Orange County Water District to honor community members for their water leadership

Aug. 19, 2002
A California water district has presented its first Community Service Award to Marge and Tom England of the Orange County League of Women Voters, and residents of Garden Grove, Calif., for communicating water issues to the community and the League.

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., Aug. 19, 2002 -- The Orange County Water District (OCWD) presented its first Community Service Award to Marge and Tom England of the Orange County League of Women Voters, and residents of Garden Grove, Calif., for voluntarily communicating water issues to the community and the League.

They believe water projects are important to bring to the attention of other community leaders in Orange County.

Generally, water is not on the minds of Orange County residents, as it should be in an arid region like Southern California. "Seeing community leaders like Marge and Tom England take an active interest in water is important," said OCWD general manager, Virginia Grebbien.

"Support from community leaders, including the England's, is invaluable for OCWD to accomplish what we need to ensure enough high-quality and reliable water is available now and in the future."

The England's have dedicated the past several years to taking a special interest in water issues in Orange County. Specifically, the England's gained the interest of the League of Women Voters for both the Groundwater Replenishment System -- the nation's largest water reclamation project proposed to date -- and the Santa Ana River Water Quality and Health study -- a study conducted by a panel of scientists studying the quality of the Santa Ana River water that replenishes the groundwater basin.

The League has a policy of public involvement in water-related issues and promoting an open dialogue on water issues among citizens who consume the water. Because of this policy, the League conducted its own research on the Groundwater Replenishment System and then took a support position for the project.

OCWD's Community Service Award program was developed to recognize individuals and organizations that take an active role in supporting OCWD's mission of providing high-quality groundwater at the lowest reasonable cost in an environmentally responsible manner. Specifically, recipients of this award will meet the following criteria:

-- Activities must be done on a voluntary basis and not as a result of regulatory or organizational requirements.

-- Activities must have a direct benefit to the OCWD mission or groundwater basin.

-- Activities must encourage, focus or result in protection of groundwater.

As the water industry embarks on a century of change, it will become increasingly more important for water agencies to work in partnership with community stakeholders. Those organizations that step forward and proactively work within the community on local water issues will serve as leadership models for others to follow.

The Orange County Water District is a special water agency created by the California Legislature in 1933 to maintain and manage the huge groundwater basin under northern Orange County. The groundwater basin managed by OCWD supplies 75% of the water needs to more than 2 million residents in the cities of Anaheim, Buena Park, Cypress, Costa Mesa, Fountain Valley, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Irvine, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Newport Beach, Orange, Placentia, Santa Ana, Seal Beach, Stanton, Tustin, Villa Park, Westminster and Yorba Linda.

SOURCE: Orange County Water District

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