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: Bay-Delta Conservation Plan
GWRS Receives International Recognition
OCWD Board Approves Requests for Annexation
October Employee of the Month
September Tours

President's Message: Bay-Delta Conservation Plan

Shawn Dewane
In north and central Orange County, 70 percent of the water supply is drawn from a natural groundwater basin managed, since 1933, by the Orange County Water District (OCWD; District). The remaining 30 percent is from imported water supplies from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta (Bay-Delta) in Northern California and the Colorado River. South Orange County relies almost completely on these imported supplies and does not draw water from the groundwater basin. Imported water is significant to Orange County's economy and public health. Furthermore, the state's stability and future relies on the sustained health and management of the Bay-Delta, as it provides water for nearly 25 million people throughout California.

The Bay-Delta also supplies water for California's commerce including agriculture, a $43 billion industry. Our state's agriculture abundance includes more than 400 commodities and produces nearly half of U.S.-grown fruits, nuts and vegetables.

To protect the Bay-Delta's vast and declining ecosystem, which is comprised of hundreds of aquatic and terrestrial species, environmental restrictions were put in place nearly seven years ago to limit the amount of water that can be imported throughout the state. To make matters worse, levees along the Delta are at risk of collapsing and causing devastating flooding in the event of a large earthquake or heavy storm. Under this scenario, the amount of water pumped from the Delta to Southern California could be significantly reduced if not stopped all together until repairs were made. While conservation and investments in local water sustainability projects help lessen our dependence on the Bay-Delta, Orange County will always be dependent on it, directly and indirectly.


The Bay-Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP; the Plan) is a proposed solution to balance both the environmental and water sustainability needs of this estuary. In its seventh year, it is a collaborative effort of federal and state water experts, environmentalists, scientists, water agencies and other stakeholders. The current BDCP draft proposes to secure California's water supply by building new water delivery infrastructure and operating the system to improve the ecological health of the Delta. The proposed conveyance system is made up of twin tunnels 30 miles long and 40 feet wide, using gravity flow to maximize energy efficiency as it passes as much as 9,000 cubic feet per second under the Delta. The BDCP would also restore or protect approximately 145,000 acres of habitat to address the Delta's environmental challenges. The Plan includes 22 conservation measures aimed at improving water operations, protecting water supplies and water quality, and restoring the Delta ecosystem within a stable regulatory framework. Implementation of the Plan would occur over a 50-year time frame by a number of agencies and organizations with specific roles and responsibilities.

The Administrative Draft BDCP was released for preliminary review in early 2013 and is available at www.baydeltaconservationplan.com. The Public Draft of the BDCP is expected to be released this fall. Orange County residents are encouraged to read the draft solution, become informed about the issue and share their comments with the Department of Water Resources and their state legislators. While the Bay-Delta is far out of our sight, it impacts every single person in Orange County every day. Our future depends on it.

GWRS Receives International Recognition


The Orange County Water District and Orange County Sanitation District's (OCSD) joint project, the Groundwater Replenishment System (GWRS), was awarded the Major Civil Engineering Project Centenary Award from the International Federation of Consulting Engineers (Fédération Internationale des Ingénieurs-Conseils; FIDIC). The GWRS was honored alongside world-renowned projects, including the Hoover Dam Bypass, the Channel Tunnel and the Sydney Harbour Bridge, as having made a significant contribution to the civil engineering industry over the past 100 years.

The District is honored to be recognized among such remarkable civil engineering projects. More than 150 projects were nominated by FIDIC members and were judged against a number of criteria including international recognition, technical excellence, innovation and sustainability. The GWRS has been operational since 2008 and is the world's largest water purification system for indirect potable reuse. Designed by CDM Smith, it takes treated wastewater that otherwise would be sent to the Pacific Ocean and purifies it using a three-step advanced process, producing up to 70 million gallons of high-purity water every day. This water is injected into a seawater barrier and pumped to recharge basins where it naturally percolates into the groundwater basin, becoming part of Orange County's drinking water supply.

OCWD Director Denis Bilodeau accepted the award on behalf of OCWD at the FIDIC Centenary Conference on September 16. To read more click on the GWRS Award Press Release.

