Municipal Water Disrict of Orange County
Message to Our Readers
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At the February 19 Municipal Water District of Orange County Board meeting, Director Larry Dick was elected President of the Board and Director Wayne Osborne was elected Vice President. This is the first time Director Dick has served as President and also the first time Director Osborne has served as Vice President. President Dick and Vice President Osborne bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to their positions at a time when sound planning and effective management of Orange County's water supply are more important than ever. Congratulations to both!   


Recently, Governor Brown declared a drought emergency and has asked that everyone reduce their water use by 20%. In turn, Orange County water providers are asking that all residents and businesses make simple changes to reduce their daily water use. A variety of rebates, water use efficiency tips, and other resources are currently available to help residents and businesses become more water efficient. To find out more, please visit  


Full Message >>

President Visits Fresno Area for Look at Drought Impacts
By Lisa Lien-Mager, Association of California Water Agencies

President Barack Obama visited Fresno and nearby farms on Feb. 14 to get a first-hand look at the effects of California's drought.

The president attended a roundtable discussion with Gov. Jerry Brown, federal officials, local agricultural leaders and water managers in Firebaugh before touring a farm in Los Banos owned by Joe and Maria Del Bosque. In prepared remarks at the Del Bosque farm, Obama announced new actions the Administration will take to help farmers, ranchers, small businesses and communities affected by the drought. He pledged the federal government's support and said the Administration is committed to staying on top of the issue.


Federal assistance includes:

  • $100 million in livestock disaster aid for California producers in 2014 and up to $50 million for losses in previous years;
  • $5 million in additional assistance to California farmers and ranchers to implement practices that conserve scarce water resources, reduce wind erosion on drought-impacted fields and improve livestock access to water;
  • $5 million to help communities and private landowners address impairment of streams and watersheds;
  • $60 million for California food banks to help families economically harmed by the drought;
  • a 600-site expansion of the Summer Food Service Program; and
  • $3 million to help rural communities experiencing a significant decline in the quantity or quality of drinking water due to drought.  
California Drought Update

By Warren Greco, MWDOC 

On January 30, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) announced a projected allocation of zero percent for water deliveries to the State Water Project (SWP). This marks the first time in the 54-year history of the SWP that contractors may get none of their contracted supplies from Northern California.  


If dry conditions persist, urban areas representing 25 million Californians throughout the state and roughly 750,000 acres of irrigated farmland will be forced to rely on alternative sources of water, such as groundwater, local reservoirs, and other supplies to meet demands. As the drought continues, state officials have identified 17 communities throughout the state that could run out of water within 60 to 120 days.   Farmers in the central valley and across California will be facing decisions about whether they have enough water to plant crops, water their livestock, and keep trees alive. 


Fortunately, there is no immediate danger of water supply shortages here in Orange County for 2014. Over the past 20 years, Metropolitan and local Orange County water agencies have invested more than $15 billion in enhanced water resources, including surface storage at Diamond Valley Lake in Hemet, underground storage, recycled water, groundwater treatment, and water use efficiency.  


Periodic droughts are common in California, and these investments in water supplies are intended to maintain reliability for the region through multiple dry years. But this is an extreme drought, and if these conditions continue we are going to see the need for more and more aggressive conservation efforts. The question is: how severe of a drought are we in, and how long might we expect it to last?



Fix a Leak and Use Water Efficiently  

By Melissa Baum-Haley, Ph.D., MWDOC 

The EPA has designated March 17-23, 2014 as "Fix a Leak Week." What better time than now to join the water use efficiency movement and stop wasting water! Stubborn leaks are common around the house, and they can be as easy to fix as tightening a nut or replacing a washer. Unfortunately, most homeowners don't discover leaks until it is too late. 

Leaks can often go unnoticed when they occur outside the home. A few key locations to pay attention to include: hose bibs, sprinkler heads, irrigation piping, and valves. Consider installing pressure-regulating sprinklers with high efficiency nozzles to control the amount of water being applied to your landscape and reduce maintenance at the head. Reducing high pressure also eliminates problems such as misting sprinklers, water lost to evaporation, and potential irrigation system damage.

