August 2016

OCWD Board Members


Cathy Green

First Vice President

Denis R. Bilodeau, P.E.

Second Vice President

Philip L. Anthony

Jordan Brandman
Shawn Dewane
Jan Flory, ESQ.
Dina L. Nguyen, ESQ.
Stephen R. Sheldon
Roger C. Yoh, P.E.

General Manager

Michael R. Markus
P.E., D.WRE.

In This Issue:

President’s Message—H2O Learning Center DedicationH2O Learning Center Logo

The H20 Learning Center at the Orange County Water District (District) dedication was a wonderful celebration and culmination of many years of dreams and collaboration. The nearly 150 attendees included members of our Board of Directors and Visitor Center Ad Hoc Committee, OCWD staff, designers, water agency representatives, and more than a dozen local, state and national legislative envoys, many of whom presented resolutions and commendations. Read More…

Cathy Green



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Adventure Tour Save the Date

Happy GAT GuestsOne of OCWD’s favorite events of the year is coming Hawkup and we don’t want you to miss it! JOIN US on a day-long expedition of the District’s facilities from the Prado Wetlands and OCWD's recharge basins to the GWRS and Advanced Quality Assurance Laboratory. Learn about local water supplies and how they are managed in an environmentally, scientifically and financially sound manner.Prado Wetlands

The Groundwater Adventure
takes place October 20 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sign up now at our website, and stay tuned for additional information in the next Hydrospectives. Please note that priority will be given to individuals who have not previously attended.

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OCWD Receives Grant to Study Microbes in Reused Water

GWRSOCWD’s Research and Development Department was awarded a research grant from the United States Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) for a successful proposal entitled “Characterization of the Microbiome of a State-of-the-Art Water Reuse System to Enhance Treatment Performance.” In addition to OCWD, the project team will include Colorado School of Mines and CosmosID, a genomic big data company. The project will be funded along with 20 others in seven western states under the USBR’s Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse Program to support research related to new water treatment technologies. Additionally, a portion of the funding will be contributed by the Water Environment and Reuse Foundation. The total award received by the CSM-OCWD-CosmosID team is $150,000. Read More…

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August is National Water Quality MonthAdvanced Water Quality Assurance Laboratory

August is National Water Quality Month, a time to focus on something we usually take for granted. What are you doing to protect your sources of freshwater?

North and central Orange County get their water from their local water agency and it’s available 24/7 when they turn on a tap. Where does that water come from? The 25 percent imported portion comes from the Colorado River that starts far away in Colorado and from the California Water Project all the way from Lake Oroville in Northern California. Three-quarters of your water is found, literally, beneath your feet in the large Orange County Groundwater Basin. How can you protect your sources of water? 

For the imported water, be aware of events and legislation that could impact the quality of your water and vote accordingly. Locally, urban runoff, wastewater, farms and industrial waste are the biggest man-made culprits contaminating our groundwater.

Individuals, like you, can take these simple steps to help protect your local water source: Read More…

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World Water Week Aug. 28 to Sept. 2, 2016

Water CrisisWorld Water Week in Stockholm, Aug. 28 to Sept. 2, 2016, once again focuses on the earth’s major water issues and honors heroes who have contributed to a water-wise world. The annual event promotes excellent water achievements and inspires future water-wise action. Organized by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), this year’s theme is Water for Sustainable Growth. It is also the 20th jubilee of the Stockholm Junior Water Prize.

More than 3,000 experts, practitioners, decision-makers, business innovators and young professionals are expected to attend this year’s event to network, exchange ideas, foster new thinking, and develop solutions to the most pressing water-related challenges of today. For additional information visit

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New Wells Added to Alamitos Seawater Barrier 

Construction continues on the Alamitos Barrier Improvement Project in Seal Beach to strengthen the barrier infrastructure that protects the Orange County Groundwater Basin along the Los Angeles County-Orange County line from seawater intrusion. The Alamitos Seawater Barrier is one of two large barrier systems that protect the basin. The other is the Talbert Barrier, which is located within the cities of Huntington Beach and Fountain Valley.

