Municipal Water Disrict of Orange County
ISSUE 10, VOLUME 8, November/December 2014
Message to Our Readers
November marks the second month of the water year, the beginning of the holiday season, and the month we cast our votes as part of the democratic process. Three seats on the Municipal Water District of Orange County Board were on the ballot this year: Division One, Division Two and Division 5. Director Brett Barbre won re-election in Division One. President Larry Dick ran unopposed and will continue to represent Division Two. Satoru "Sat" Tamaribuchi won the Division 5 seat, replacing Director Wayne Clark who is retiring from the MWDOC Board after 35 years of service. Congratulations to our new and returning Directors, and thank you to everyone who participated in the democratic process.

As many begin to look forward to the holiday season, water managers, farmers, and California as a whole look to a new water year. The new water year was filled with hopes of record snow pack and rain, yet October brought warm and sunny weather - just what we don't need. The drought continues, and as a result, the State Water Resources Control Board is discussing putting greater water restrictions in place throughout our parched and arid region.

As government organizations and local businesses make changes to use water more efficiently, residents are also asked to do their part. To find out about rebates and programs that can help you save water at home or at work, please visit Meanwhile, MWDOC and local water providers are looking at new water projects, such as recycled water and ocean desalination, to ensure a safe and reliable water supply. If we all get smart about water, we can get through the drought.  


2014 Election Results

By Heather Baez, MWDOC

After serving on the MWDOC Board for 35 years, Director Wayne Clark has decided to retire. Residents of Division 5- including the cities of Newport Beach, Laguna Woods and portions of Irvine, Lake Forest, Laguna Hills, Aliso Viejo, and Mission Viejo - went to the polls to elect MWDOC's newest Board Member, Satoru "Sat" Tamaribuchi.

Mr. Tamaribuchi is a third generation Californian born in Newell, CA at the Tule Lake Relocation Center during WWII. He earned his Bachelor's Degree in Civil Engineering from San Jose State University, his Masters' in Business Administration from California State University, Sacramento, and his California license as a Professional Civil Engineer. He has extensive experience working with water-related projects throughout Orange County, and we welcome him to our team!

In other election-related news, some of MWDOC's member agencies will also be welcoming new Board members. Dina Nguyen, former Garden Grove councilwoman was elected to the Orange County Water District board, replacing retiring member Kay Barr. South Coast Water District will be swearing in two new members - Bill Green and Dennis Erdman. Our city member agencies have new councilmembers as well.

Year One Results of the Water Use Efficiency Master Plan 

By Melissa Baum-Haley, MWDOC  

In July of 2014, MWDOC completed its first year of water use efficiency program implementation subsequent to the 5-year road map established in our Water Use Efficiency (WUE) Master Plan of cost-effective, stakeholder-supported water use efficiency programs for Orange County. The goal of the Master Plan was to identify programs and strategies to comply with the Water Conservation Act of 2009 (SBx7-7) in order to achieve a 20% or more reduction in per capita water use by 2020.  

How did we do? The overall water savings resulting from projections of program activity was right on target, following an upward trend of active water savings within Orange County over the last three years. In fiscal year 2013-14, the big water savings resulted from toilets, clothes washers, high efficiency irrigation nozzles, turf removal, and industrial process improvements. More than 10,000 acre-feet of lifetime active water savings will result from the programs implemented in fiscal year 2013-14.

Starting in fiscal year 2014/2015 and continuing thereafter, an annual report will be produced that will highlight the results of those programs identified in the Master Plan. Look for the first edition in early 2015. 



Rolling Thunder" - A Disaster Response Exercise  

By Kelly Hubbard, WEROC   

In the early hours of November 5, 2014, a tempest blew into Orange County, pushing high flowing streams, storm channels, and creeks over their banks. Saturated soils gave way to local landslides and recent burn areas experienced debris and mud flows. Response agencies across the region activated their Emergency Operations Centers, including Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (Met), several Orange County water utilities, and the Water Emergency Response Organization of Orange County (WEROC).

