OCWD Board of Directors

Cathy Green
First Vice President
Denis R. Bilodeau, P.E.
Second Vice President
Philip L. Anthony
Jordan Brandman
Shawn Dewane
Jan M. Flory, ESQ.
Dina L. Nguyen, ESQ.
Roman Reyna
Stephen R. Sheldon
Roger C. Yoh, P.E.
General Manager
Michael R. Markus
P.E., D.WRE.

In This Issue:

President's Message
OCWD Lab Scores 100 Percent
District's Refunding of Debt Saves Millions
GWRS Initial Expansion Update
OCWD Increases Recharge Capacity
OCWD Supports STEM Education
OCWD Welcomes New Employees
July Tours

President's Message - OCWD Seeks Applicants to Serve on Ocean Desalination Citizens' Advisory Committee

Shawn Dewane
As part of a working group made up of cities and water districts in Orange County, the Orange County Water District (OCWD; District) executed a confidentiality agreement in April 2010 to receive information from Poseidon Resources to study its proposed ocean desalination facility in Huntington Beach.

In July 2013, the OCWD Board of Directors approved executing an amendment to the agreement, giving OCWD access to additional information to study the economic feasibility of the project that may lead to a water purchase agreement for the entire production capacity of the plant.

The Board also approved establishing an Ocean Desalination Citizens' Advisory Committee to make recommendations and provide input to the Board on the proposed Huntington Beach Desalination Project. Applications are currently being solicited from interested parties and must be submitted by 5 p.m., August 30, 2013. The committee will meet monthly, or as needed, without compensation. For complete details regarding the application process, visit http://www.ocwd.com/ProgramsProjects/OceanDesalCitizensAdvisoryCommittee.aspx.

OCWD encourages members of the public to be engaged in the process as it explores ocean desalination. Changes are currently being made to its website to make it easier to access related meeting agendas, reports, studies, press releases, and other data. Please refer to the above referenced web page to access the most recent staff reports and the signed confidentiality agreement and amendments.

To submit questions or comments, please call OCWD's Ocean Desalination Hotline at (714) 378-8243 or send e-mail to exploreoceandesal@ocwd.com.

OCWD Lab Scores 100 Percent

OCWD's Advanced Water Quality Assurance Laboratory (AWQAL; Laboratory) is a state certified research and compliance facility that provides cost-effective, reliable and prompt analytical services in support of the District's monitoring programs and projects. It analyzes 20,000 samples annually and tests for more than 550 compounds. The AWQAL is internationally recognized as a leader in water quality testing.

The Laboratory is certified by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and is required to undergo bi-annual audits administered by CDPH as well as participate in annual proficiency testing (PT) studies. Proficiency testing verifies the accuracy and reliability of tests performed by a lab.

Recently, the Laboratory underwent this process and was certified by CDPH for eight fields of testing: five drinking water and three wastewater. The AWQAL's organic laboratory passed the PT study for 202 parameters with 100 percent correct data. The Laboratory has maintained more than 99.8 percent accuracy for PT studies the last five years and its organic lab has reported 100 percent correct data for the past 10 years. This is a remarkable achievement; congratulations to OCWD's Laboratory Director Lee Yoo and staff for a job well done!

District's Refunding of Debt Saves Millions

OCWD is committed to sound financial management and has one of the best credit ratings among water agencies in California. Its AAA credit rating reflects great confidence in OCWD's general and fiscal management and its leadership in the water industry. Maintaining a high credit rating benefits OCWD and local water rate payers by allowing the District to borrow money more easily and at lower interest rates.

OCWD's fiscal activities are carefully planned and executed to ensure optimal use of financial resources and cost-saving measures. Recently staff identified an opportunity whereby considerable savings were realized by prepaying, or refunding, $63.1 million in 2003B Certificates of Participation (COPs) callable after August 15, 2013. On December 19, 2012, the District's Board of Directors adopted a resolution authorizing execution and delivery of documents to implement the issuance of refunding revenue bonds. Present value savings of approximately $13.9 million were achieved on May 2, 2013, when the 2013A Revenue Refunding Bonds priced. On June 4, 2013, the transaction to refund the 2003B COPs, which carried a higher interest rate than the 2013A Revenue Refunding Bonds, closed. This was a significant savings to the District; congratulations to OCWD Chief Financial Officer Randy Fick and the finance department.

GWRS Initial Expansion Update

Construction of OCWD's Groundwater Replenishment System Initial Expansion (GWRSIE) began in January 2012 and is halfway complete. The $142.7 million project will create an additional 30 million gallons per day of new water supplies to serve north and central Orange County bringing the total production of the GWRS to 103,000 acre feet per year (AFY), enough water for 850,000 people.