Alamitos Barrier Well MapThe Alamitos Barrier Improvement Project features 17 injection wells and three monitoring wells to be constructed along the flood control channel west of the Leisure World active senior community and east of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s Haynes Generating Station. In addition, one deep monitoring well and two shallow monitoring wells will be constructed within the community of Leisure World.

Injection wells force freshwater into coastal aquifers to keep seawater out of the basin. Monitoring wells allow staff to collect water levels and groundwater samples for analysis to determine the overall performance of the seawater barrier. Both types of wells are necessary for OCWD to continue to protect its valuable groundwater resource.

Construction is scheduled to last through fall of 2017. For more information, project updates, or to request a project presentation, please visit our online Construction Updates page or call the OCWD Construction Hotline at (714) 378-8244 or email

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OCWD Submits Imported Water Recharge Report

IWR ReportThe Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board (Regional Water Board) is responsible to protect the quality of surface water and groundwater in the watershed that includes the Orange County Groundwater Basin. One of the significant water quality challenges in Southern California is managing salinity in water supplies. Elevated salinity levels (total dissolved solids and nitrates) can contaminate groundwater supplies, constrain implementation of water recycling projects and cause other negative economic impacts such as the need for increased water treatment. Increased salt concentrations in groundwater can be due to fertilizer use, septic systems, and use of recycled water for landscape irrigation, to name a few. Another source can be the use of imported water for groundwater recharge operations. Read More…

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Invasive Beetles Found in Prado Basin

Female Polyphagous Shot Hole BorerPolyphagous Shot Hole Borers are non-native invasive beetles, tree borers, and fungus farmers that are in the Prado Basin and threaten the forest. These beetles are tiny, the size of a pin head, but infest the trees they attack in such numbers and so thoroughly that previously healthy trees die quickly. They introduce and spread fungus in the vascular system of the tree, impeding the tree’s ability to transport nutrients and water. Read More…

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Out in the Community

H2O Water Supply Briefing LogoAs part of its standard to forge and maintain long-term, positive and proactive relationships with members of the local community and greater water industry and to be transparent about its operations and programs, OCWD board members and staff speak regularly before groups and at events. We participated in the following during July:

•     OCWD President Cathy Green participated on a panel at the Aquarium of the Pacific titled “Ocean Desal Reconsidered.”

•     Directors Cathy Green and Phil Anthony provided a presentation about OCWD to the Kiwanis   Club of Huntington Beach.

  • •     Director Steve Sheldon and Executive Director of Engineering and Water Resources John Kennedy provided an OCWD presentation to members of the Association of Environmental Professionals and the Orange County Chapter of the American Planning Association.

  • •     OCWD General Manager Mike Markus and Executive Director of Planning and Natural Resources Greg Woodside met with representatives from the County of Orange to give them an update and coordinate our efforts on the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) and discuss future Proposition 1 grant programs.

Read More…

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OCWD In the News

OCWD continues to be recognized for its leadership in the water industry. Below are a few of the District’s recent media highlights:

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OCWD Employees

OCWD’s employees are its most valuable resources. It is committed to recruiting the best and enriching their lives to grow within the water industry and the District family.

New Hires

 Victor Anguiano          Bryan Bushay

Javier Hernandez          Larry Johnson

Jacqueline Lerma          Craig Liebzeit Jr.


Congratulations to Jeffrey Michael Olson on his recent retirement from OCWD after 12 years of service.

Jeffrey Michael Olson

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July Tours                                                 

Cal State Fullerton Nursing StudentsThank you to the nearly 400 guests that toured OCWD’s facilities in July:

Students from the Cal State Fullerton and West Coast University nursing programs; Brazilian students from the Cal State Fullerton Exchange Program; Korean students from the USC Exchange Program; students and faculty from Cal State Fullerton; students from West Coast University and Orange Coast College; representatives from Kimberly-Clark; members of the Morningside Men’s Club; participants in the MET/Water Systems Operations Management  Academy; staff of the Mesa Water District; and members of the general public.

Public tours of the Groundwater Replenishment System are offered at 10 a.m. on the first Friday of every month; reservations are required. Tours may be scheduled for other days of the week, depending on staff availability. To schedule a tour, request more information or schedule a speaker, please visit

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