June 2019

OCWD Board Members


Vicente Sarmiento, Esq.

First Vice President

Cathy Green

Second Vice President

Stephen R. Sheldon

Denis R. Bilodeau, P.E.
Jordan Brandman
Dina L. Nguyen, Esq.
Kelly E. Rowe, C.E.G., C.H.
Tri Ta
Roger C. Yoh, P.E.
Ahmad Zahra

General Manager

Michael R. Markus

In This Issue:

•   President’s Message—California Invests $9.25 Million in Atmospheric River Forecasting

•   OCWD Dedicates Six Acres to Anaheim Coves Bike Trail Northern Expansion

•   OC Water Summit Examines Water Under the Microscope

•   Out in the Community

•   OCWD in the News

•   OCWD Employees

•   Upcoming Events

•   May Tours


President’s Message — California Invests $9.25 Million in Atmospheric River Forecasting

Remember when drought was the perpetual theme of the California water scene? Although we saw only 3.66 inches of rain locally for the July 2017-June 2018 water year, the 2018-2019 water year looks great. This year, we’ve seen more than 20 inches of rain!

We also saw incredible snowpack levels. Statewide, snowpack in May came in at 167 percent of average, according to the California Department of Water Resources. This is fantastic news for all of California after suffering one of the worst multi-year droughts of our lifetimes. 

Though drought is out, the new big buzzwords in weather forecasting are “atmospheric rivers” or ARs.  And, the California Department of Water Resources will receive $9.25 million toward funding for research into ARs in the 2019-2020 budget.

What are atmospheric rivers and why are they important to us in Orange County? Read More…

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Vicente Sarmiento, Esq.





OCWD Dedicates Six Acres to Anaheim Coves Bike Trail Northern Expansion

Orange County Water District (OCWD; the District) Directors Jordan Brandman, who serves Anaheim, and Kelly E. Rowe celebrated the grand opening of the Anaheim Coves Bike Trail Northern Expansion with representatives from the city of Anaheim, county of Orange, Southern California Edison, and a host of community members.

The 1-mile expansion of the Anaheim Coves trail and the new Explorer’s Cove playground enhance the 25-acre nature park. Read More...

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OC Water Summit Examines Water Under the Microscope

The 12th Annual OC Water Summit was co-hosted by the Orange County Water District and the Municipal Water District of Orange County and took place on May 31 at the Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at the Disneyland Resort. Popular NBC4 Weathercaster Fritz Coleman emceed.

The theme “Water Under the Microscope,” focused on the many facets of water management and took a closer look at the challenges and competing interests shaping local, state, national, and international water supplies.

Program highlights included United States Congressman Alan Lowenthal speaking about innovation, and a session about the PFAS constituents of emerging concern, featuring State Water Resources Control Board Division of Drinking Water (DDW) Deputy Director Darrin Polhemus. More than 330 attended the event, including representatives from local, state and federal elected officials’ offices.

Videos, including the entertaining Fritz Coleman Water Forecast as part of the welcome, can be found on the OC Water Summit site.

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Out 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 recently participated in the following: 

  • •  United States Congressman Gil Cisneros visited OCWD for a briefing and tour of the GWRS. General Manager Mike Markus provided the tour and OCWD Directors Vicente Sarmiento, Ahmad Zahra and Jordan Brandman were in attendance. KPCC Reporter Jill Replogle joined the tour as she was interviewing the Congressman about his plans as a new member of Congress.
  • President Sarmiento provided an interview regarding OCWD’s participation in the OC Public Works’ Adopt A Channel program which was part of a new Adopt A Channel video that debuted at the OC Water Summit.
  • •  Mike Markus also provided an OCWD briefing and GWRS tour to a Japanese delegation that included the Consulate of Japan and members of the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO). The delegation was especially interested in learning about OCWD’s leadership in water treatment and recycling.

    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 that feature OCWD and the GWRS:

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OCWD Employees

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

New Hires


















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Upcoming Events

July 3: 5:30 p.m. Board of Directors Meeting (Boardroom)

July 4: Holiday

July 8: 5:00 p.m. GWRS Steering Committee (Boardroom)

July 10: 8:00 a.m. Water Issues Committee Meeting (Boardroom)

July 11: 8:00 a.m. Administration/Finance Committee Meeting (C-2)

July 12: 7:30 a.m. Water Advisory Committee of Orange County (WACO) Meeting (Boardroom)

July 17: 5:30 p.m. Board of Directors Meeting (Boardroom)

July 23: 8:00 a.m. Retirement Committee (C-2)

July 24: 8:30 a.m. Joint Planning Committee (MWDOC 101)

July 26: noon  Property Management Committee Meeting (C-2)

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May Tours 

Thank you to the more than 350 guests who toured OCWD’s facilities in May. They included Congressman Gil Cisneros and members of his team Marc Hanson and Martin Medrano; Supervisor Doug Chaffee and members of his team; students from Saddleback, Santiago Canyon, Cypress, Citrus, and Orange Coast colleges; students from UCLA, the Vanguard University Nursing Program, Edison High School, and St. Barbara School; Republic of Korea delegations from Seoul Korea Metropolitan Government and from Korea Water and Wastewater Works Association; a Japanese delegation that included the Consulate of Japan and members of the Japan External Trade Organization; employees from the city of Escondido, LEF Ingenieros in association with Desalitech; AWWA CA-NV Desal/Water Reuse Workshop attendees; 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 http://www.ocwd.com/contact-us/

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