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 Pays Tribute to Former
Director Henry Segerstrom
Henry T. Segerstrom
1923 - 2015
The Orange County Water District mourns the loss of former OCWD Director Henry T. Segerstrom who served for nearly 30 years on the District's board and helped bring water reliability to the region. Segerstom began his service on the board in 1957 and resigned in 1984. He served as its president from 1967 through 1983 and as its first vice president from 1962 through 1967.

During his tenure as a board member, the District celebrated many important achievements including the building and operation of the internationally acclaimed Water Factory 21 (WF 21). WF 21 was a first-of-its kind project that used reverse osmosis to treat sewer water used for OCWD's seawater injection barrier. This project helped pave the way for its successor, the world's largest water reuse project of its kind, the Groundwater Replenishment System (GWRS). The GWRS produces 70 million gallons of purified water a day that helps protect the groundwater basin OCWD manages from the threat of seawater intrusion, while also increasing local drinking water supplies.

To garner support and approval for WF 21, Segerstrom supported the creation of a pilot project along with years of District testing and research, supervised by the State Department of Health. During this time, another critical project rose to the surface. OCWD began working with the U.S. Department of the Interior's Office of Saline Water (later the Office of Water Resources and Technology) who was interested in developing a joint desalination project in Southern California. The District expressed interest in this project because it was another way to develop water for OCWD's seawater barrier project and also offered the potential of additional potable water for the future. In 1975, WF 21 went into operation, and a few months later, so did the desalter plant.

Designed for a five-year pilot study, the desalter plant operated for less than a year before it was canceled by the federal government. At a time when the economy was faltering and federal programs were reduced or phased out, it was one of five of the eight desalter projects canceled. Although the project did not move forward, Segerstrom helped bring ocean desalination to the forefront in Orange County. Today, OCWD remains committed to promoting the development of a diverse portfolio of reliable water sources to replenish the vast groundwater basin it manages, which provides 72 percent of the water needs for north and central Orange County.

Segerstrom also helped establish the District's internationally recognized groundwater recharge system. In 1962, he and his fellow board members constructed the District's first recharge basin, Anaheim Lake. This extensive recharge system is how OCWD replenishes the groundwater basin. Over the years, the District has further expanded this system, which now includes more than two dozen separate facilities that cover more than 1,000 acres.

"The board and staff are saddened by the loss of this incredible leader and extend their warmest condolences to the entire Segerstrom family," said President Cathy Green. "The outstanding legacy this District has garnered as a leader in water reuse and groundwater management is truly made possible because of the tremendous leadership of individuals like Henry and the many other dedicated water leaders who previously served and continue to serve on our board," she added.

Segerstrom helped lay the foundation for many of the District's past, current and future successes. He was instrumental in helping the District fulfill its mission to provide local water retailers with a reliable, adequate, high-quality water supply at the lowest reasonable cost in an environmentally responsible manner.

Segerstrom's legacy is survived by his family and by the numerous programs and projects that he helped put in place for the Orange County Water District and for the county at large. For more information about the life of Henry Segerstrom, please read a recent article that appeared in the Orange County Register Henry T. Segerstrom, 91, saw bean fields and grew style, creating world-class shopping, arts centers in South Coast.