Municipal Water Disrict of Orange County
ISSUE 5, VOLUME 8, June 2014
Message to Our Readers

May was Water Awareness month, and as you probably noticed, water was in the news. Not because it was May, but because the severity of the  drought is increasing. Farmers are pumping more and more water from underground aquifers that can't support the demand. Communities throughout the state are literally going dry. So why is the message not as grim or dire in Southern California? It's because we have invested in water storage, water use efficiency, and new supply sources; we have prepared for dry times like the present. However, a long, hot summer could put us into water allocations or even water rationing if we don't do our best to be more water efficient now.


It is important to note that there is a state mandate from the Governor to do the following:

  • All California residents should refrain from wasting water.
  • Avoid using water to clean sidewalks, driveways, parking lots and other hardscapes.
  • Turn off fountains and other decorative water features unless they use recycled or grey water.
  • Limit vehicle washing at home by patronizing local carwashes that use recycled water.
  • Limit outdoor watering of lawns and landscaping to no more than two times a week.

Your local water agency may have specific restrictions in place, so make sure to check with them for more information. Information on improving your water use efficiency, including current rebate programs, is available at



Bond...Water Bond: 7th Annual OC Water Summit in Review
By Darcy Burke, MWDOC

On May 16th, nearly 400 people filled the Ballroom at Disneyland's Grand Californian Hotel to participate in the 7th Annual Orange County Water Summit.  

At the Summit, Curt Schmutte and Dr. Robin Grossinger painted a graphic image of the ancient Bay Delta, the Delta today, and the precarious, at best, state of existence it is now in. Our attendees were fortunate to hear from the Agriculture community including guest speaker Joe Del Bosque, the farmer who notably met with President Obama to bring home the dire impacts of the drought. Coca Cola and Hurley also joined the conversation by pointing out the importance of water reliability and water efficiency investments to their operations.

And finally, we were joined by the movers and shakers behind moving forward political efforts such as the Water Bond. Congressman John Garamendi gave his perspective - one that is not widely supported - on how to fix the Delta. Paul Helliker, Deputy Director, Delta and Statewide Water Management, provided a different perspective, supporting the BDCP and all the merits of this comprehensive plan. MWDOC, OCWD and Disneyland are committed to bringing a variety of perspectives on water issues for Summit participants, and although we don't share the opinions of all our speakers, it is important to hear all sides. 


Full Article >>

Emergency Management One Piece at a Time

By Kelly Hubbard, Water Emergency Response Organization of Orange County 


There are many concepts involved in developing a successful emergency program: clearly defined roles, financial policies for emergency purchases, trainings and exercises, emergency plans, partnerships, support tools, and so much more. It can be a daunting task to keep up with best practices, develop programs and ensure your agency is ready for a disaster. And it is easy to let the daily operations of an agency override sincere intentions to establish and maintain emergency programs. There will always be more to do than an agency has the time and resources to commit.


Regardless of whether you work for a small, medium, or large private utility, special district or city department, as water utilities we all play an important role in emergency response within the communities we serve. My goal is to write an ongoing series of articles focused on basic concepts and best practices that will hopefully help you develop a successful emergency program that is manageable for whatever type of water utility you represent. And even if I don't motivate your agency to take action from any one article I write, I will have at least have planted the seed for thought and maybe even started a dialogue within your agency. And that, to me, is a small step towards a successful emergency program.


Topics I'll cover in upcoming issues of eCurrents include: 

  1. Emergency Planning Teams
  2. Finance Policies
  3. Cross Training in the EOC (Emergency Operations Center) & in the Field
  4. Building Partnerships
  5. Participation in WEROC programs, meetings, trainings and exercises
Keep an eye out for my first full-length article next month!  


2014 Water Awareness Contests Winners Recognized at Special Awards Ceremony 

By Sarah Franks, MWDOC  

The 2014 Water Awareness Poster & Slogan Contest and Photography & Digital Arts Contest were great successes thanks to all the Orange County students who participated this year. Over 700 students in grades K-12 submitted entries for the two contests. With the help of the MWDOC Board, staff, and MWDOC member agencies, a total of 30 students were chosen as winners, including four grand prize winners. The winning entries included 15 posters, five slogans, and 10 digital artworks.

A special Awards Ceremony recognizing the 30 winning students (and their parents and teachers) was held on June 3rd at Discovery Science Center in Santa Ana. At the Awards Ceremony, students were presented with an official certificate, a trophy, and their framed artwork. Students were very excited to also receive a custom t-shirt or tote bag with their artwork printed on the front; several even chose to wear them home! Overall, the ceremony was a great way to acknowledge the students for their hard work and tremendous talent. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves including Ricki Raindrop, who made a special appearance to see the students, take photos, and celebrate the students' achievements.


Board of Directors
MWDOC Board of Directors
Calendar of Events

June 18 @ 8:30 am:
Board Meeting

June 19 @ 8:30 am:
Executive Committee Meeting

July 2 @ 8:30 am:
Workshop Board Meeting with MET Directors

July 9 @ 8:30 am:  
Administration & Finance Committee Meeting

July 14 @ 8:30 am:
Planning & Operations Committee Meeting  

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

"Do you think Orange County should move forward with ocean desalination?" 
  • Yes   
  • No
  • Undecided 
Take this quick one-question poll...Results will be displayed after every vote. 


Grand Jury Report Highlights Need for Ocean Desal
The 2013-14 Orange County Grand Jury recently released a report focused on water. A key recommendation is the pursuit of local ocean water desalination projects that could provide up to 20% of Orange County's water supply. While the report acknowledges the significant costs and environmental hurdles that must be overcome before a desal facility can be built, it nevertheless highlights desalinated ocean water as a critical component to ensuring long-term water reliability in Orange County.

MWDOC is currently conducting the Orange County Water Reliability Study to explore the costs and benefits of all types of local water supply projects, including ocean desalination, water recycling, water use efficiency, and storage programs. We will share key findings with you once the study is complete - stay tuned!

Full Grand Jury Report >>


Chairman Randy Record to Keynote Water Policy Forum & Dinner

On Wednesday, July 30th, newly-elected Chairman of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, Randy Record, will keynote the MWDOC Water Policy Forum & Dinner. You are cordially invited to attend this important event. Online registration is available now through the link below.

A limited number of reserved tables for eight or 10 are also available by contacting Tiffany Baca ( or 715.593.5013).

We hope to see you there!
Register Now! >>

Popular Tweets & Posts

"Boiled foods release nutrients, so why waste the water by pouring it down the drain? Let the water cool, then use it to water your plants. The starchy water leftover from the pasta and potatoes will spur the release of plant nutrients in the soil.
- May 29, Facebook

Purple pipe means recycled #water. Why purple? Read the full story here:"
 - June 5,Twitter   

"Get CA$H for your lawn! For a limited time, OC residents can receive a rebate of $2 per square foot of living grass replaced with drought tolerant landscapes. Take advantage of this opportunity to replace your thirsty lawn with colorful California Friendly plants, beautiful semi-permeable pavers, and attractive grass substitutes.


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

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