guarantee work for qualified suppliers?
No, California American Water does not guarantee work to any supplier, but we are deeply committed to finding qualified suppliers.
How can I contact someone about sourcing opportunities within California American Water?
California American Water participates in a number of events throughout the year in our communities. Our Procurement Team members interview and provide information about sourcing opportunities to potential suppliers during these events. You should visit our website frequently and feel free to reach out to MaryLou.Ruiz@amwater.com or Edward.Simon@amwater.com
What is WMDVLGBTBE?
A WMDVLGBTBE is woman-, minority-, disabled veteran-, or lesbian-, gay-, bisexual-, or transgender-owned business enterprise that is at least 51-percent owned by a woman or women, a minority person or group, or a service-disabled veteran or group of veterans, or lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender individual or individuals who are United States citizens or permanent residents, and who also control and run the business. For more information on the CPUC’s definition of WMDVLGBTBEs, please visit The Supplier Clearinghouse web site or California Department of General Services’ web site.
With regards to the ownership language, GO 156 states that a woman/minority or LGBT business means (1) a business enterprise (a) that is at least 51% owned by a (insert qualifying group here) or (b) if a publicly owned business, at least 51% of the stock of which is owned by one or more (insert qualifying group here), and (2) whose management and daily business operations are controlled by one or more of those individuals.
- 1.3.2. "Women-owned business" means (1) a business enterprise (a) that is at least 51% owned by a woman or women or (b) if a publicly owned business, at least 51% of the stock of which is owned by one or more women, and (2) whose management and daily business operations are controlled by one or more of those individuals.
- 1.3.3. "Minority-owned business" means (1) a business enterprise (a) that is at least 51% owned by a minority individual or group(s) or (b) if a publicly owned business, at least 51 % of the stock of which is owned by one or more minority groups, and (2) whose management and daily business operations are controlled by one or more of those individuals. The contracting utility shall presume that minority includes, but is not limited to, African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Asian Pacific Americans, and other groups, as defined herein.
- 1.3.4. “LGBT-owned business” means (1) a business enterprise (a) that is at least 51% owned by a lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender person or persons or (b) if a publicly owned business, at least 51 % of the stock of which is owned by one or more lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender persons; and (2) whose management and daily business operations are controlled by one or more of those individuals.
What are the steps I need to take to becoming a qualified minority supplier for California American Water?
A prospective supplier must meet the following minimum qualification requirements for our supplier outreach initiative:
1. Be certified with the CPUC’s Supplier Clearinghouse or the California Department of General Services.
2. Once certified, register by completing and submitting a Vendor Prequalification Form, W-9 (see the For Suppliers page for details).
3. Ability to provide General Liability, Auto, and Worker’s Compensation certificates of insurance that meet
California American Water’s minimum requirements. (See detailed
4. Evidence that your company has a good credit rating and is financially stable.
5. A U.S. Federal Taxpayer ID number or country equivalent taxpayer identification.
6. Ability to collect and pay appropriate sales tax and other taxes to proper agencies.
7. Knowledge of your company’s most applicable and appropriate SIC codes, which will also be required on our Vendor Information Form. (To look up codes for your business, see the NAICS Association web site.)
8. Acceptance of California American Water’s Terms & Conditions (Construction or Consultant).
How do I get certified?
Diverse suppliers can apply for certification through the CPUC’s independent certifying body, The Supplier Clearinghouse (for woman- and minority-owned business enterprises) or California Department of General Services (for disabled veteran-owned business enterprises). Detailed information about eligibility criteria and an online application form is available at each respective web site.
How long will the certification process take?
The average certification process can range from 15-30 days once the application is submitted.
How do I learn about upcoming opportunities to work with California American Water?
We welcome all certified WMDVLGBTBEs who want to work with us to register in our supplier database. Use the attached link to view RFP / Bids
What are the next steps after I register with California American Water’s supplier outreach database?
Once you have submitted the Vendor Prequalification Form and W-9, your profile is made available to our Supplier Outreach Team. At that point, we will begin our standard review processes. We’ll contact you as soon as an opportunity becomes available in your area.
