World Bank Delegation Visits the GWRS

Board President Cathy Green; Directors Philip Anthony, Stephen Sheldon, Jan Flory, and Denis Bilodeau; General Manager Mike Markus; and Assistant General Manager Mike Wehner met with representatives of the World Bank and provided a briefing on the Orange County Water District and a tour of the Groundwater Replenishment System purification facilities.

The World Bank delegation is gathering information about water resources management in the drought stricken areas of California and the Southwest that might be beneficial in the Bank’s efforts to help other countries develop better approaches for water management. The technology, the economics and the policy approaches applied at OCWD to grapple with difficult water supply issues are all of interest to the World Bank in assisting with development in other parts of the world.

Many areas of the world are suffering water shortages and the lack of sanitation infrastructure to protect public health. The delegation visited the Orange County Sanitation District prior to meeting with OCWD and learned about its efforts to support water reuse at OCWD and better energy management in the treatment of wastewater. OCSD and OCWD serve as a model of integration of wastewater treatment and water reuse to enhance regional water supply reliability.

World Bank representatives were also interested in OCWD’s long history of sustainably managing the Orange County Groundwater Basin with the support of 19 diverse groundwater producers who serve 2.4 million people in north and central parts of the county. OCSD General Manager Jim Herberg and Assistant General Manager Bob Ghirelli and Kathleen Staunton of Congressman Rohrabacher’s office also participated in the meeting with World Bank representatives.