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 – Let's Clean it Up!

Orange County's economy thrives, in part, because of a reliable source of local water. The Orange County Water District (OCWD) is charged with managing and protecting the county's groundwater basin to ensure long-term production of clean water from our local sources at the lowest possible costs.

The groundwater basin is being threatened. In the North Basin, near the cities of Fullerton, Anaheim and Placentia, industrial contamination has seeped into the groundwater basin and has necessitated shutting down four wells. The contamination is from improper disposal of chemical solvents and other compounds from as far back as the 1950s and 1960s. The dumping has stopped but once the pollution is in the ground, it can and usually does spread. Read More...

Welcome New Board Member Roman Reyna

Santa Ana City Councilman Roman Reyna has been appointed to the Orange County Water District Board of Directors to represent Division 8—Santa Ana, effective Feb. 18, 2015. He replaces Santa Ana Mayor Pro Tem Vincent Sarmiento, Esq., who recently served a two-year term on OCWD's Board. Read More...

OC Water Summit Registration is Open

Registration is now open for the 8th annual OC Water Summit, which will take place on Friday, May 15, 2015 at the Grand Californian Hotel at the Disneyland Resort. The event draws more than 400 prominent national and state policy makers, elected officials, scientists, financial experts and business leaders. The OC Water Summit is hosted by the Orange County Water District, Disneyland Resort and the Municipal Water District of Orange County. To register as a participant or sponsor, visit the Orange Counter Water Summit.

Bill Dunivin...In His Own Words

Bill Dunivin (right) receiving his 40-Year Service Award from OCWD General Manager Mike Markus
William (Bill) R. Dunivin is a pioneer in the field of water reclamation and has dedicated his professional career, spanning 40 years, to advancing the field of water reuse and serving the public as an employee of the Orange County Water District. During his four decades of service—the longest of any OCWD employee, Bill has had direct involvement and oversight in the planning, operation and maintenance of the District's world-renowned recycling facilities.

We were curious about Bill, the changes that have taken place at OCWD over the years and Bill's observations. Read More...

Water Treatment Using Engineered Wetlands

In partnership with academic researchers from multiple university institutions, the District began a field-scale study of alternative methods for water treatment using engineered wetlands in 2013 to reduce the levels of nitrate in the Santa Ana River. At the time, nitrate from a variety of sources, including agricultural and dairy runoff as well as treated effluent from upstream water treatment plants, contributed to high levels.

Working together as the Engineering Research Center (ERC) for Re-Inventing the Nation's Urban Water Infrastructure (ReNUWIt), the National Science Foundation-supported group represents Stanford University, UC-Berkeley, Colorado School of Mines, and New Mexico State University. OCWD is a member of ReNUWIt's Industrial/Practitioner Advisory Board. The project is in its second of a three-year study. Read More...

Public Participation Sought for Groundwater Management Plan

OCWD plans to update the District's Groundwater Management Plan in 2015. This document sets forth a framework for managing the Orange County Groundwater Basin for long-term sustainability. It also allows the District to compete for and obtain state grants. This effort will update the existing plan that was adopted by the OCWD Board of Directors in 2009.

The Groundwater Management Plan sets goals and basin management objectives and describes basin hydrology, groundwater and surface water monitoring programs, operation of seawater intrusion barriers, natural resource protection programs, the Groundwater Replenishment System, and recharge operations and provides an analysis of basin conditions that demonstrates that the basin is operating within its sustainable yield. Public participation in the development of the plan is welcomed and encouraged. For more information, contact Marsha Westropp at mwestropp@ocwd.com or 714-378-8248.

2014 Tree Swallow Nesting

Tree Swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) are voracious consumers of flying insects within wetland and riverine systems. They typically produce large clutch sizes ranging from five to seven eggs which cause a high demand for food. Together, the adults and chicks can consume hundreds of thousands of insects during a single breeding season. This creates the potential for Tree Swallows to make a significant dent in the insect pest population. Read More...

Successful OCWD Environmental Restoration Projects

OCWD is a leader in water and natural resource management, carrying out award-winning environmental programs that also provide water supply benefits. OCWD has a reputation of providing clean, fresh water to more than 2.4 million ratepayers in north and central Orange County. The story of its responsible environmental stewardship is only beginning to be told. Read More...

