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.


President’s Message—Commemoration Can Spark Positive Action

It Pays to Be Safe
OCWD Supports Future Scientists and Engineers
Only Days Away for OC Water Summit
GWRSIE Continues to Receive Honors
Groundwater Protection Update

Drought Response Workshop May 16-17
OCWD Goes to Washington
Technology Addresses Water Scarcity

OCWD Employees—Employee of 1st Quarter

Becky Begins Run May 28
Legislative Engagement

Out in the Community
OCWD in the News
April Tours


President’s Message—Commemoration Can Spark Positive Action

When we commemorate, we remember and honor important topics, people, places, and events of our lives. May and June abound with commemorations pertaining to the water industry.

We recently celebrated Drinking Water Week (May 1-7), a unique opportunity for both water professionals and the communities they serve to recognize the vital role water plays in our daily lives. During that week, on May 5, Tap Water Day also made us aware to conserve every drop because our valuable supply is stressed with frequent droughts. In addition, it encouraged us to teach children lifelong habits of good stewardship of this vital resource.Prado Wetlands

Did you know that the Orange County Water District’s Advanced Water Quality Assurance Laboratory tests for more than 500 compounds, almost five times more than required by state and federal laws and regulations?  

So toast with a glass of water—straight from the faucet—and enjoy having fresh, quality water.

May is also American Wetlands Month. What do wetlands have to do with your drinking water? Plenty. Read More…

Cathy Green


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It Pays to Be SafeACWAJPIA Refund Check

California Water Agencies/Joint Powers Insurance Authority (ACWA/JPIA) Executive Committee member Melanie McDonald (holding check at left) presented OCWD with a Retroactive Premium Adjustment check for $34,202, a reimbursement of premiums paid on liability, property and workers’ compensation insurance through ACWA/JPIA. The ACWA/JPIA is refunding monies from the Rate Stabilization Fund.  These monies are returned to members when they exceed -50% of the current years’ Liability Basic Premium.  The JPIA’s Liability, Property, and Workers’ Compensation Programs are pooled programs and any excess amounts are returned to members. Creating and maintaining a safe work environment and encouraging wellness of its employees are some of OCWD’s top principles.

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OCWD Supports Future Scientists and EngineersOCSEF logo

As part of OCWD’s commitment to education, specifically STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) curriculum and programs, the District is an official sponsor and participant of the Orange County Science and Engineering Fair (OCSEF).

OCSEF is a nonprofit educational organization that promotes science and engineering in Orange County. Its goal is to educate, guide and motivate O.C. students in grades 6-12 to engage in project-based learning in all STEM fields to be college and career ready in the 21st century. The Fair features two divisions, Senior and Junior, and 20 separate categories ranging from Applied Mechanics to Zoology. It is held at the Orange County Fair Grounds in Costa Mesa during April. Selected finalists from OCSEF are selected to represent Orange County at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.   

For the past two years, OCWD has donated special award prizes for water-related submissions. Read More…

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Only Days Away for OC Water SummitOC Summit Graphic 

Water agencies across Orange County face a perfect storm of challenges in delivering reliable water to 3 million residents and businesses that produce a gross county product of $223.2 billion. Aging infrastructure and water transport systems are susceptible to earthquakes and political tremors. Complexities of laws and fines to develop fair water use and rates are mounting.

Join leading business professionals, elected officials, water industry stakeholders, and community leaders from throughout Southern California at the 9th Annual OC Water Summit on May 20, from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Westin South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa to learn how to be sheltered from these storms of water-related challenges. 

Register at www.ocwatersummit.com. The event is co-presented by OCWD and MWDOC.

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GWRSIE Continues to Receive Honors

The $143 million Groundwater Replenishment System Initial Expansion, which came online in 2015, increased production by 30 million gallons per day (MGD) for a total new water production of 100 MGD—enough to meet the water needs of 850,000 people at a typical average cost of $525 an acre-foot.