Another great resource you can utilize during "Fix a Leak Week" - or anytime throughout the year - is the Water Smart Home Program. In partnership with your retail water agency and the Municipal Water District of Orange County, the Water Smart Home Program provides free home water surveys for O.C. residents. Through this Program, a trained technician will visit your home and evaluate all of your water use practices and devices. A customized report will be sent to you summarizing the results of your home survey and providing you with valuable water-savings tips, rebate programs, and water use efficiency information. 

Calling All Budding Artists
By Jessica Ouwerkerk, MWDOC     
The Municipal Water District of Orange County and the Family of Orange County Water Agencies are excited to announce the 2014 Water Awareness Poster & Slogan Contest and Photography & Digital Arts Contest! Orange County students in grades Kindergarten through twelve are encouraged to create original posters, slogans, and digital photos/artwork that reflect our 2014 theme: Thirst.

Following the Contest deadline of April 4, 2014,
15 posters, five slogans, and ten digital photos/digital artwork pieces will be selected as our winners. Four grand prize winners will receive a Nintendo DS or iPad Mini! In addition, eight teachers whose students participated in the Contests will be randomly selected to win a $100 gift card for teaching supplies.

All 30 winning students will be presented with their framed artwork as well as a trophy, certificate, and custom t-shirt or tote bag imprinted with their winning artwork at a special Awards Ceremony held at Discovery Science Center.

Please click on the Contest flyers below for additional information. Free paper is available upon request.
Board of Directors
MWDOC Board of Directors
Calendar of Events

March 3 @ 8:30 am:
Planning & Operations Committee Meeting

March 5 @ 8:30 am:
Workshop Board Meeting 

12 @ 8:30 am:

Administration & Finance Committee Meeting

March 17 @ 8:30 am:
Public Affairs & Legislation Committee Meeting

March 19 @ 8:30 am:
Board Meeting

March 20 @ 8:30 am:
Executive Committee Meeting

For information on MWDOC meetings and events, please click on the calendar icon, above.

"How long do you think the drought will last?" 
  • Less than 6 months 
  • 6 months to 1 year
  • 1-2 years
  • more than 2 years 
Take this quick one-question poll...Results will be displayed after every vote. 


Save the Date for the 7th Annual OC Water Summit!


California's $1.9 trillion economy is at risk. We are in the midst of the driest period on record and pumping restrictions are limiting the amount of water we can move throughout the state to keep our economy growing. Business, agriculture, urban populations and the environment are all dependent on reliable water supplies. 

What are the impacts of not addressing the issues with the Sacramento Bay Delta? Is now the time for a Water Bond? Are local projects "Pork" or part of the critical answer to long-term water supply reliability? How will your business be impacted? What can be done? 

Event Website and Online Registration >>

Get paid to remove part
of your lawn! Rebates of $1.00 (or more) per square foot are currently available.

MWDOC Board Asks Residents and Businesses to Reduce Water Use through Enhanced Water Use Efficiency Efforts
The MWDOC Board of Directors is calling for Orange County residents and businesses to reduce their water use through enhanced water use efficiency measures. On February 19, the Board passed a resolution asking all water users to take necessary actions in an effort to extend stored water supplies and prepare for a prolonged drought.

Press Release >>

Popular Tweets & Posts

"Instead of using running water, use a colander and bucket to clean your veggies. Reuse the remaining water for your other plants and save up to 30 gallons of water each week!" 
- February 14, Facebook

@usepagov is challenging #hotels to save #water through the new @EPAwatersense "H2Otel Challenge"
 - February 10, Twitter 

"Governor Brown recently declared a drought emergency in the state of California and asked that everyone voluntarily reduce their water use by 20%. What types of things are you doing to reduce your daily water use?" 


Municipal Water District of Orange County
Phone: (714) 963-3058 | Fax: (714) 964-9389 | 

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