Water Quality Month
Agencies Plan to Take Advantage of Snow Levels to Refill OC Basin
The Municipal Water District of Orange County (MWDOC) is facilitating a water agreement that will bring surplus snowmelt and storm runoff from Northern California to Orange County and give the Groundwater Basin a chance to rebound from historic lows after the drought.
Known as a cyclic storage agreement, the arrangement between MWDOC, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) and Orange County Water District (OCWD) will recharge the Basin to its highest level since 2007 and ensure the Orange County Basin is healthy enough to stave off another drought.  Up to 100,000 acre-feet of imported water is available for purchase by OCWD customers in lieu of pumping water out of the Basin, which is managed by OCWD. Metropolitan is providing financial credits to cover the extraordinary efforts needed by local agencies to take the additional treated imported water.
Traditionally, a cyclic agreement is a temporary storage arrangement where water placed into a groundwater basin is sold and paid for over a period of years. The MWDOC/MWD/OCWD cyclic agreement differs from a traditional arrangement, in that it allows customers to use treated drinking water from MWD instead of groundwater at approximately the same cost to the customer.
The Basin holds up to 500,000 acre-feet of water, and today serves as a major water supply for 2.4 million residents.  Although the Basin serves north and central county well, natural recharge alone cannot keep the Basin full; to rectify this, OCWD refills the Basin with advanced treated wastewater via the Orange County Sanitation District and imported water from MWD via MWDOC. Even with these supplemental sources, the Basin experienced high levels of drawdown during the 2012-2017 drought.

State Certifies Environmental Studies for California WaterFix

Clearing another major milestone toward the modernization of the state's water delivery system, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) on July 21 certified the environmental analysis of the California WaterFix. Today's announcement follows recent federal biological opinions that confirm the project is consistent with environmental and wildlife protection standards.
"Today, we have reached our next important benchmark in moving California towards a more reliable water supply," said DWR Acting Director Cindy Messer. "With this certification, our state is now closer to modernizing our aging water delivery system in a way that improves reliability and protects the environment."
The WaterFix will modernize a 50-year-old water delivery system that is increasingly vulnerable to disruption by natural disaster and climate change. With new intakes along the Sacramento River, the project also would give water project operators the flexibility to divert water at times of high flow when the risk to native fish at the new diversion facilities is minimal, thus better balancing water supply and environmental protection needs.
The certification comes after more than a decade of analysis, review, and public comment. State and federal water and wildlife agencies have been working since 2006 to find the best way to improve how the State Water Project and Central Valley Project obtain water from the channels of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Together, the projects supply 25 million Californians with some or all of their drinking water supply and help irrigate three million acres of farmland.

Governor Signs Water Conservation Bill Initiated by Orange County Students
Assembly Bill 1343 ( AB 1343 ), a water conservation bill initiated by four female high schoolers, was signed this month by Governor Brown. The bill, which furthers his Executive Order to make "water conservation a California way of life," aims to foster partnerships between K-12 schools and water suppliers to help reduce water usage in drought-afflicted California.

Assemblymember Phillip Chen (R-Brea) introduced the bill that encourages water suppliers that offer water efficiency rebates to commercial and industrial users, to also include K-12 schools in their targeted outreach. These "Go Low Flow Water Conservation Partnerships" between school districts and public water systems would be created " for purposes of reducing water use at schools, reducing stormwater and dry weather runoff at schools, reducing schoolsite water pollution, and establishing the basis for educational opportunities in water conservation."

In return, these schools would use these existing rebate incentives on already planned or future planned facilities improvements to replace older, water-guzzling fixtures including toilets, faucets, and hose nozzles. The schools would also use information from the water suppliers to educate their students, their families, and their communities on the importance of water conservation in drought-afflicted California.

"AB 1343 helps make water conservation an important part of our education," said Angeline Dequit, 15. 

Davis to Lead Dept. Water Resources
Grant Davis, 54, of Petaluma, has been appointed director of the California Department of Water Resources.

Davis has been general manager of the Sonoma County Water Agency since 2009, where he was assistant general manager from 2007 to 2009. The agency provides wholesale water, wastewater treatment and flood control.

He was executive director of the Bay Institute from 1997 to 2007, senior district representative in the Office of Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey from 1993 to 1997 and principal of Impact Consulting from 1990 to 1993. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $194,600. 

Calendar of Events
Upcoming Meetings/Events

August 2: 
Workshop Board Meeting

August  7: 
Planning & Operations Committee Meeting

August  9: 
Administration & Finance Committee Meeting

August 16:
Regular Board Meeting

August 17:
Executive Committee Meeting

August 21:
Public Affairs & Legislation Committee Meeting

All meetings are at MWDOC, 18700 Ward Ave., Fountain Valley. Meetings at 8:30 a.m. unless otherwise noted.  For information on meetings and events, please click on the calendar icon above.

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MWD General Manager Kightlinger to Discuss WaterFix on August 2

As a continuation of the Municipal Water District of Orange County's (MWDOC) discussion series on the California WaterFix, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California's (MWD) General Manager Jeff Kightlinger will present on the findings from two of MWD's recent whitepapers: Physical Infrastructure and Operations. 

Please join the MWDOC Board of Directors and its MWD Delegation as we welcome Mr. Kightlinger for discussion of this critical water supply reliability project.

The meeting is at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, August 2 at the MWDOC-MET joint board workshop.

MWD Roger Patterson Keynote Speaker for August Water Policy Dinner

The Municipal Water District of Orange County (MWDOC) would like to invite you to join us for a Water Policy Forum & Dinner at 5 p.m. on Thursday, August 30, where we are pleased to welcome keynote speaker Roger Patterson, Assistant General Manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MET). Mr. Patterson oversees Metropolitan's strategic water initiatives for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay Delta and Colorado River.

Patterson will discuss the recent biological opinion from two federal agencies that determined the twin-tunnel California WaterFix will not negatively impact endangered species in the Delta, which is the heart of the State Water Project. About 30 percent of the water used in OC comes through the Delta.

Governor Jerry Brown supports the project and wants MET and the other largest customers of the State Water Project, to decide in September if they are interested in participating the project, which would be paid for by water customers.

The dinner is at the Great Wolf Lodge in Garden Grove.