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 – Investigating Water Supply Options

The Orange County Water District (OCWD; the District) board of directors recently convened a special board meeting to consider approval of a term sheet, which would be another step forward toward a possible agreement with Poseidon Resources to purchase 50 million gallons of water a day (56,000 acre-feet annually) from its Huntington Beach Ocean Desalination Plant. With a vote of 7 ayes and 3 noes, the board approved the term sheet.

In January, the board voted to begin negotiating the term sheet with Poseidon Resources and since then, it has done its due diligence to analyze the project and acquire input. During March and April, the District established and engaged a 20-member citizen's advisory committee, which met on multiple occasions with OCWD staff and an independent facilitator, to provide input about the term sheet. This input helped District staff in its negotiations and resulted in changes made to the term sheet. Read More...

Mid-Basin Injection Project: Now Online

As Orange County's groundwater authority, the Orange County Water District (OCWD; the District) performs many functions to protect and replenish the groundwater basin. Among these activities, OCWD recharges water via spreading grounds and prevents seawater intrusion through the use of injection wells.

Demonstration MBI Location and 2014 Principal Aquifer Groundwater Levels
Due to the concentration of production wells operated by various retail water producers within a relatively small geographic area of OCWD's jurisdiction, there is a groundwater depression in the central portion of the basin near the cities of Santa Ana and Costa Mesa.

OCWD has plans to address this local groundwater depression through a Mid-Basin Injection (MBI) program. Read More...

May Marks the 25th Anniversary of American Wetlands Month

Prado Wetlands
This May marks the 25th anniversary of American Wetlands Month, a celebration of the importance of wetlands to the nation's economy, ecology and social health. American Wetlands Month was created in 1991 by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and its federal, state, tribal, local, non-profit, and private sector partners.

During this month, Americans are encouraged to discover and educate others about the critical role that wetlands play in the environment and the significant benefits they provide — increased water storage and supply, improved water quality, reduced flood and storm surge risk, opportunities for recreation and cultural pursuits, and critical habitat for plants, fish, and wildlife.

OCWD operates the largest constructed wetlands, the Prado Wetlands, in Southern California upstream of the Prado Dam in Riverside County. Read More...

OCWD: Doing Its Part to Conserve Water

The Orange County Water District has received approval for a rebate of $347,000 for removal of turf grass along La Palma Avenue near the Warner recharge basin in the City of Anaheim. The refund is provided through a partnership between the Anaheim Public Utilities and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California's SoCal Water$mart program, which provides turf removal rebates to assist customers, including businesses, with further reducing their water use. Read More...

Safety Pays Off for OCWD

Association of California Water Agencies/Joint Powers Insurance Authority (ACWA/JPIA) Chief Executive Officer Andy Sells (second from right) and ACWA/JPIA Executive Committee member Melanie McDonald (holding check at left) presented the OCWD Board with a Retroactive Premium Adjustment check for $62,638, a reimbursement of premiums paid on liability, property and workers' compensation insurance through ACWA/JPIA. The ACWA/JPIA is refunding monies from the Rate Stabilization Fund. These monies are returned to members when they exceed -50% of the current years' Liability Basic Premium. The JPIA's Liability, Property, and Workers' Compensation Programs are pooled programs and any excess amounts are returned to members.

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 of which OCWD participated during April.

OCWD staff hosted a table and distributed information at a public meeting hosted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The purpose of the meeting was to present information regarding the preliminary plans for the mural restoration at Prado Dam. Directors Stephen Sheldon and Jan Flory were present and spoke in support of the restoration.


OCWD Communications Specialist Crystal Nettles, Director Jan Flory and Director Stephen Sheldon

OCWD in the News

  • OCWD General Manager Mike Markus provided an update to OC Register Reporter Aaron Orlowski regarding OCWD's exploration of ocean desalination. Here is a link to the full article: Desalination could provide O.C. an infinite water supply, but at a steep cost
  • KTLA's Chip Yost interviewed OCWD Director Denis Bilodeau about the drought and OCWD projects and operations.
  • Newsweek Writer Elijah Wolfson toured with and interviewed OCWD General Manager Mike Markus about the GWRS for a story about technologies that have been used and will be used to increase local water supplies. The link to the article is below and the GWRS is featured under the subheading "Drinking from the Toilet." Drying Up: The Race to Save California From Drought


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 water industry and the District family.


GWRS Program Manager Mehul Patel has accepted an invitation to serve as a member of the Civil Engineering Industry Advisory Council at his alma mater California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. The appointment is for a three year term of service (2015-2018). The Industry Advisory Council is a critical part of the school's Civil Engineering department. Its mission is to assist the department in maintaining and continually improving its programs.


Hua "Flora" Chang, Senior Chemist,
retired after 26 years of service

New Hires

Craig Foster, Research &
Development Lab Intern

Tyler Crossno, Multi-Media/
Graphic Design Intern

April Tours

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

Students from the West Coast University Nursing Program; participants in the American Society of Civil Engineers Environmental and Water Resources Institute; students from the California State University, Fullerton Nursing Program; students from Loma Linda University; students from California State University, Fullerton; students from Pomona College studying public policy analysis; students from the Vanguard University Nursing Program; students from Golden West College; students from the California State University, Long Beach Nursing Program; members of the Palmdale Water District; participants of the Prado Wetlands spring tour; and participants of the GWRS public tour.

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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