Festival Breaks Attendance Records

The award-winning Children’s Water Education Festival (CWEF) hosted more than 7,400 students in March, breaking all previous attendance records. The CWEF is one of several education programs created by the Orange County Water District   (OCWD; District). 

Already the largest event of its kind in the nation, the two-day CWEF celebrated its 21st year and provided 72 interactive and inspiring activities about the environment for elementary school children in grades 3, 4 and 5.

“Children today will play a vital role in preserving our natural resources in the future,” said CWEF co-founder and Orange County Water District Board Member Philip Anthony. “The District Board felt it was important to provide funds to expand the program and accommodate even more Orange County children.”

Due to OCWD and the many organizations that sponsor, approximately 500 more children took part this year in the educational field trip and will in future years.

The Children’s Water Education Festival promotes STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) education with hands-on fun. Students learn about water resources, space, wildlife, conservation, biology, chemistry, engineering, and more. This immersion empowers youth to make small and large changes to help the planet, exposes them to an abundance of career paths, and provides a springboard into their pursuit of higher education.

Since inception in 1997, more than 120,000 students have experienced the Festival and all it has to offer. This year, 264 classes from 86 schools in 22 Orange County cities participated on the campus of the University of California, Irvine.

The Orange County Water District wishes to thank its more than 400 volunteers and presenters, the immense support of the Disneyland Resort and that of Festival sponsors: Allergan Foundation; Anaheim Public Utilities; Avista Technologies, Inc.; Black & Veatch; Brown and Caldwell; City of Garden Grove; City of Huntington Beach; City of Santa Ana; Corollo Engineers; DDB Engineering, Inc.; El Toro Water District; Irvine Ranch Water District; Laguna Beach County Water District; Mesa Water District; Metropolitan Water District of Southern California; Municipal Water District of Orange County; National Water Research Institute; OCWD Groundwater Guardian Team; Olin Chlor Alkali; Orange County Public Works; Orange County Sanitation District; Recycle Used Oil; Ricoh Electronics, Inc.; Rubio's; Rutan & Tucker, LLP; Santa Ana River Basin Section (SARBS); Santa Ana Watershed Association; SPI ; Stantec; Tetra Tech; Trojan UV; and Wells Fargo.