1 Million Hits on YouTube

Representatives from Buzzfeed.com interviewed Groundwater Replenishment System Program Manager Mehul Patel and filmed a blind taste test of its employees sampling three types of water: tap water, Fiji water and GWRS water. This footage was compiled into a two-minute video segment and posted on Buzzfeed's YouTube channel: People Drink Sewage Water for the First Time. In less than a month's time, this video, which plays on the "yuck" factor, has had more than 1 million hits.

Singapore International Water Week 2014 Blue Paper

The Singapore International Water Week (SIWW) 2014 Blue Paper is now available. Some of the important messages that emerged from the summit, which was held together with the World Cities Summit (WCS) and the CleanEnviro Summit Singapore (CESS), were:
  • We need to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
  • We must harness the power of technology and facilitate partnerships between public and private sectors to build smart, green cities.
  • Old cities can compete with new cities simply by turning their history, tradition and culture into economic assets.
  • We must keep politics honest.
  • Corporate social responsibility is no longer enough.

OCWD Board President Cathy Green, General Manager Mike Markus and OCWD are profiled in the Blue Paper. You can get a copy by going to the Singapore International Water Week Brochures & Forms Download page. The next SIWW will take place in July 2016.

Last Call for CWEF Sponsors, Presenters and Volunteers

There's still an opportunity for you to become a sponsor, presenter or volunteer at the Children's Water Education Festival.

Presented by the Orange County Water District (OCWD), Disneyland Resort, the National Water Research Institute and OCWD's Groundwater Guardian Team, the Festival will be held at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) on March 25-26.

Since its inception, the Festival has taught more than 100,000 Orange County students in grades three, four and five about water and how to protect natural resources. To sponsor, volunteer or present an activity, contact Crystal Nettles at (714) 378-3202 or cnettles@ocwd.com. To learn more, visit the Children's Water Education Festival.

Out in the Community

As part of its standard to forge and maintain long-term, positive and proactive relationships with members of the community and be transparent about its operations and programs, OCWD board members and staff participate, regularly, at community events and speak before civic groups. Below are a few we participated in during January.

Second Vice President Philip Anthony joined Golden State Water Company General manager, Orange County District Ken Vecchiarelli, P.E. to present an Orange County water briefing to the Rotary Club of Cypress

(l to r) OCWD Second V.P. Philip Anthony; Ken Vecchiarelli, P.E., Golden State Water Company, General Manager Orange County District; and Rotary Club of Cypress President Yvonne Hendrickson.

OCWD in the News

January 2015 OCWD Employees

OCWD's employees are its most valuable resources. It is committed to recruiting the best and enriching their lives to grow within the industry and the District family. OCWD welcomes the following new employees and bids farewell to a valued worker:

New Employees

Alicia Dunkin Legislative Affairs Liaison
Carolyn Hillman Research & Development Field Intern


Don Phipps Research Director

Promotions & New Assignments

  • Risk & Safety Manager Paula Bouyounes has been elected as president of Public Agency Safety Management Association (PASMA). Members include Safety, Health, and Risk Management Professionals from over 60 cities, counties, water districts, and special districts in Southern California. The group is involved in safety legislative, networking, training and education.

In order to continually improve OCWD operations and to maximize the efficiency of its groundwater recharge and wetlands operations, Forebay & Prado will be consolidated into a combined operation under the new heading of Field Operations. The following promotion and assignment is part of these new developments.

  • Scott Nygren has been promoted to manage both Forebay Headquaters and Prado operations as Director of Field Operations.

Congratulations to you both.

January Tours

Thank you to the nearly 300 guests that toured OCWD's facilities in January:

Students from Dana Hills High School, Chavez High School/Coastkeepers, Cal State Poly Pomona, Orange High School/Coastkeepers, and Port of Los Angeles High School; members of Shepherds Grove Men's Group; associates of the Division of Drinking Water Operator Certification, Brown & Caldwell/San Francisco Public Utilities, Aquaback Technologies, Inc., General Electric Power & Water, the City of Oceanside, and Oakland Energy & Water Ventures; and other members of the public.

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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