Construction has steadily progressed and significant milestones include the completion of the microfiltration facility concrete basins and basement structure, the new reverse osmosis building, the ultraviolet (UV) facility structure and new UV train equipment. In addition, the foundation piles for the two large flow equalization storage tanks are approximately 50 percent complete.

The next phase of construction includes the steel shell erection of the secondary effluent flow equalization storage tank and the new lime post treatment facility. For more information about the project or to view construction reports and time lapse videos, please visit http://www.gwrsystem.com/media.html. The GWRSIE will be completed in early 2015.

OCWD Increases Recharge Capacity

OCWD's recharge operation is located in the cities of Anaheim and Orange due to the area's favorable geology, which allows water to easily percolate into the deep aquifers of the groundwater basin. The District is in the process of purchasing property in Anaheim, located at 3199 East La Palma Avenue, where it will construct a new recharge basin estimated for completion in early 2015. This location is ideal because of its proximity to existing District facilities, including the Groundwater Replenishment System pipeline. The new facility, La Palma Basin, will be used as a dedicated GWRS recharge basin to accommodate the increased production once the GWRS Initial Expansion is completed.

OCWD operates one of the world's largest and most advanced managed aquifer recharge systems. Through the years, it has expanded the system to include more than two dozen separate facilities, a number of which are recharge basins. These are extremely important in the management of groundwater supplies and OCWD realizes the need for constructing additional basins to ensure an adequate and reliable water supply.

North and central Orange County residents and businesses receive 70 percent of their water supply from the groundwater basin. This is a significant savings because groundwater is about one-third of the cost of imported water. La Palma Basin will be a vital addition to the District's recharge system and will help OCWD carry out its mission to provide local water retailers with a reliable, adequate, high quality water supply at the lowest reasonable cost in an environmentally responsible manner.

OCWD Supports STEM Education


On Saturday, July 13 the Orange County Water District hosted Discover Engineering Day. The event, organized by the Metropolitan Group Advisors, was attended by nearly 35 middle and high school students who were members of the Boys and Girls Club (BGC) of Santa Ana and Westminster. Its purpose was to expose students to career opportunities in the field of engineering. Representatives from public and private organizations spoke to BGC members about various educational and professional paths. The students were also given a tour of OCWD's Groundwater Replenishment System and participated in an open discussion with students from California State University, Long Beach Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers.

This event was an opportunity to provide an enriching educational experience for students and get them excited about possible careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The success of our economy and water reliability depends on preparing our future workforce to meet the challenges that lie ahead.

OCWD Welcomes New Employees

In August, three new employees became part of the OCWD family: Quan Kha, Audrey Perry and Leticia Villarreal. The District welcomes them and recognizes its employees are the source of its strength, reputation and innovation.

Quan Kha joined the District as a laboratory technician working in OCWD's Advanced Water Quality Assurance Laboratory. He previously worked at an environmental lab for seven years and graduated from the University of California, Irvine in 2006 with a bachelor of science in chemistry.

Audrey Perry was recently hired as an assistant engineer. She is currently pursuing a master of science in civil engineering and received a bachelor of science in the same field at California State University, Fullerton. She was previously an intern for the City of Brea, Engineering Division.

Leticia Villarreal joined OCWD as an administrative support specialist. She worked for a commercial general contractor for 17 years and attended Fullerton College.

Welcome Quan, Audrey and Leticia!

July Tours

More than 200 visitors toured the Groundwater Replenishment System last month. Tour guests included staff from Beijing Drainage Group Co. Ltd, a wastewater utility in China; four groups of nursing students from California State University, Fullerton; United States Congressman Dana Rohrabacher and delegates from Russia; nursing students from California State University, Long Beach; the University of California, Irvine's American Indian Summer Institute in Earth System Science; staff from Orange County Sanitation District; the public tour; 35 middle and high school students from the Santa Ana and Westminster Boys and Girls Clubs who participated in Discover Engineering Day hosted at the District; staff from Good Earth Power, Ltd. and representatives from the United States Bureau of Reclamation.

Public tours of the Groundwater Replenishment System are offered at
10 a.m. on the first Friday of every month; reservations are required. Tours may be scheduled for other days of the week, depending on staff availability. To schedule a tour or to request more information, please contact Becky Mudd at (714) 378-3362 or bmudd@ocwd.com. To schedule a speaker, please contact Rose Wilke at (714) 378-3206 or rwilke@ocwd.com. You may also visit www.ocwd.com to schedule these activities online.

18700 Ward Street
Fountain Valley, CA 92708
(714) 378-3200

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