With the GWRS Initial Expansion, the Orange County Water District and the Orange County Sanitation District set out to not only increase water production, but to make the GWRS even more efficient. For their efforts, the Initial Expansion and its team have been recently honored.Tom Perry Award

Electrical and Controls contractor KDC Systems recently received the Tom Perry Award for the highest degree of craftsmanship and quality in electrical construction from the OC Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association for its work on the Initial Expansion. Electrical Excellence Award

The Initial Expansion received a National Electrical Contractors Association award for Electrical Excellence as well.Water Reuse Project of the Year Award

And, Global Water Intelligence honored the Groundwater Replenishment System Initial Expansion with the prize of Distinction in the category of Water Reuse Project of the Year.

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Groundwater Protection Update

OCWD continues its longstanding efforts to see cleanup in both the North Basin and the South Basin groundwater contamination areas.

In the North Basin, work has steadily progressed toward the installation and operation of one of the most productive of the remediation wells installed, EW-1.  Pump testing and groundwater modelling have estimated that the well will produce 1,000 gallons per minute and that it will capture high concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are currently migrating from several upgradient sources.   This plume capture is not the definitive answer to the groundwater problem in the North Basin, but it is a significant first step toward reducing the spread of VOCs that cover an area of approximately seven square miles.

Discussions are also underway regarding the possibility of doing similar projects with the other five wells already in place.  Read More…

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Drought Response Workshop May 16-17Parched Land

The 2016 Drought Response Workshop will take place May 16-17, 2016, at the Atrium Hotel in Irvine, California. This event is sponsored by California Department of Water Resources (DWR), Southern California Water Committee (SCWC), and National Water Research Institute (NWRI). The two-day program will focus on drought planning, response, and mitigation measures, and will feature presentations and panel discussions by water resources professionals and academics.  The registration fee is $20 for students and $40 for all others. A preliminary agenda is available on the event web site at: http://www.nwri-usa.org/drought2016.htmRead More…

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OCWD Goes to Washington

Denis BilodeauIn late April, First Vice President and Member of the OCWD Board of Directors Denis Bilodeau recently presented before the Committee on Environment and Public Works in Washington, D.C. with regard to the provision of a safe and reliable water supply. The “Hearing on New Approaches  and Innovative Technologies to Improve Water Supply” delved into the implications associated with an uncertain water supply future and how, as a nation, we must respond to this challenge that has global security, economic and social implications. Read More…

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Technology Addresses Water ScarcityGAO document

Freshwater shortages are expected to be common well into the future. In response to a congressional request to consider technologies that could help municipal water utilities address water scarcity, the US. Government Accounting Office (GAO) has issued a 93-page report titled Municipal freshwater scarcity: Using technology to improve distribution system efficiency and tap nontraditional water sources.

The report examines technologies that could reduce demand on freshwater supplies by improving distribution system efficiency; technologies that could increase water supplies by using nontraditional water sources such as water reuse, stormwater capture and desalination; and it considers the locations and types of water utilities where these technologies are most commonly adopted. Read More…

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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.

Employee of the 1st Quarter 2016— Jeremy Jenkins

Jeremy JenkinsJeremy Jenkins has fabricated and installed improvements to process and research equipment for three years for the Orange County Water District. During that short time, he has continued to impress management and colleagues.

With the completion of the Groundwater Replenishment System Initial Expansion construction in the lime area, it was noted that the functionality of the new lime addition processes posed more problems than consistent operation. Many blockages and hose breaks were experienced. Read More…
Congratulations Jeremy!

OCWD wishes Jim Kutzle well on his retirementJim Kutzle

Congratulations to Jim Kutzle on his recent retirement from OCWD after 15 years of service.

Warehouse Technician 
Purchasing Department




 Melissa OchoaOCWD welcomes new employee Melissa Ochoa

Accounting Manager
Finance Department





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Becky Begins Run May 28

Becky MuddOrange County Water District Community Outreach and Education Coordinator Becky Mudd will begin her exceptional run through Utah on May 28 to bring awareness and funding to the fight against pediatric cancer.