Does California American Water guarantee work for women-, minority-, disabled veteran- and lesbian-, gay-, bisexual-, and transgender-owned business enterprises (WMDVLGBTBEs)?
No, California American Water does not guarantee work to any supplier, but we are deeply committed to working with diverse suppliers.
How can I contact someone if I have more questions?
If you have any additional questions about California American Water’s procurement process or supplier outreach initiative, please contact MaryLou.Ruiz@amwater.com or Edward Simon at Edward.Simon@amwater.com.
About the CPUC Utility Supplier Diversity Program
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) regulates services and utilities, assuring Californians’ access to safe and reliable utility infrastructure and services. Among these essential services are electricity, natural gas, telecommunications, and drinking water. The Utility Supplier Diversity Program is implemented through General Order 156 (GO156) established by the CPUC in response to California Assembly Bill 3638 written into law in 1983.
Originally, the CPUC program did not include water utilities; however, they joined the program voluntarily in 2005 after executing a Memorandum of Intent with the CPUC. California Assembly Bill 873 signed into law in 2009 required commission-regulated water utilities to fully participate in the GO156 program.
The CPUC monitors the procurement and contracting activities of the 33 participating utilities and oversees a clearinghouse of women-, minority-, disabled veteran-, and lesbian, gay, bisexual transgender (LGBT)-owned business enterprises (WMDVLGBTBE).
The clearinghouse operator verifies the status of firms seeking certification as women-, minority- and/or LGBT-owned businesses. Disabled veteran-owned businesses are certified by the Office of Small Business & Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise Services (OSDS), a unit of the Department of General Services.
In addition to establishing and overseeing a database of WMDVLGBTBEs that is accessible to the CPUC and participating utilities, the Clearinghouse operator has the responsibility for administering and maintaining the certification process for WMLGBTBEs on behalf of participating utilities. The CPUC’s goal for participating utilities is to provide maximum practical opportunities for diverse business to participate in the utilities’ procurement and contracting activities. Specifically, the procurement goals are as follows:
- 15 percent with Minority Business Enterprises (MBE)
- 5 percent with Women Business Enterprises (WBE)
- 1.5 percent with Disabled Veteran Business Enterprises (DVBE)
Participating utilities are required to comply with California Public Utilities Code Sections 8281-8286.
To learn more about the CPUC, please visit www.cpuc.ca.gov. Information about WMLGBTBE certification and a list of participating utilities can be found at www.thesupplierclearinghouse.com.
Supplier Clearinghouse and Certification FAQ
What is the Supplier Clearinghouse?
The Supplier Clearinghouse is the depository of the database of certified WMDVLGBT Businesses. The Clearinghouse operator is contracted to verify the eligibility of women-, minority- and LGBT-owned business enterprises and issues a certificate of eligibility. The operator also maintains and provides access to the database of verified businesses and disabled veteran-owned enterprises (DVBE) to participating utilities.
Who do they certify and what are the eligibility requirements?
The Supplier Clearinghouse certifies women-, minority- and LGBT-owned businesses that are at least 51% owned by women, minority and/or LGBT individuals, and whose management and daily business operations are controlled by women, minorities and/or LGBT individuals. (http://www.sdbnetwork.com/SDBNetwork/Affiliates/CPUC/verification_eligibility.php) Recognized minority groups include African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Pacific Americans and Native Americans. Certification is limited to U.S. citizens or legal resident aliens. While The Supplier Clearinghouse maintains a database of disabled-veteran business enterprises (DVBEs), these applicants are certified by the DVBE Participation Program, a unit of the Department of General Services (http://www.dgs.ca.gov/dgs/tabid/1198/Default.aspx), not by The Supplier Clearinghouse.
What are the benefits of certification?
The CPUC and participating utilities accepts certification of women- and/or minority-owned businesses (W/MBE) by The Supplier Clearinghouse, comparable agencies, and disabled veteran-owned enterprise (DVBE) certification by the DVBE Participation Program, a unit of the Department of General Services. Verified businesses are entered into a database that is utilized by participating utilities for sourcing opportunities. Additionally, there is no application fee and the Supplier Clearinghouse certification is valid for 3 years or through the comparable agencies’ expiration date.