Don't remember wearing your galoshes, having your umbrella blow inside out, or seeing Storm Watch 2014 on the news? That's because this series of storms, named Rolling Thunder, was actually a simulated disaster exercise for the water utilities of Orange County!

The joint exercise was proposed based on Met's annual EOC exercise program, in which Met rotates their exercise sites to their various treatment plant facilities, with Diemer Treatment Plant being this year's location. WEROC and all Orange County water utilities were invited to plan, coordinate and respond to this simulated disaster in collaboration with the Met EOC and the Diemer Incident Command Center. Each area received critical feedback and recommendations that would further enhance the emergency programs of all involved. A formal after-action process and report will be prepared by each participating agency in the next couple of weeks.


More Info >> 


Santa Margarita Water District Fighting Drought on Several Fronts 

By Jonathan Volzke, SMWD 

As the California drought enters its fourth year, Santa Margarita Water District (SMWD) in South Orange County is working to help residents use water more efficiently through traditional and new programs while also increasing recycling efforts and developing new water sources. The District's 155,000 customers are using less water than in previous years, at least in part thanks to aggressive water-efficiency outreach that includes the District's first use of television commercials.

Another sign of success: the District's turf-rebate program is hitting record levels. SMWD customers removed more turf to save water in just the first three months of the current fiscal year than was taken out in the entire previous year. In those months of fiscal 2015, customers removed 85,000 square feet of turf, compared to 66,000 square feet in all of fiscal 2014.

The District is also creating programs to help property owners plan California Friendly yards and hiring a contract employee to help implement new programs and keep up with the turf removals. Earlier this month, the Board approved $117,000 in new water-efficiency programs.


Board of Directors
MWDOC Board of Directors
Calendar of Events

November 19 @ 8:30 am:
Board Meeting

November 20 @ 8:30 am:

Committee Meeting

December 1 @ 8:30 am:
Planning & Operations

December 10 @ 8:30 am:
Administration & Finance Committee Meeting
December 15 @ 8:30 am:
Public Affairs & Legislation
Committee Meeting

December 17 @ 8:30 am:  
Board Meeting 
December 18 @ 8:30 am:  
Executive Committee Meeting
For information on MWDOC meetings and events, please click on the calendar icon, above.

Results of Previous Poll

Last month 80% of eCurrents readers told us they do not think OC water agencies are doing enough to reduce local water use. This month we solicit your input on what water agencies can or should be doing differently. Please share your ideas with us by taking the poll below!
"What should OC water agencies be doing to further reduce local water use?" 
Take this quick one-question survey...We'll share the results in our next issue of eCurrents. 

Water Storage Graphic
Our water storage levels are dropping!  
Download, print and share this helpful graphic.

California Voters Pass the Water Bond!

On November 4th, California residents voters approved passage of Proposition 1 - the Water Bond. 3.37 million votes (67%) were cast in support of Prop 1, which will provide much-needed funding for water quality, supply, treatment, and storage projects throughout California.

Water Education School Program in Full Swing

Aided by School Program mascot Ricki the Rambunctious Raindrop, MWDOC's Water Education School Program will reach more than 80,000 K-5th grade students this school year alone!

Through grade-specific assemblies, students have the opportunity to participate in hands-on demonstrations and answer questions while learning about standards-based concepts, like the water cycle, our water resources, and how to use water wisely. Keep an eye out for Ricki Raindrop at your local elementary school!

Popular Tweets & Posts

"Orange County residents and local water districts are working together to save water by replacing hundreds of thousands of square feet of thirsty turf and antiquated irrigation systems with California friendly landscape, drought tolerant plants, and smart irrigation technology."
"Cerritos College is saving 30 million gallons of water annually! Read their story and see how.
Municipal Water District of Orange County
Phone: (714) 963-3058 | Fax: (714) 964-9389 | 

Sign-Up to receive eCurrents
Copyright 2013. MWDOC. All Rights Reserved