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.

President's Message - Conserve Water and Engage in Water Policy Decisions

Shawn Dewane
Last year Californians weathered the driest year on record, and as drought conditions continue, regions throughout the state are being severely impacted. Following Governor Brown's State of Emergency drought declaration last month, he has been diligently working with lawmakers regarding emergency drought legislation. Concurrently, legislators are still working on long-term solutions, such as the 2014 Water Bond, to California's aging water infrastructure and dwindling water supplies.

Water is essential to the three million people who reside in thirty-four cities in Orange County, which is the 39th largest economy in the world, with a $188.9 billion gross county product. I strongly encourage Orange County residents to engage themselves in the serious water discussions that take place to ensure our region gets its fair share of funding for its projects. The following are just a few of the many avenues that may be able to help Orange County create new water sources and protect what we currently have.

The Governor's Emergency Drought Legislation was just signed on March 1. It will provide $687.4 million to support drought relief, including money for housing and food for workers directly impacted by the drought, bond funds for projects to help local communities more efficiently capture and manage water and funding for securing emergency drinking water supplies for drought-impacted communities. In addition, it will increase funding for state and local conservation corps to assist communities with efficiency upgrades and reduce fire fuels in fire risk areas, and includes $1 million for the Save Our Water public awareness campaign – which will enhance its mission to inform Californians how they can do their part to conserve water.

Another vehicle to provide relief to California's water problems is the looming 2014 Water Bond. In November 2009, the legislature passed and the governor signed SBX7 2 (Cogdill). SBX7 2 was originally set to be placed on the November 2010 ballot as an $11.14 billion general obligation bond to fund various water programs and projects. However, the general sentiment among legislators in 2010 was that the bond was too expensive for the voters to accept during the downturn of a recession, so the legislature moved the bond to the November 2012 ballot. In 2012, for chiefly the same reasons, the Legislature moved the bond to the November 2014 ballot. In 2013, members of both houses of the legislature engaged in efforts to reanalyze the existing bond to eliminate "pork" and more narrowly focus on California's most pressing water needs in order to secure voter approval. There are four active proposals currently in the legislature being offered to repeal and replace or amend the current bond: AB 1331: Clean and Safe Drinking Water Act of 2014; SB 848: Safe Drinking Water, Water Quality & Water Supply Act of 2014; SB 927: Safe, Clean, and Reliable Drinking Water Supply Act of 2014; and AB 1445: California Water Infrastructure Act of 2014. All have different funding amounts and mechanisms to support projects in Orange County including water recycling, storage and stormwater capture.

Another critical policy affecting 25 million Californians who depend on water imported from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay Delta is the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP). More than half of Orange County's imported water supply comes from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay Delta and environmental regulations and pumping restrictions have greatly reduced our water supplies from it. The BDCP is a comprehensive plan that would repair the Delta through the co-equal goals of restoring vital habitats and ensuring reliable water deliveries. United States Congressman John Garamendi will speak about the importance of the BDCP on Friday, March 7 at the Orange County Water District. Members of the public are encouraged to attend.

It is important that our policy makers hear directly from you on what you would like to see move forward. We must all do our part to conserve and be engaged in policy decisions that can have serious impacts on water reliability for generations to come.

OCWD Honored With International Water Prize – General Manager Featured on CNBC

The Orange County Water District (OCWD) will be awarded the 2014 Lee Kuan Yew (LKY) Water Prize for its pioneering work in groundwater management and water reclamation using advanced water reuse technologies, as well as its achievements in public policy and community outreach. The LKY Water Prize is an international water award that recognizes outstanding contributions by individuals or organizations towards solving global water problems by either applying innovative technologies or implementing policies and programs that benefit humanity.

Launched in 2008, the Prize is the highlight of the Singapore International Water Week (SIWW), which will be held this year from June 1-5. Named after Singapore's first Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew, the Prize laureate receives S$300,000, a certificate and a gold medallion at the award ceremony held during SIWW. The Singapore Millennium Foundation (SMF), a philanthropic body supported by Temasek Holdings, is the sponsor of the Water Prize.

OCWD General Manager Mike Markus was invited to participate in a news conference held on Feb. 18 when it was announced that OCWD would be the recipient of this year's LKY Water Prize. To read the full press release, please click the Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize for 2014. You may also view the CNBC media clip about the award, featuring Markus, at Dealing with water shortages in Singapore.

High Resolution Infiltration Monitoring in Mini-Anaheim Lake Recharge Basin

The District has been collaborating with researchers at the California State University, Long Beach Department of Geology to understand infiltration behavior in its recharge basins, which are located in the cities of Anaheim and Orange. Detailed hydraulic monitoring will test standard concepts of infiltration in basins situated well above the water table. In such basins, the percolation rate is expected to be nearly independent of water level due to the thick unsaturated zone below the basin.