What is the application process?
Applicants are usually certified within 45–90 days of receipt of a complete, notarized application package including application form and supporting documents. Site visits are sometimes necessary to make a determination to certify. Certified applicants receive a certificate that is valid for 3 years or that matches the comparable agencies’ expiration date. 90 days prior to the end of the certification period, a reverification application must be submitted for renewal. Application types and instructions can be found at http://www.sdbnetwork.com/SDBNetwork/Affiliates/CPUC/verification_eligibility.php.
Comparable agencies include the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) and the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC).
How to determine if you are a diverse supplier:
If you own and operate a company that is 51% owned and operated by a minority, woman or disabled veteran, you may qualify to become certified as a diverse vendor. To obtain the application to become certified, please visit the website of the Supplier Clearinghouse at http://www.thesupplierclearinghouse.com.
For more information, or to register with us, fill out our FORM or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Supplier Diversity Report
About CWA (California Water Association) Supplier Diversity Program
CWA is a trade organization representing regulated water utilities that provide high-quality water utility services to nearly 6 million people throughout California.
Currently, seven of the nine largest (Class A) water companies participate in the Utility Supplier Diversity Program (USDP). Each of these utilities are committed to the spirit and guiding principle of GO156.
CWA-member companies work collaboratively to identify and share best practices to encourage opportunities and minimize barriers to procurement with WMDVLGBTBEs. In support of this commitment, CWA-member companies have set substantial, yet realistic goals, and are striving to exceed the 21.5 percent WMDVLGBTBE procurement goal established by GO156.
Additionally, outreach programs have been implemented by the water companies to inform and engage WMDVLGBTBEs for procurement opportunities, including Meet the Primes Events, mentorships, and Capacity Building and Technical Assistance Programs.
Products and Services Purchased
Each year, these regulated water utilities buy millions of dollars in products and services from qualified suppliers. Below are some of the products and services commonly purchased:
- Construction: general construction, concrete work, construction management, design, electrical, excavating, air-conditioning, painting, paving, plumbing, roofing, pipeline installation
- Maintenance and Repair: janitorial services, office machine services, landscaping, plumbing, air-conditioning, painting, electrical, pump repair, pipeline repair
- Materials and Supplies: office machines and supplies, furniture and fixtures, mechanical and electrical equipment, computers, computer-related supplies
- Promotional Services: advertising, marketing, public relations, photography, printing, catering
- Professional Services: banking, auditing, consulting, architecture, legal, finance
- Transportation: vehicle maintenance, automotive supplies, contract hauling, purchase of automobiles and trucks
- Warehousing: material handling, equipment and parts, cleaning supplies, hydrants, valves, copper and iron ductile pipe, meters
California American Water
California Water Service
Golden State Water Company
909-394-3600 x 662
San Gabriel Valley Water Company
San Jose Water Company
Suburban Water Systems
Water Companies Representative (California Water Association)
Procurement Opportunities for Minority-, Women- and Disabled Veteran-Owned Business Enterprises
Since 2009, CWA-member companies continue to grow the number of certified minority-, women-, Disabled Veteran- and LGBT-owned business enterprises (WMDVLGBTBE) who are qualified to do business with regulated water utilities. CWA-member companies strive to develop mutually beneficial working relationships with contractors and recognize that they are essential to everyone’s future growth and success.
Regulated water utilities are interested in contractors who can add value to their supply chain and can demonstrate:
- A firm understanding of the water utility sector
- Core competency in the product or service provided
- Excellent past performance with customers
- Solid financial standing
- Scalability to meet growth changes within the business
- Support of our WMDVLGBTBE Tier 2
Tips for doing business with regulated water utilities:
- Review the web sites of regulated water utilities to learn about specific requirements for doing business with each company.
- Though requirements vary with each company, they may include a new supplier registration form or profile, proof of appropriate insurance coverage, applicable business or trade licenses, financial statements and proof of current WMDVLGBTBE certification.
- Participate in CWA’s annual contractor-vendor meetings in Northern and Southern California.
See our upcoming bids.