Federal Environmental Report Supports California WaterFix
MWDOC Board Endorsed Project in December

Two federal environmental agencies on Monday signed off on a plan to build two tunnels beneath the California Delta to carry drinking water to Southern California, saying the California WaterFix would not negatively impact any federally protected species.

The findings of the extensive study, known as a biological opinion, from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service, is a major step forward for the twin-tunnel project. The long-studied plan would route water beneath the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, eliminating the impacts of moving water the environmentally sensitive region.

"The findings that the California WaterFix will not jeopardize any endangered species is great news not only for the agencies that work 24 hours a day to ensure a reliable water supply, but also for more than 19 million Southern California residents who depend on that water," said Wayne S. Osborne, president of the Municipal Water District of Orange County (MWDOC), a wholesale agency serving 2.2 million residents through 28 cities and retail agencies. "It's not the final step, but it is a very important step forward for the twin tunnels."

A 2017 Water Reliability Study by MWDOC found that California WaterFix is the single most cost-effective large-scale project to ensure future water reliability for Orange County.
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MWDOC Schedules Series of Educational Meetings on California Delta
The Municipal Water District of Orange County (MWDOC) is hosting a series of public discussions on the California WaterFix and EcoRestore.

The interactive presentations by representatives of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MET) will take place at 8:30 a.m. on the first Wednesday of each month through September at MWDOC-MET Joint Board Workshops in Fountain Valley. 
The MET board of directors is scheduled to consider participation the WaterFix, which would build twin tunnels beneath the California Delta to ensure a reliable supply through the State Water Project, on September 12. Leading up to that, MWDOC has scheduled the following presentations:
July 5: Steve Arakawa will address the terms and provisions of the recently completed BiOp, status of the environmental studies and key permits, State Control Board hearings, and MET staff next steps.
August 2: General Manager Jeff Kightlinger to address the findings of MET's whitepapers on Physical Infrastructure and Operations of the CA WaterFix.
Sept. 6: CFO Gary Breaux will discuss the findings of MET's whitepaper on Financing and Cost Allocation; and MET's staff recommendation for Sept. 12 Board action.

The meetings are at 8:30 a.m. at MWDOC's offices, 18700 Ward St. See  for more information. 

August Water Policy Dinner Features MWD Delta, Colorado River Specialist
Roger Patterson, Assistant General Manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California overseeing strategic water initiatives for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and Colorado River, will be the speaker at the August 30 Water Policy Dinner. 

The dinner, organized by the Municipal Water District of Orange County (MWDOC), will be at 5 p.m. on August 30 at the Great Wolf Lodge in Garden Grove.

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.

Patterson will also discuss the California EcoRestore, a companion project to the WaterFix that will stabilize the Delta ecosystem and restore fish habitat. 

OC Support for WaterFix Grows
More than a dozen Orange County water suppliers have passed resolutions in support of the California WaterFix and EcoRestore, as the Municipal Water District of Orange County (MWDOC) continues to emphasize the importance of building twin tunnels beneath the Delta to ensure a reliable water supply.

The Orange County Water Reliability Study found the WaterFix the single-most cost-effective large-scale project to ensure reliability for Orange County and Southern California. 

Support has come from large districts such as Santa Margarita Water, as well as smaller agencies such as Serrano Water. Cities from Huntington Beach to Brea have also weighed in with support. MWDOC directors endorsed the project in December.

MWDOC is working all OC agencies and cities to garner support, as well as business and civic groups. Organizations that would like more information to support the project -- including presentations -- should contact MWDOC Director of Public Affairs Damon Micalizzi at (714) 593-5014 or

See for more information.

Calendar of Events
Upcoming Meetings/Events

July 5: 
Workshop Board Meeting

July 12: 
Administration & Finance Committee Meeting

July 17:
Public Affairs & Legislation Committee Meeting

July 19:
Regular Board Meeting

July 20:
Executive 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.

Fritz Coleman Provides Water Forecast at Summit

Nearly 350 people met at the Grand Californian Hotel in the Disneyland Resort of Anaheim on June 16 to attend the 10th annual OC Water Summit, titled "Finding Water." 

Experts discussed the current rush to find new sources of water in California to overcome the challenges caused by cyclical droughts.

Highlights included Master of Ceremonies Fritz Coleman and his "water forecast" for Southern California, which covered a changing climate, continued arid conditions and cyclical droughts. The Fritz Coleman 2017 Water Forecast may be viewed at

He colorfully set the scene for six sessions, including the luncheon speaker.  Coleman is a celebrated NBC4 weathercaster and standup comedian.

At lunchtime, Seth Siegel, New York Times bestselling author of "Let There Be Water: Israel's Solution for a Water Starved World," described how Israel can serve as a role model to help California and the U.S. solve their water shortages. Even though 60 percent of the country of Israel is made of desert, it has found solutions to its water problems through innovative methods and techniques.

The day was filled with water experts who presented engaging views on the search for new water supplies.

Following introductions by Orange County Water District Director Stephen Sheldon and Municipal Water District of Orange County Director Jeffery Thomas, OC Water Summit sessions delved into topics of desalination, stormwater capture, four water revolutions and if the water industry will reinvent how it manages water after our historic drought, solutions to address aging infrastructure, and females who have been instrumental in reshaping California's water portfolio.

To see presentations and videos of the 2017 OC Water Summit speakers, see