OCWD Board Approves Requests for Annexation

There are 19 municipal and special water districts (producers) that are members of the Orange County Water District. Three of these agencies, the City of Anaheim, Irvine Ranch Water District (IRWD) and Yorba Linda Water District (YLWD) requested to annex approximately 15,095 acres of land outside of the Orange County Water District's boundaries to draw more water from the Orange County groundwater basin. After three years of conducting studies, completing the proper environmental impact report (EIR), and working collaboratively with the 19 producers, the OCWD Board of Directors certified the EIR and approved the annexation of three new areas into the District at its October 2, 2013 Board meeting. Upon final approval by the Anaheim city council and the boards of IRWD and YLWD, the annexation request will be considered for approval by the Local Agency Formation Commission of Orange County (LAFCO). The latter process will take approximately four to five months.

OCWD has grown from an original 162,676 acres to its current 229,000 acres through forty-five prior annexations. To accommodate this growth and the general growth of the area, the District has developed numerous water supply projects to increase the amount of local water available and to grow the annual sustainable yield of the groundwater basin. Annual pumping from the groundwater basin has more than doubled since 1950 due to OCWD's efforts.

Recognized as a world-wide leader in groundwater management, the District has engaged in years of sound planning and appropriate investment in the basin. For the 19 municipal and special water districts it serves, this translates into lower water supply costs and more reliable groundwater.


Two legislative proposals seeking to replace the $11.14 billion water bond currently scheduled for the November 2014 ballot will be the subject of considerable interest when the California State Legislature reconvenes in January 2014.

Assembly Bill (AB) 1331, the Climate Change Response for Clean and Safe Drinking Water Act of 2014, is a $6.5 billion bond authored by Assemblymember Anthony Rendon. AB 1331 would fund water quality and safe drinking water projects ($1B); protection of rivers, lakes, streams and watersheds ($1.5B); climate change preparedness for regional water security ($1.5B); Delta sustainability ($1B), and storage for climate change ($1.5B).

Assemblymember Rendon and Senator Wolk both assert that their respective proposals are devoid of earmarks, set at a lower funding level that is more likely to be passed by the voters than the current bond and address critical state water needs. AB 1331 and SB 42 are currently in the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee.

The water bond slated for the November ballot was passed by the Legislature in 2009. Since then, the economy has changed and there are many new members of the Legislature. The water bond will no doubt continue to evolve and be at the forefront of legislative discussions in 2014.

October Employee of the Month

The OCWD employee of the month (EOM) program was established to recognize outstanding District employees and to acknowledge their contributions to OCWD. The program commends employees for high quality work, promoting team work, cost saving ideas and a high level of dedication to their work. The District recognizes OCWD employees are the source of its strength, reputation and innovation. Prem Parmar was recognized as the October EOM.

Prem is a Chemist who has worked at OCWD for seven years providing exceptional support to the Advanced Water Quality Assurance Laboratory (Lab). He is an asset to the Lab's organic team and is excellent at troubleshooting analytical systems and using the preventive maintenance process to keep methods generating the highest quality data possible. Prem has promoted positive changes within analytical processes and instrumental methods. He developed a more reliable and advanced analytical method for the determination of 15 carbonyl compounds using mass spectrometry (MS) instead of the traditional electron capture detection (ECD) method published by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Prem will present practical research on this method at this year's Water Quality Technical Conference at the Long Beach Convention Center on November 5. Overall, Prem and his work are highly regarded and respected among his peers. His dedication to the Lab and the District are truly appreciated.

Congratulations Prem!

September Tours


Tours of the Groundwater Replenishment System and other OCWD facilities were given to the following organizations and groups: nursing students from California State University, Long Beach and Fullerton; Korean representatives from TrojanUV; members of the 2013-2014 Orange County Grand Jury; members of the public; students from Irvine Valley College; a consultant with ULM Services; executives of Masdar and a representative of Congressman Rohrabacher's office; delegates from the National Environment Research Institute in Korea; representatives from Kyung Buk Institute of Health & Environment in Korea; a Japanese delegation; and a Chinese delegation from Hach Company.

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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