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 – Capturing El Niño Stormwater

Director Cathy Green's Photo
After four years of drought, we have hope for some relief. There's an approximately 95 percent chance that a strong El Niño will continue through winter 2015-16, potentially bringing heavy rain to Southern California, according to the Climate Prediction Center (CPC).

The Orange County Water District (OCWD; the District) has done an excellent job as steward of our groundwater supply, navigating us through some recent tough times. The basin provides about 70 percent of the water for 2.4 million people in north and central Orange County. Its available storage area is currently only 20 percent full—still within normal levels, but the basin needs to be refilled. OCWD is preparing to capture as much stormwater as possible from the Santa Ana River (SAR) to help off-set the depletion of the groundwater basin. Read More...

Dr. Megan Plumlee Named R&D Director

Dr. Megan Plumlee joins the Orange County Water District (OCWD; the District) as director of research and development (R&D). She will lead the R&D department in its effort to provide sound science and research state-of-the-art technologies. This critical work helps guide the District's planning and investment decisions to bring water reliability to the region. Read More...

OCWD Receives Grant for Fletcher Basin Improvement

The District received its first portion of the Measure M2 Grant in the amount of $1,704,375 for the Fletcher Basin Improvement Project from the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA).

Fletcher Basin, the 4.8 acre project site located near Fletcher Avenue and Batavia Street in the city of Orange, was formerly used to retard stormwater flow prior to discharge into the Santa Ana River.

"Modifications are being implemented to convert this site into a recharge basin and flood control facility that will help provide water reliability when we need it most," says OCWD Director of Engineering Chris Olsen. Read More...

Basin Storage Update

The volume of the Orange County Groundwater Basin is quite large, but only the upper portion is available for normal use. Although the basin's aquifers contain more water than many lakes and surface reservoirs, these aquifers can't be fully accessed as they are hydraulically connected to the ocean. To draw the basin down too far would create or worsen at least three problems: (1) Seawater would move inland, threatening to impact drinking water wells with salty water; (2) Decreased groundwater levels would increase the risk of irreversible land subsidence that could damage buildings, bridges, pipelines, and other structures; and (3) Increasing numbers of drinking water wells could be unable to pump due to water levels dropping below the wells' intakes. Read More...

Debut of OCWD Water Lines

The Orange County Water District has debuted Water Lines, a weekly newsfeed featuring stories that have appeared in print and other media about the District and more. Waterlines will present water-related topics such as the drought, the activities of OCWD's 19 producers, legislative policies, and other local and national industry news.

Cathy Green Named to ACWA Board

Orange County Water District (OCWD; the District) President Cathy Green was elected to serve as vice chair of Region 10 of the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA), the largest statewide coalition of public water agencies in the country. Beginning January 1, 2016, she will assume a two-year position as Region 10 vice chair and will also serve on the statewide ACWA board of directors.

"I am honored to serve on ACWA's board and represent Orange County," said Green. "As California is in its fourth year of a historic drought, we must keep planning and investing in our state's water future," she added. Read More...

Children's Water Education Festival Celebrates 20 Years
Presenter, volunteer and sponsor registration is now open.

The Children's Water Education Festival (CWEF), the largest educational event of its kind, will celebrate its 20th Anniversary this coming March 23 and 24 when it returns to the campus of the University of California, Irvine.

"The Festival has grown beyond our dreams from 1,000 its first year to more than 7,000 third, fourth and fifth grade students throughout Orange County expected to attend in 2016," says CWEF Co-creator and OCWD Director Philip Anthony. Read More...

"Fix it for Good" Campaign

Save our Water, a partnership between the California Department of Water Resources and the Association of California Water Agencies to promote water conservation, has recently launched its "Fix it for Good" campaign.

The "Fix it for Good" public education drive urges Californians to make permanent changes to their water use by fixing leaks, removing water-guzzling landscape and purchasing water efficient fixtures and appliances. The program includes billboards, outdoor media, traditional and digital radio, digital and social media, direct mail, theatre ads, and on-the-street efforts that will be seen and heard throughout areas of the state facing the highest water use reduction targets set by the State Water Resources Control Board. The campaign also includes Save Our Water’s first television commercial, "Helping Hands," which challenges Californians to face the drought together. You can visit the "Fix it for Good" Facebook page to learn more.

OCWD is dedicated to the promotion and management of water conservation and lists many conservation strategies on its website, Water Use Efficiency.

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 local community and greater water industry and to be transparent about its operations and programs, OCWD board members and staff participate, regularly, speak before civic groups and at events. We participated in the following during September:
  • Director Roger Yoh spoke to the Yorba Linda Sunrise Rotary regarding the District, the GWRS and current projects.
  • Director Denis Bilodeau gave a presentation about the GWRS at the National Water Recycling & Reuse Technology 2015 Conference in Melbourne, Australia.
  • Engineer Ben Smith led an activity to teach middle school students about the GWRS during the International Desalination Association World Congress Education Day in San Diego while staff distributed information about OCWD and the GWRS at a booth.
  • Principal Communications Specialist Gina Ayala spoke about the GWRS at the Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Annual Environmental, Health and Safety Day in Garden Grove.
  • General Manager Mike Markus gave a presentation about the District, its facilities, water supplies, and the GWRS to members of the Orange County Grand Jury.
  •

OCWD in the News

OCWD continues to be recognized for its leadership in the water industry. Below are a few of the recent media highlights:

OCWD Employees—Employee of the 3rd Quarter

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.

David Field is Employee of the 3rd Quarter!

David Field has gone well "above and beyond" in managing the Sunset Gap Groundwater Investigation. This project involves installing six nested monitoring wells, plus the destruction of an existing monitoring well, all on the Naval Weapons Station property in Seal Beach (NWSSB). David has provided oversight of lithologic logging conducted by a consultant, and oversight of daily field operations.

David has been with the District 10 years. He works as hydrogeologist in the Hydrogeology Department.

Congratulations David!!

New Hires

Esther Grove
Temporary Human
Resources Clerk

Christopher Owens
Plant Operator II

Jordan Bruce
Administrative Support Assistant

September Tours

Members of InterAmerican Network of Academies of Science enjoy their September tour.
Thank you to the more than 300 hundred guests that toured OCWD's facilities in September:

Senator Jeff Stone, students from West Coast University Nursing Program, Cal State Long Beach Nursing Program, Cal State Fullerton Nursing Program, West Coast University Nursing Program, Orange Coast College, Nagasaki University, Vanguard University Nursing Program, and University of Sao Paulo, Brazil; staff from Anaheuser-Busch, Kimberly-Clark Corporation and Hotaru Company, Japan; and members of InterAmerican Network of Academies of Science, Global Environment Legacy Foundation, International Desalination Conference, Orange County Grand Jury, Inside the Outdoors, a Chinese delegation, Danish Water & Wastewater Industry and Qinghua University, Wuxi Water Group of China, and those of the general 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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