Environmental stewardship is an ongoing balance of complex needs

The Orange County Water District’s award-winning environmental programs benefit both nature and water supplies.

OCWD manages and protects the Santa Ana River Watershed through removal of nonnative invasive species, habitat restoration and wildlife management. The watershed is the land area drained by the Santa Ana River and its tributaries. It covers more than 2,400 square miles (621,600 hectares; 6,216 square kilometers).

OCWD has dedicated more than 1,100 acres (445 hectares; 4.5 square kilometers) of land for environmental preservation and invested millions of dollars for conservation. The award-winning Children’s Water Education Festival builds awareness and helps instill environmental consciousness at an early age. In addition, OCWD has dedicated more than 200 acres (80.9 hectares; 0.8 square kilometers) of its lands for public trails and recreation, ensuring that the public will continue to be able to enjoy open space in Orange County for years to come. 

Environmental stewardship priorities

  • Holistic watershed approach
  • Implementing and promoting water reuse
  • Habitat and wildlife preservation
  • Comprehensive knowledge of natural habitats
  • Collaboration with regulators and watershed stakeholders
  • Compliance with environmental regulations, including the Endangered Species Act
  • Employment of natural treatment when practical
  • Maintaining attractive facilities integrated with natural surroundings
  • Beneficial use of District lands
  • Energy efficiency