Highlights from July 2022
President's Message:
One Water, One Voice in Orange County
Picture of OCWD Board President Stephen R. Sheldon
The Orange County Grand Jury recently published its report, “Water in Orange County Needs ‘One Voice’,” recommending one wholesale water agency to lead all aspects of wholesale water operations in Orange County with one voice. The report stated that, by January 2023, OCWD and the Municipal Water District of Orange County should formally begin analysis toward forming a single wholesale water authority or comparable agency to represent interests of all imported and groundwater supplies.
Following the release of the report, OCWD’s board directed staff to reach out to stakeholders for their input and prepare responses to the Grand Jury report. We must respond to the report by September 20, 2022, and discussions with water managers countywide are underway.
Creating a single Orange County wholesale agency would be most effective to ensure that more than three million people can count on a safe, reliable water supply. It will also advance our efforts in obtaining state and federal funding for local projects, increase Orange County’s political influence on water issues, and improve organizational and operational efficiencies, resulting in greater accountability and enhanced planning and coordination.
I want to thank members of the Grand Jury for their time in compiling this report and to the contributing water agency representatives. I look forward to our continued dialogue on this important issue. 
City of Anaheim Appoints Gloria Ma’ae to OCWD Board
Councilmember Gloria Ma’ae (pronounced “muh-eye") was recently appointed to the OCWD Board of Directors by the Anaheim City Council to represent Division 9, the city of Anaheim.

“I am honored to serve on the OCWD Board representing the residents and businesses of Anaheim, a duty I take very seriously,” said Director Ma’ae. “Water fuels our economy and sustains our way of life and I look forward to working to ensure that the businesses and residents of Anaheim continue to receive a reliable, high quality water supply.”

Director Ma’ae is a 42-year resident of west Anaheim, where she has a long history of community involvement. She has served on the Anaheim Community Services Board, North Anaheim Neighborhood Council, Anaheim Charter Review Commission, Anaheim Citizens Advisory Committee on Elections, and has participated in the Anaheim Police Department’s PACE program.

“I welcome Gloria Ma’ae onto the OCWD Board of Directors,” said President Steve Sheldon. “Director Ma’ae’s knowledge and passion for public service will aid in continuing the important work of the District—to provide a reliable water supply to the 2.5 million people we serve.”
OCWD Named Most Effective Agency on Federal Issues
OCWD received ACWA’s 2022 “Most Effective Agency on Federal Issues” Award as a result of the District’s demonstrated and active engagement on federal issues as prioritized by the ACWA Federal Affairs Committee. 

“Thank you, ACWA, for recognizing our work to influence legislation that protect and increase water supplies in Orange County and beyond,” said OCWD Director Denis Bilodeau, who received the award on behalf of the District at ACWA’s DC2022 Conference in Washington D.C. “Our efforts have resulted in increased funding for local projects and legislative change. We must continue to impress on lawmakers the need to secure water supply reliability for the region through large infrastructure investments and enhanced coordination between the state and federal governments.”

OCWD was recognized for its robust legislative efforts in 2021 including supporting federal bills that provided funding for water infrastructure and advocating for two key PFAS priorities: provide an exemption from PFAS liability for water and wastewater agencies under Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), and preserve the Safe Drinking Water Act’s current provisions that include a cost-benefit analysis in the development of new drinking water standards.
14th Annual OC Water Summit
Join more than 400 business professionals, elected officials, academics, and water leaders on September 16, 2022, as the OC Water Summit California Dreamin' explores Making Water Infrastructure a Reality. Now, more than ever before, water managers, policymakers, agriculture, and business need to work together to build projects that will keep the water flowing for generations to come.

Tickets & Registration
An individual ticket is $140 and includes continental breakfast, buffet lunch, self-parking, and summit materials. The price increases to $160 on September 2, 2022. Link to register for the 14th Annual OC Water Summit.

Interested in Sponsoring?
By sponsoring the OC Water Summit, you are investing in water reliability for Southern California. A variety of sponsorship opportunities are available to meet your organization's strategic goals. Please complete your sponsorship commitment form no later than Friday, September 12, 2022, to guarantee inclusion in all the sponsorship benefits. Link to OC Water Summit sponsorship information.

More details are available on the OC Water Summit website.
Special Shout-Outs
Thank you U.S. Representative Young Kim for meeting with OCWD and Yorba Linda Water District to discuss PFAS funding and cleanup. We enjoyed having you tour the nation's largest ion exchange PFAS treatment facility. OCWD's work on PFAS will continue to be a top priority as we implement a comprehensive effort to build treatment plants and advocate at the state and federal levels to protect our ratepayers. 
Congratulations to OCWD Environmental Specialist Zackary Barker for being named 2022 Employee of the 2nd Quarter! While staying on top of his own assigned duties and responsibilities, Zach Barker has gone beyond the call of duty by exercising outstanding initiative and job planning to find time to provide extra training for new Water Quality Department staff. Learn more about his recognition.
Leading by Example
As part of our commitment to maintain long-term, positive, and proactive relationships with members of the local community and greater water industry, OCWD speaks regularly before groups and at events. We enjoy the opportunity to share best practices and hear from others through ongoing dialogue.
Chief of Hydrogeology Roy Herndon, PG, CHg, presented to the Groundwater Resources Association's Southern California Branch Meeting to discuss several OCWD projects in motion and provide an update on the health of the OC Groundwater Basin.
General Manager Mike Markus, P.E., D.WRE, BCEE, F.ASCE, provided an update during the quarterly Independent Special Districts of Orange County meeting and gave attendees updates about current OCWD projects and priorities.
In Case You Missed It
The Orange County Groundwater Basin was featured in an ABC7 news story highlighting Mesa Water District’s 100% local water supply, all of which comes from groundwater sustainably managed by OCWD. 
We've published our July 2022 Quarterly Groundwater Cleanup Update, featuring activities in and around the North Basin (near Fullerton, Anaheim and Placentia) and South Basin (near Santa Ana, Tustin and Irvine) sites.
As part of ACWA's QuenchCA public education campaign to highlight the importance of investing in water infrastructure, several OCWD projects are highlighted on the website's project library. Take a look here!
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 2022.
Thirsty for More Information?
Explore the PFAS Education Center to stay apprised of the latest PFAS issues impacting our communities.
Learn how the GWRS Final Expansion project will increase production capacity to 130 million gallons per day.
See how OCWD is mitigating drought by increasing water supplies and securing long-term water reliability.

Water Advisory Committee of Orange County (WACO) Meeting - Friday, August 5, 2022 at 7:30 a.m.

Virtual Groundwater Replenishment System (GWRS) Tour - Friday, August 5, 2022 at 10:00 a.m.

14th Annual OC Water Summit - Friday, September 16, 2022 at the Grand Californian Hotel & Spa in Anaheim
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 77% 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 Stephen R. Sheldon
First Vice President Cathy Green
Second Vice President Tri Ta
Denis R. Bilodeau, P.E.
Gloria Ma’ae
Nelida Mendoza
Dina L. Nguyen, Esq.
Kelly E. Rowe, CFM, P.G., C.E.G., C.H.
Bruce Whitaker
Roger C. Yoh, P.E.