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.

OCWD Recognized for
Regional Leadership

The Orange County Water District (OCWD; District), City of Anaheim, the Irvine Ranch Water District (IRWD), and Yorba Linda Water District (YLWD) received a California Association of Local Agency Formation Commissions (CALAFCO) Government Leadership Award at the annual CALAFCO conference held on Oct. 16 in Ontario, Calif.

The four agencies were selected for this award because they manifested characteristics of effective leadership, not just in the past year through the successful completion of a major annexation into OCWD, but over the course of many years, steadily paving the way politically, economically, and equitably for an annexation that meets water supply needs while further promoting sustainability of regional groundwater resources.

CALAFCO recognizes outstanding achievements by dedicated and committed individuals throughout the state to CALAFCO principles through its annual Achievement Awards.

The annexation of the additional territories (Anaheim, IRWD and YLWD) into OCWD increased access to groundwater for these three retail water agencies. It also allowed OCWD to manage the groundwater basin underlying the annexation territories. "OCWD's annexation policy centers on balancing annexation requests with management of the groundwater basin as a sustainable resource," says District General Manager Mike Markus.

The City of Anaheim, IRWD and YLWD requested to annex approximately 15,095 acres of land outside of the District's boundaries. The OCWD annexation policy recognizes that lands which provide a source of water to replenish the groundwater basin (from winter rains and runoff) should be eligible to annex into the District. By extending OCWD's boundaries into these areas, the District is able to include this land and water into the overall management of the groundwater basin.

OCWD's boundaries don't span the entirety of the Groundwater Basin that it manages. Over the years, changes in urban development patterns required the District and local retail water agencies (IRWD, YLWD, City of Anaheim), in developing areas overlying the basin, to revisit OCWD's boundaries. The annexation process required disciplined patience and consistency by the agencies, while working out the mechanics of three separate agreements with OCWD.

OCWD facilitated the annexations, hosting a series of working group meetings with all of its 19 pumpers, or water producers, to identify all of the issues and concerns and to develop solutions through key provisions of the annexation agreements ensuring a "cost-neutral" outcome for not only the 16 other pumpers, but all of their respective retail water customers.

"Our goal during the annexation process was to resolve the needs and apprehensions of the three agencies, of the OCWD board and the local water community to everyone's satisfaction. Together, we accomplished that," added Markus.