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: 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.

The District-managed project is currently underway with a scheduled completion in November. Key elements of the project include removal of non-native trees and grasses, regrading an existing slope to add a pedestrian walkway along La Palma Avenue complete with split-rail fence, planting the area with native, drought tolerant species, and installation of a new water-conserving irrigation system. A meandering pathway through the area will include shaded areas planted with native oaks and benches for seating which will provide sightlines into Warner Basin.

"Our goal is to build a beautiful landscape that supports native bird species and, once established, will demand little or no irrigation water," says OCWD Executive Director of Operations Bill Hunt.

Water used for outdoor irrigation accounts for approximately 60 percent of consumer water usage. OCWD has been taking steps to decrease water used for its own landscape irrigation. The District’s immediate response to the drought was to curtail irrigation spraying and let turf go brown, but as a long-term solution it is looking for ways to replace old landscapes with native and water tolerant alternatives.

Maintaining an attractive and water-wise landscape is important to the District, which owns more than 1,100 acres of open space used for public recreation such as, parks, trails and lakes in Orange and Riverside counties. The total amount of property owned by the District is primarily used to operate a complex groundwater recharge system that replenishes the groundwater basin it manages and, when possible, it allows for dual use of its land that serve both operational and public needs.

"It is our hope that the new landscape serves as an example for others and helps to emphasize the City of Anaheim and the Orange County Water District's water conservation priority. We look forward to completing this project and hope that it helps establish a new and lasting visual aesthetic for the area based on its natural ecology and beauty," says Hunt.

For information about residential and commercial rebate programs, go to SoCal Water$mart.