ISSUE 3, VOLUME 9, March 2015
Message to Our Readers

March Madness is in full swing, but unfortunately the March Miracle rains never arrived. As a result, Governor Brown extended the Emergency Drought Declaration and the State Water Resources Control Board added additional water restrictions to make our limited supplies last as long as possible. This is especially troublesome with the unseasonably warm weather. So while water managers look for water wherever they can find it and consider which new water supplies to develop, we all need to reduce our water use today.


Here are some simple things you can do to tune-up your sprinkler system and make your landscape even more water-efficient: 

  • Check for leaks and overspray from your sprinklers - Immediately repair broken or mis-aligned sprinkler heads.
  • Limit outdoor watering - Check with your local water agency for applicable watering restrictions.
  • Replace a portion of your lawn with California Friendly plants - Get a rebate of $2 per sq. foot of turf removed.
  • Install a "smart" sprinkler timer and water efficient rotating sprinkler nozzles - Rebates are available now!
  • Get a free home water use survey - Sign up online for your free outdoor (and indoor, if desired) survey with custom water-saving recommendations.

 Thanks for doing your part to save water! 

OC Water Agencies to Conduct Test of Regional Emergency Notification System

By Kelly Hubbard, WEROC

"This is your water utility calling to notify you that a boil order notice has been issued for your service area, effective immediately. Due to the 7.8 magnitude earthquake on the San Andreas Fault that occurred earlier today, we are asking residents to take the extra precaution of treating their tap water prior to using it. Please make sure to boil your water before using it for cooking or drinking purposes. For more information, please visit our website."     

The above public message is just an example of the type of emergency notification message that could be sent to Orange County residents by cities, the County, and water utilities using the AlertOC mass notification system.


At 3 p.m. on April 7th, over two million Orange County residents will receive a call, text or email testing the AlertOC system. The AlertOC drill will replicate a large scale, regional emergency requiring thousands of residents and businesses throughout Orange County to be called simultaneously. The regional test message will be delivered in conjunction with a reminder that California is still in a serious drought and all residents need to use water wisely.


Orange County Gets Garden Friendly 

By Melissa Baum-Haley, MWDOC  

MWDOC and the OC Garden Friendly program were recently highlighted by the US Environmental Protection Agency's WaterSense Campaign. In 2014, MWDOC and the OC Stormwater Program, UC Cooperative Extension, and local water agencies began the OC Garden Friendly Program as a platform to promote water efficient irrigation practices and runoff reduction techniques.

During the many OC Garden Friendly program events held at nurseries and home improvement stores throughout Orange County, more than 700 retail customers learned about WaterSense┬« labeled weather-based irrigation controllers and the importance of "sprucing up" their irrigation systems. As a result, WaterSense labeled controller sales at the three retail locations increased by more than 225% compared to historical average daily sales activity. Assuming the 106 weather-based controllers rebated replaced standard clock timers, MWDOC estimates these devices will yield nearly 1.6 million gallons of water savings each year.      

To find out about upcoming OC Garden Friendly events in your neighborhood, go to


MWDOC Engages with Legislators in D.C. and Sacramento  

By Heather Baez, MWDOC   

In February, MWDOC Board members and staff participated in two unique advocacy efforts in Sacramento and Washington D.C. First up was the ACC-OC/OCBC Advocacy Trip in Sacramento on February 23-24. Members from across Orange County representing both the public and private sectors had the opportunity to discuss major issues facing the region with state elected officials and high level staff. Speakers included Senators Andy Vidak, Jerry Hill, Marty Block, Bob Hertzberg, and Cathleen Galgiani; Assemblymembers Anthony Rendon, Jimmy Gomez, Mike Gatto, Matt Dababneh, and Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins.


Later that week (during ACWA's Washington D.C. conference), MWDOC and three partnering agencies (Eastern Municipal Water District, Inland Empire Utilities Agency, and Western Municipal Water District) co-hosted a luncheon for our local Congressional Members and their staff. Dubbed the "Southern California Water Issues Congressional Delegation Briefing Luncheon," the partnering districts and their member agencies had an opportunity to meet with and hear from their local Congressperson and share local supply projects within their district. The completion of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan was the main theme of the luncheon, as it is integral to improving our water supply reliability. In total, the luncheon hosted over 60 people, including six members of Congress. 


 Full Article >> 


Simple Steps to Big Savings 

By U.S. EPA Staff  


Drip. Drip. Drip. The average American household wastes more than 10,000 gallons each year from easy-to-fix water leaks - that's the amount of water needed to wash 270 loads of laundry. If that doesn't seem like a lot, consider that across the country, easy-to-fix household leaks can add up to more than 1 trillion gallons of water lost every year.


That's why the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is encouraging homeowners to find and fix leaks. Fixing household leaks not only saves water but reduces water utility bills by about 10 percent. Start saving today with three simple steps: Check. Twist. Replace.

  1. Check: First, check your home for leaks. 
  2. Twist: Apply pipe tape to be sure plumbing fixture connections are sealed tight and give leaking faucets and showerheads a firm twist with a wrench.
  3. Replace: If you just can't nip that drip, it may be time to replace the fixture.


Calendar of Events

April 1 @ 8:30 am:
Workshop Board Meeting  

April 6 @ 8:30 am:
Planning & Operations Committee Meeting

April 8 @ 8:30 am:
Administration & Finance Committee Meeting

April 15 @ 8:30 am:  
Board Meeting 

April 16 @ 8:30 am:
Committee Meeting 
April 20 @ 8:30 am:
Public Affairs & Legislation
Committee Meeting

April 22 @ 8:30 am:
MWDOC/OCWD Joint Planning
Committee Meeting 

April 29 @ 6:00 pm:
Elected Officials Forum
For information on MWDOC meetings and events, please click on the calendar icon, above.

Poll of the Month
"Have you registered your contact info
with AlertOC?" 
Take this quick one-question poll...We'll share the results in our next issue of eCurrents. 

Results of Previous Poll

Last month, roughly two-thirds of eCurrents readers placed their bets that Metropolitan Water District will enact water supply allocations this year. The Metropolitan Board of Directors is slated to make a decision in April as to whether or not allocations will go into effect July 2015. We'll keep you posted as these events transpire!


Register now for the 8th Annual O.C. Water Summit!

Rain today, gone tomorrow? Droughts in California are expected to occur three out of every 10 years. Without proper planning and investment in water infrastructure and policy, California's $1.9 trillion  economy can come to a stand still, having devastating ripple effects on U.S. and global markets.

Join us for the 8th Annual Orange County Water Summit to set imagination, innovation and investment into motion to keep water flowing.

Event Info & Registration >>

Popular Tweets & Posts

"Orange County is a longtime leader in water efficiency. Since 1990, OC residents have decreased their daily water use by an average of 25% per person. Thanks to everyone who's done their part to save water, and keep up the good work!"
- March 10, Facebook

Spring is officially here! For drought tolerant garden inspiration visit: "
- March 20, Twitter