The Mini- Anaheim Lake recharge basin is being used as a test case because it is small and has a relatively simple geology. In March of 2010 the basin was outfitted with Fiber Optic Distributed Temperature Sensing (FODTS) equipment to measure temperature in the basin water and the sediment bed. Last fall, additional sensors were installed. These sensors augment the previous lateral cables that measure percolation across the basin. In addition, soil moisture and hydraulic head are being measured at multiple depths. All of this sensing will provide data sufficient to construct a more realistic model of infiltration in Mini-Anaheim Lake that can be translated to other basins that the District manages. A final report is expected by summer 2014.

14th Biennial Symposium on Managed Aquifer Recharge (BSMAR 14)

The Orange County Water District is spearheading an effort to re-start a symposia series on Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR). Thirteen symposia were held from 1978 to 2007 in Arizona. These symposia provided an important venue for policy-makers, practitioners, researchers, and educators to learn about the policies, regulations, and technical challenges affecting MAR. The information shared at these symposia moved the understanding and utilization of MAR rapidly forward. Now MAR is not only recognized as being a key part of a sustainable water resources management strategy, it is considered vitally important in protecting against drought conditions and the risks associated with climate change.

The 14th Biennial Symposium on Managed Aquifer Recharge (BSMAR 14) will take place will take place July 31 to August 1 in Orange, California at the Double Tree Hotel. BSMAR 14 is being hosted by the Groundwater Resources Association of California and the Arizona Hydrological Society. The one-and-a-half-day symposium will feature numerous oral presentations, poster presentations, presentation of the inaugural Herman Bouwer Award, and an optional MAR tracer workshop and field trips the day prior to the symposium. Abstracts are being sought for oral and poster presentations. Be sure to save the date. For more information, please visit the 14th Biennial Symposium on Managed Aquifer Recharge website.

Register for the OC Water Summit

California's $1.9 trillion economy is at risk. We are in the midst of the driest period on record and in addition, pumping restrictions are still in place – limiting the amount of water we can move throughout the state to keep our economy growing. Business, agriculture, urban populations and the environment are all dependent on reliable water supplies.

Southern California is weathering these conditions better than other regions because of the billions of dollars invested in water reliability projects. Yesterday's investments are paying off and now we need to make additional investments to ensure water reliability tomorrow. What are the impacts of not addressing the issues with the Sacramento Bay Delta? Is now the time for a Water Bond? Are local projects "Pork" or part of the critical answer to long term, water supply reliability? How will your business be impacted? What can be done?

To engage in this discussion don't miss the 7th Annual Orange County Water Summit, which is co-hosted by OCWD, the Municipal Water District of Orange County, and the Disneyland Resort. The event is taking place Friday, May 16, 2014 at the Grand Californian Hotel at the Disneyland Resort. For more event details, to sponsor or to register, please visit the Orange County Water Summit website.

18th Annual Children's Water Education Festival

It is critical that students be inspired early on to learn Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) concepts and apply what they learn to real life, hands-on activities. For 18 years, Orange County students have had the unique experience of getting to do just that by working with some of the most accomplished scientists, engineers and environmental experts at the Children's Water Education Festival. This year's event, hosted by the Orange County Water District, Disneyland Resort, National Water Research Institute and the OCWD Groundwater Guardian Team, will take place March 26-27, 2014, at the University of California, Irvine. The event is the largest water festival of its kind in the nation and will educate nearly 7,000 Orange County third, fourth and fifth grade students about water and the environment. Since its inception, it has taught more than 100,000 children important lessons on how to protect natural resources and that STEM fields can be fun, enriching and provide great career opportunities.

The Festival is provided at no cost to schools, making public and private financial support crucial to the success of this educational event and its continued growth. In addition to monetary and in-kind donations, the Festival also requires more than 600 volunteers, staff and presenters. Please join us as we educate the next generation of innovators at one of the most prestigious universities specializing in many STEM related fields. To sponsor, donate supplies, present an activity or volunteer, please contact Cristabel Nichols at (714) 378-3202 or cnichols@ocwd.com. To learn more about the event and/or to watch a brief video, please visit the Children's Water Education Festival website.

Congratulations 20 Year Service Award Recipients

OCWD recently recognized employees through its service award program. The District thanks these employees and recognizes their dedication and commitment, which help OCWD carry out its mission. Following is a list of employees who received their 20 year service award: Ken Ishida, Kaukaba Naggar, Lorenzo Jackson, Mick Riopka, Tom Knoell and Lynn McConnell. Congratulations!

Recent Tours

Nearly 300 guests toured the GWRS during January. Following is a list of those guests: students from Dana Hills High School; members of the public tour; citizens from the city of Cypress; representatives from RAC Australian Water Recycling Centre of Excellence; staff from Dudek Environmental Consulting; DestinHaus LLC; meeting attendees of the WateReuse Advisory Committee; staff from Stormwater Online, Inc.; a representative from United States Congressman Alan Lowenthal's office; staff from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California; safety consultants from Bureau Veritas; staff from Beaudry Interactive, in association with Cinnabar; members of the California Resource Management Association; and representatives from Denver Water.

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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