The Orange County Water District is responsible for managing the Orange County Groundwater Basin, a vast, hidden gem spanning more than three hundred square miles and holding billions of gallons of water located right beneath our feet.
Orange County’s groundwater basin began forming millions of years ago as mountains eroded and ocean and riverine sediments filled a deep valley, trapping Santa Ana River water within layers of sand and gravel. Since its formation in 1933, it has doubled the basin output and continues to find new sources to refill it. The District continues to ensure water reliability and quality, prevent seawater intrusion, and protect Orange County’s rights to Santa Ana River water.
The OCWD board of directors and staff, past and present, have worked diligently over the past 90 years to actively manage Orange County’s groundwater basin and develop projects that provide water supply reliability for the 2.5 million people and 19 retail water agencies it serves.
Below is a timeline which features important milestones in the District’s more than 90-year history. For additional information, please read the District Act (PDF). For an in-depth look into its tradition of innovation, download A History of Orange County Water District.