Orange County Water District contributes to research that will provide more information that can assist in dealing with West Nile Virus

The Orange County Water District (OCWD) Board of Directors approved continued funding of Joint OCWD-Northwest Mosquito and Vector Control District (NMVCD) research that will hopefully provide valuable Information to aid In dealing with the approaching West Nile Virus.

OCWD supports Mosquito research by Northwest Mosquito Ana' Vector Control District and California State University, San Bernardino.

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, CALIF., Aug. 28, 2003 -- The Orange County Water District (OCWD) Board of Directors approved continued funding of Joint OCWD-Northwest Mosquito and Vector Control District (NMVCD) research that will hopefully provide valuable Information to aid In dealing with the approaching West Nile Virus.

Called the Prado Wetlands Mosquito Ecology and Control Research Project, project research to date has determined the time periods when mosquito production increases and some factors that affect the increase in production.

The 365 square-acre constructed wetlands behind Prado Dam, used to naturally purify and remove nitrates from the Santa Ana River flows, provides an ideal natural laboratory for research into mosquito control.

OCWD has attributed its much lower mosquito production - compared to mosquito populations at many other wetlands - to the Prado Wetlands' excellent design. Since 1997, OCWD has partnered with and helped fund mosquito research with NMVCD and California State University, San Bernardino. These partners have spent more than $130,000 on Prado-area mosquito research.

"We hope this research will help find solutions to potential problems brought on by the westward migration of the West Nile Virus," said Denis Bilodeau, OCWD Board President. "We gladly continue to support this worthwhile research."

The research to date shows that mosquito production increased during vegetation management activities-when ponds are drained and vegetation IS Knocked down. It has not yet been determined why mosquito production increases during this period, but continued research will help better determine the factors that affect mosquito production, so that it can be controlled to the maximum extent possible.

Additional research will focus on water quality factors and how alternate wetlands management options will affect mosquito production. The research also reduces the likelihood that chemical methods would be needed to control the mosquito population.

OCWD works closely with the NMVCD to limit mosquito production and conduct research on areas of the river controlled by OCWD.

The Orange County Water District manages and protects the groundwater basin underlying north and central Orange County, California. OCWD is a special district, separate from the County of Orange or any city government. The California Legislature created it in 1933 to oversee Orange County's groundwater basin. The groundwater basin supplies more than half of the water needs for 2.3 million residents in the cities of Anaheim, Buena Park, Cypress, Costa Mesa, Fountain Valley, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Huntinton Beach, Irvine, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Newport Beach, Orange, Placencia, Santa Ana, Seal Beach, Stanton, Tustin, Villa Park, Westminster and Yorba Linda. To learn more, visit www.ocwd.com.

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