Governor Lifts Drought 'Emergency;' Proposes Expanding State Board Powers
In May of 2016, while the severe drought still gripped the state, Governor Jerry Brown issued an Executive Order calling for state agencies to develop a new approach to conserving water.  His theme, "Making Water Conservation a California Way of Life," marked an important pivot away from several years of crisis management and emergency regulatory action by the Brown Administration acting primarily through the State Water Resources Control Board in Sacramento.
Over the course of many months last year, water suppliers across the state worked diligently and in good faith with the Administration to provide input for a new water conservation framework that would implement Brown's "Way of Life" vision. Those participating understand that key aspects of the framework would require amendments and additions to existing statutes. They anticipated that a challenging but ultimately productive legislative process would see things through.
On Friday, April 7, Brown issued a new Executive Order lifting the drought state of emergency for most of the state, as well as a report containing the final water conservation framework. Then the other shoe dropped. That same day, Brown released budget trailer bill language to implement a number of framework provisions. If enacted, this language would have profound and troubling implications for urban water suppliers and their customers.
The bottom line: water agencies would lose local control to the State Water Resources Control Board. 

OC Cities Race to Finish Line of Wyland National Mayor's Challenge

Three cities are pulling away entering the final   stretch of the Orange County breakaway Wyland National Mayor's Challenge. Three weeks into the Challenge, the cities of Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach and Westminster are leading Orange County with all three ranking in the National Challenge top ten.
The Wyland National Mayor's Challenge, now in its sixth year, seeks to reward participants for making a commitment to use water more efficiently. In March, 2017, the Board of Directors for the Municipal Water District of Orange County (MWDOC) upped the ante and approved a partnership with the Wyland Foundation to hold an Orange County spinoff of the Challenge.  
The Orange County city with the highest number of participants in the Challenge will be awarded a water-wise pocket park makeover for their city along with bragging rights amongst their OC neighbors. The winner of the OC Challenge will be announced June 1, 2017.
Take the pledge today at .
The challenge is presented by the Wyland Foundation and Toyota, in conjunction with the National League of Cities, U.S. EPA, U.S. Forest Service, the Toro Company and Earthy Friendly Products (the makers of ECOS)
The breakaway challenge is hosted by the Municipal Water District of Orange County and Wyland Foundation. See for more information about the Challenge.

MWDOC Directors Oppose Suite of Bills that would Delay California WaterFix
Directors of the Municipal Water District of Orange County (MWDOC) in April voted unanimously to oppose several bills that would delay implementation of the California WaterFix and EcoRestore, projects MWDOC supports as critical to Southern California's future water reliability.

Assembly Bills  791, 792 and 793 are all sponsored by Representative Jim Frazier, who represents communities around the San Joaquin-Sacramento River Delta.

A MWDOC staff analysis found none of the bills add any protections for the Delta planning process or environment and would only delay the twin-tunnel WaterFix project or even potentially allow a fee for the project.

Directors also unanimously opposed AB 732, another Frazier proposal that would have taxpayers statewide pay for a portion of the repairs to Delta levees, even when private property is impacted.

Registration Open for 10th Annual Orange County Water Summit on June 16
N BC4 Weathercaster Fritz Coleman will emcee the 10th Annual OC Water Summit, which returns to the Disney Grand Californian Hotel on June 16. 

The theme of this year's event is "Finding Water." 

Seth M. Siegel, the New York Times bestselling author of "Let There Be Water: Israel's Solution for a Water-Starved World," will be the luncheon speaker.

Finding new water supplies is essential to get us through cyclical drought conditions, to prepare for population growth and to support a robust economy.

Coleman, also a noted stand-up comic, will host a day featuring p rominent authors, world-renowned experts and distinguished speakers who will deliver presentations and discuss the many options in a water portfolio such as ocean desalination,  imported water and reused/recycled water.

Speakers include David Sedlak, Ph.D., from University of California Berkeley who authored "Water 4.0: The Past, Present, and Future of the World's Most Vital Resource," as well as Marcie Edwards, former general manager of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. 

Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider will also discuss her city's decision to build a desalination plant, shut it down, then working to restart it. 

See for more information and to register. Sponsorships are also available.

Calendar of Events
Upcoming Meetings/Events

May 1: 
Planning & Operations Committee

May 3: 
Workshop Board Meeting

May 10: 
Administration & Finance Committee Meeting

May 15:
Public Affairs & Legislation Committee Meeting

May 17:
Regular Board Meeting

May 18:
Executive Committee Meeting

May 24:
MWDOC/OCWD Joint Planning 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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OC Teams Ready for Annual  Solar Cup Races

Coast High School from Huntington Beach and Oxford Preparatory Academy from Los Alamitos will represent Orange County in the Solar Cup competition hosted annually by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

Anaheim Public Utilities sponsors an entry from Anaheim High School.

Solar Cup is a high school education program in which teams of students from throughout Southern California build and race solar-powered boats. The seven-month program culminates in a three-day competition starting May 19 at Lake Skinner in Temecula Valley. 

The program teaches students about conservation of natural resources, electrical and mechanical engineering, problem-solving and more. 

Coast High is sponsored by the City of Huntington Beach, while Golden State Water is sponsoring Oxford Prep.

Basin Authority Appoints Brandt Administrator

The San Juan Basin Authority (SJBA) Board of Directors appointed Norris Brandt, of Brandt Water Strategies, as the Authority's new Administrator.
The SJBA is working on the San Juan Watershed Project, which would use rubber dams and other means to enhance groundwater. Officials say the project could ultimately provide 2.8 billion  gallons of 
local, reliable  water to South Orange County residents. This is enough water for  50,000  
families each year .

"We have valuable water here in the San Juan Creek watershed.  We look forward to having an Administrator who can focus their attention on expanding our watershed management by working together.  That should lead to more local drinking water and healthier creeks and beaches," said Betty Olson, San Juan Basin Authority Chairperson.
Brandt has over 30 years of water agency leadership experience. He is a  licensed civil engin eer, with a BS in Agricultural Engineering, an MS in Engineering, and an MA in Communications.  
Click here for more about the San Juan Watershed Project
The first vending machine was created to sell water. Mathematician Hero created a machine in 215 b.c. that dispensed holy water in a temple in Egypt when a bronze coin was inserted.