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.

Parting Message from
Director Kathryn Barr

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

As many of you already know, I will be retiring from the Orange County Water District after 35 years of service.

It has been an exciting experience and a continual learning process. I have witnessed many highs and some lows, but the memories I will most fondly take away are the wonderful relationships I have made and the District's many firsts and innovations that have taken place during my tenure.

I was appointed to the Board in 1979 by default because the number one choice lived outside of Division 1 of the OCWD District. I have run, successfully, every four years since. I had no expectations and it was probably a good thing. It is difficult to realize all that is involved to do a good job as an OCWD board member. I was initially shocked. Constant new surprises and studying to keep up with the evolution of the water industry are hallmarks of the position. I found that it kept the experience dynamic and rewarding.

By the time I came onboard, the District was ready to invest in new projects. Water Factory 21, the county's first wastewater purification plant, had come online just a few years prior and most of OCWD's efforts were concentrated on its operation. During the mid-1980s we began planning the Green Acres Project that now supplies nonpotable water for golf courses, public parks and landscaping. You can still see the purple pipes in Fountain Valley and the project has expanded to Santa Ana, Costa Mesa, and Newport Beach—saving those cities a lot of money.

Under my purview and that of my fellow board members, we completed the Prado Wetland expansion, the Advanced Water Quality Assurance Laboratory opened its doors and earned full certification, and so much more. But the Groundwater Replenishment System, which came into use in 2008, was our biggest step toward being independent and drought-resistant, and the project of which I am most proud.

As board members, our mandates are to steward conservation in the District, to take charge of the Santa Ana River waters, and to manage the vast groundwater basin relied upon by 2.4 million people in Orange County. We and the dedicated, diligent and resourceful OCWD staff continue to accomplish these goals to the best of our abilities. As a positive consequence, the District team has become a renowned source of knowledge about these topics and is called upon by scientists, water industry leaders and elected officials here and around the globe.

And so, I find that the saddest part of my retiring is not being able to work on a daily basis with this wonderful OCWD family.

I've been asked what I will do in my retirement. To be perfectly honest, I don't know where to start. I'll become more involved with my Women's Club craft section and the Assistance League, plan some vacations and keep up with my three crossword puzzles a day—which I do in ink.

My parting words to you are to keep at it. Look for something new and better. We'll always be a world leader and in the forefront because OCWD is built upon knowledgeable, enthusiastic and caring individuals, many of whom I am happy to call friends.


Kathryn L. Barr