Highlights from July 2023
President's Message:
Addressing Water Priorities Efficiently and Collaboratively 
As we enter August, more than halfway through 2023, I look back on the great work OCWD has done this year as well as the water industry at large.

From celebrating the 15th anniversary of the GWRS as well as its final expansion to commemorating 90 years of successful water management, OCWD’s achievements are to be applauded. As we move forward, we remain committed to our mission of providing a high-quality, reliable water supply to 2.5 million people. For OCWD this means protecting the basin’s water quality and making sure there is always ample supply. Priority issues will continue to be cleaning up PFAS (caused by chemical manufacturers), seeking funding and cost recovery through litigation and grants to address the $1 billion-plus price tag PFAS carries, and increasing local water supply through projects like Forecast Informed Reservoir Operations (FIRO).

On the state front, I applaud the great work of water agencies and ACWA in opposing this year’s water rights bills. Two bills (AB 460 and AB 1337) failed to advance, and the third bill (SB 389) was significantly amended to address concerns raised by opposition. Water rights, among many other critical issues, will continue well into the future, but I am truly proud to be part of an industry that comes together to address issues as well as opportunities. On the national front, I am proud of the work water agencies like OCWD and associations are doing focused on educating federal policymakers on the impacts of PFAS to the water sector and advocating for an exemption from PFAS liability.

There is still work to be done and I look forward to working alongside the OCWD board and other agencies and associations to advance these important issues facing our industry. 
Registration Open for 15th Annual OC Water Summit
Today, we find ourselves amidst a critical juncture, grappling with the effects of past drought, aging infrastructure, and policy and regulatory challenges that threaten the availability and sustainability of our water supply. What got us here? And, how can we forge innovative solutions to increase Orange County’s water supply for future generations?
Join master of ceremonies Fritz Coleman along with hundreds of business professionals, elected officials, academics, and water leaders on October 13, 2023 at the Westin South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, California as the OC Water Summit explores Finding Reliability.

  • Drought or Missed Opportunities?
  • Are Infrastructure Funds the New Lottery?
  • How Much Is Climate Change to Blame?
  • What's Our Water Supply Future?

Sponsorship Opportunities: The OC Water Summit is a unique event that engages experts and influencers in discussion of water supply challenges, water policy issues, and other important water-related topics that impact our economy and public health. A variety of sponsorship opportunities are available to meet your organization's needs.

Tickets: An individual ticket is $150, which includes continental breakfast, buffet lunch, self-parking, and event materials. The price increases to $175 on September 8.

For more information and to register, please visit the OC Water Summit website.
Regional and Global Water Leaders
GWRS Recognized as Innovative Project
Thank you, Construction Management Association of America (CMAA), for recognizing OCWD, and our partners the Orange County Sanitation District, for the Groundwater Replenishment System (GWRS) project. With its final expansion now complete, the GWRS recycles 100% of OC San’s reclaimable wastewater flows and can produce up to 130 million gallons of water a day – that’s enough water to serve 1 million people!
International Water Conference
OCWD experts get called upon regularly to share their expertise with organizations near and far. Earlier this year, Executive Director of Operations Mehul Patel, P.E., and Research Director, Megan Plumlee, Ph.D., P.E., attended the Singapore International Water Week (SIWW) Spotlight conference where they connected with other international water leaders to share information and resources on global water issues. 
OCWD Employees
Congratulations to Information Systems Specialist Andre Casasola, who was named the 2023 Employee of the Second Quarter!
Andre is a tremendous asset to OCWD and is well deserving to be Employee of the Quarter. He is always willing to go above and beyond to assist the District with not only audio-visual needs, but event needs. This year, Andre supported multiple large-scale public education and commemorative events, including the Children’s Water Education Festival, the Groundwater Replenishment System Final Expansion dedication, and the District’s 90th anniversary. These events would not have been possible without Andre. His dedication and keen focus on the details and the big picture contributed to the success of the events. We appreciate his commitment to always being ready and willing to help whenever and wherever needed, all with a positive attitude!
Please welcome Lisa Haney, OCWD's Executive Director of Planning and Natural Resources. Lisa oversees the District's Planning and Watershed Management Department and the Natural Resources Department. 

Under Lisa’s oversight, these departments prepare the District’s environmental documents, resource agency permit applications, Groundwater Management Plan, Long-Term Facilities Plan, and conduct the District’s natural resource management, watershed planning, and recharge planning. Lisa has more than 20 years of experience in public utilities and regulatory policy and compliance. Welcome, Lisa!
Congratulations to 2023 Clarke Prize Winner
The National Water Research Institute (NWRI) is pleased to announce that Dr. Charles T. Driscoll will receive the 2023 Athalie Richardson Irvine Clarke Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Water Science and Technology. Driscoll is the University and Distinguished Professor of Environmental Systems Engineering in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering at Syracuse University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science.

The Clarke Prize is considered one of the most prestigious awards in water science. It is awarded to thought leaders in water research, science, technology, or policy in the United States. Driscoll will receive the award and give a lecture in Irvine, California, on October 21, 2023. For information about attending the event, fill out the form on the Clarke Prize page.
Cathy Green for ACWA President

OCWD President Cathy Green currently serves as ACWA Vice President, a position she was elected to in December 2021 for a two-year term. She has served as an active member of ACWA since 2012, including serving on ACWA’s executive committee, the ACWA Board, and the Region 10 Board. She has also held positions of ACWA Region 10 chair and vice chair and served on several ACWA committees including the water quality, energy, and state legislative committees.

Cathy's vision for ACWA is to fully embrace its motto of ‘Bringing Water Together' by unifying ACWA members and collaborating with stakeholders to find effective solutions to the challenges we face. The ACWA Election Committee unanimously endorsed longtime OCWD Director Cathy Green as the preferred candidate to serve as its President for its next two-year term, and agencies throughout the state have also shown their support. To learn more about Cathy Green’s experience and qualifications, visit her webpage.
Sustainably Managing the OC Groundwater Basin
OCWD is one of the few groundwater management agencies able to track the groundwater basin’s “water budget” on a monthly basis. This information allows the District to make more informed management decisions about future water supplies and pumping. View the infographic below to see the groundwater basin’s storage, recharge, and pumping levels, through the end of June 2023.
Thirsty for More Information?
Learn about OCWD's role in providing a safe, reliable, local water supply by attending an event (or asking us to come to yours), webinar or tour. Individuals and groups are invited to tour the award-winning GWRS and other District facilities. Through our active speakers bureau program, you may request for our representatives to go out into the community to speak to organizations and schools, as well as to speak at local, national and international conferences. 

Virtual GWRS Tour - Friday, August 4 at 10:00 a.m. or Friday, September 1 at 10:00 a.m.

OC Water Summit: Finding Reliability - Friday, October 13 from 7:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
The Orange County Water District is committed to enhancing Orange County’s groundwater quality and reliability in an environmentally friendly and economical manner. The following cities rely on the groundwater basin, managed by OCWD, to provide 85% of their water demands: Anaheim, Buena Park, Costa Mesa, Cypress, Fountain Valley, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Irvine, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Newport Beach, Orange, Placentia, Santa Ana, Seal Beach, Stanton, Tustin, Villa Park, Westminster, and Yorba Linda.
President Cathy Green
First Vice President Denis R. Bilodeau, P.E.
Second Vice President Van Tran, Esq.
Valerie Amezcua
Natalie Meeks
Dina L. Nguyen, Esq.
Kelly E. Rowe, CFM, P.G., C.E.G., C.H.
Stephen R. Sheldon
Bruce Whitaker
Roger C. Yoh, P.E.