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 - 30 Million Gallons of New Water for Orange County

Director Cathy Green's Photo
May's surprise spring showers and snow brought enthusiasm to Southern Californians, but less than enthusiastic precipitation numbers and little relief to our current drought.

But keep your spirits up. There is still something to be very excited about, especially if you live in central or north Orange County.

The Groundwater Replenishment System (GWRS) Initial Expansion came online in June, providing an additional 30 million gallons of pure water a day (MGD).

That's a total amount of 100 MGD, enough water for about 850,000 people annually. The GWRS was and remains the largest advanced water purification system for indirect potable use in the world. Read More...

Toasting the Initial Expansion of the GWRS. (left to right) OCWD Board Member Philip Anthony; Tom Beamish, chair, Orange County Sanitation District; Honorable Travis Allen (California Assembly District 72); OCWD Board Member Denis Bilodeau; OCWD President Cathy Green; Honorable John Moorlach (California State Senator, 37th District); and Honorable Matthew Harper (California State Assembly, 74th District). Photo courtesy of Black & Veatch Corporation.

Drought Stimulates Interest in the GWRS

It isn't often that indirect potable reuse (IPR) gets so much interest from a myriad of people outside the water industry. Resiliency to the severe drought, now in its fourth year, has been one of the major urgencies for the state of California and its citizens. With the June 1 mandatory water consumption cutbacks, IPR is a viable solution for some, an important water portfolio component for others and a hot topic spurred by the media.

OCWD Director Denis Bilodeau with Miss California contestants L to R: Caylynn Simonson, Paula Verkuylen, and Bree Morse. Bree Morse was named Miss California on June 28.
The Orange County Water District (OCWD) is no stranger to the media. Over the past year, staff has fielded more than 150 inquiries, resulting in more than 1,000 positive stories.

Recently, it has been inundated with calls from news sources who want to report about the Groundwater Replenishment System (GWRS).

"Recent calls for interviews have come in from media across the country, including CBS This Morning, the Orange County Register, Los Angeles Times, and New York Times" says Eleanor Torres, director of Public Affairs for OCWD. "It doesn't stop there. We have received a flood of tour requests from civic leaders, politicians and others wanting to educate themselves about the GWRS." Read More...

Talbert Seawater Barrier Undergoes Renovation

The District owns and operates a series of underground injection wells in Fountain Valley and Huntington Beach to prevent seawater intrusion into the basin. Over time, repairs are needed to prevent well corrosion. Sound planning, regular maintenance and investment in repairs keep O.C. water reliable.

Talbert Barrier Protection Project construction will soon begin on a portion of the seawater barrier. This project involves the repair of six wells along Ellis Avenue between Newland and Bushard streets, and two wells within Harper Park. Construction will not impact the water supply or quality.

Mobilization of construction equipment will begin in late June and last through September 2015. Read More...

New OCWD Engineer's Report Features State-of-the-Basin

The Orange County Water District is internationally recognized for its planning, design, construction, and operation of cost-effective water and environmentally friendly infrastructure projects.

The District recently published its 2013-2014 Engineer's Report, which includes extensive information about OCWD's groundwater conditions, water supply and basin utilization and capital improvement projects.

The yearly report is compiled in accordance with Section 26 of the District Act and is used as a resource to help determine the annual Basin Pumping Percentage (BPP) — how much groundwater cities in north and central Orange County can pump out of the Orange County Groundwater Basin.

To view this publication in its entirety, please visit the 2013-2014 Engineer's Report on the Groundwater Conditions, Water Supply and Basin Utilization in the Orange County Water District.

Celebrating 82 years of Water Reliability

June 14, 1933: The California Legislature formed the Orange County Water District (OCWD) to manage the county's groundwater basin, protect the basin supply and encourage basin-wide conservation.

OCWD's proactive approach to planning and investment has resulted in a groundwater basin that is protected against seawater intrusion and has doubled in yield over the last 10 years.

Eighty-two years after its inception, the District continues to be guided by vision and vigilance to sustain and protect the region's water supplies. To learn more about the Orange County Water District, visit the Orange County Water District Historical Information page.

World Environment and World Oceans Days Celebrated in June

World Oceans Day
June 8
Healthy oceans, healthy planet

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) featured two celebrations of awareness and action during the month of June: World Environment Day (WED) on June 5 and World Oceans Day on June 8. They encouraged commitments, not only for their specific day, but for a lifetime. "Although individual decisions may seem small in the face of global threats and trends, when billions of people join forces in common purpose, we can make a tremendous difference," says UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon. Read More...

Out in the Community

H2Orange County's Logo
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. We participated in the following during May:

Principal Process Specialist Tom Knoell got together with members of Girl Scout Troop #1294 to teach them what water is, where it comes from and how it's treated to be safe. The girls built a sand filter and filtered dirty water. Afterwards, they talked about water once it disappears down the drain—learning about recycling and filters used to clean the water.
  • President Cathy Green and Director Dina Nguyen provided a water briefing to the Republican Federated Women of Garden Grove.
  • Directors Roger Yoh and Philip Anthony gave an overview of OCWD, the drought and conservation to the Kiwanis Club of La Palma.
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OCWD in the News

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.

New Hires

Cameron Macbeth
Environmental Specialist/Field Biologist
Roshaun Mikes
Health & Safety Intern
Dylan Stolp
Laboratory Intern


Director Stephen Sheldon (center) is celebrating his 10th anniversary as a member of the OCWD Board of Directors. He is shown here with fellow board members.

May Tours

California State University, Fullerton Nursing Program
Thank you to the nearly 200 guests that toured OCWD's facilities in May:

Students from the California State University, Fullerton Nursing Program; the West Coast University Nursing Program; Orange Coast College; and Coastline Community College. Members of the State Water Resources Control Board and the Energy Coalition. Miss California contestants and participants of the Prado Wetlands Spring Tour and 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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