Becky Mudd’s Run for Gold is a 460 mile, 15-day run from St. George, Utah, and finishing at the Colorado border. After touching five of the most famous National Parks—Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Canyon Land, and Arches/Moab, she hopes to reach her goal of $20,000 in donations.

Running the equivalent of more than a marathon each day, Becky plans to raise funds for the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation (PCRF). She’s had a lot of help from friends and her OCWD Becky Mudd Teamfamily to prepare her and will continue to have that support during the 15 days of her event, including four OCWD staff who are taking vacation time to be part of her support crew team. “The continued encouragement and support that I receive from my OCWD family to accomplish my goals means so much to me. I am humbled and honored to work with such an amazing group of people, whose well wishes will help me push forward every day, all the way to the Colorado border and I will be forever grateful.”

Those wishing to support Becky by donating to the cause may visit her website, www.beckyruns.com.  

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Legislative Engagement

The Orange County Water District has a legislative team to protect the interests of the District and its 19 groundwater producers and to proactively lead the development of new state and federal water-related legislation and policies. Below is a collection of some of OCWD’s recent projects and their status.


With regard to state legislative activities, the Association of California Water Agencies’ (ACWA) Region 10 Legislative Committee has met six times so far this year.

The top policy issues and legislation OCWD has been working on include the following:

Just this week:  The Governor issued an executive order (B-37-16) for long-term water conservation regulations.
Building on the temporary state-water emergency water conservation mandate of 25 percent for urban water use, the Governor this week issued an executive order for long-term water conservation regulations requiring the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) and Department of Water Resources (DWR) to develop by January 2017 new water efficiency targets to be specific for each water supplier, go beyond the 20 percent per capita urban water use by 2020 that was included in the SBX-7X7, and will be customized to fit each water supplier. Read More…

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Water Briefing logoOut in the Community

As 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 April:

•     Director Cathy Green, General Manager Mike Markus and Executive Director of Planning and Natural Resources Greg Woodside were in Washington, D.C. on a legislative trip to advocate for inclusion of language in the House of Representatives version of the current Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) bill that would protect the District from having to pay for the cost of captured stormwater at Prado Dam.

•     President Green and Assistant General Manager Mike Wehner spoke before the Long Beach Board of Water Commissioners, providing an overview of OCWD and the role of the GWRS.

•     Directors Roger Yoh and Philip Anthony gave an overview of Orange County groundwater basin supplies to the Buena Park City Council

•     Director Jordan Brandman and Public Affairs Director Eleanor Torres were part of the Disney Earth Month Green Lunch Bag Program and provided information about local drinking water supplies and conservation.

Read More…

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OCWD in the NewsEntrevista image of Adam Hutchinson

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

•     Orange County Register: Worth One’s Salt by Cathi Douglas

•     Los Angeles Times: Newport meets softened water-use reduction target, city says by Hannah Fry

•     Entrevista: ¿Por qué no habríamos de reciclar el aqua? By OCWD Recharge Planning Manager Adam Hutchinson

•     San Mateo Daily Journal: Bills aim to increase water supply: Assemblyman Rich Gordon seeks to promote recycling, stormwater capture by Samantha Weigel

Read More…

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April Tours                                                

City of Westminster Water DivisionThank you to the more than 250 guests that toured OCWD’s facilities in April:

Tours of the GWRS were given to the Long Beach Board of Water Commissioners and staff of the Long Beach Water Department; a delegation from the Colorado River Basin Agencies; members of the Assistance League and American Society of Civil Engineers/CSU, Long Beach Co-Conference; staff from the city of Westminster Water Division; nursing students from Cal State Long Beach and Cal State Fullerton; students from Huntington Beach High School, Citrus College, Soka University,  Cal State Long Beach Engineering, and Cal State Long Beach Land and Water Resources; and members of the 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 www.ocwd.com.

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