ConnectOC Blog

A Water-Wise Orange County Is Within Reach

Posted by: Orange County Community Foundation on 8/18/2016

Is it possible to conserve our way out of California’s relentless drought? Garry Brown, chief executive officer of Orange County Coastkeeper, says it is – if we adopt new habits in the near term and embrace innovative water treatment technologies in the long term.


“Although this is one of the most extreme droughts we’ve had in California history, it’s not out of the ordinary. We have to get used to living with drought,” Brown said. “Here in Southern California, we’re seeing less of a water-supply issue than a water-allocation issue. That’s because the Metropolitan Water District and Orange County Water District have invested in long-term conservation for years. Orange County is home to one of the largest and most state-of-the-art water-recycling facilities in the world, producing 100 million gallons every day, which soon will grow to 130 million gallons a day. Nonetheless, residents must also do our part.”

Brown says education is the key to not only responding to the current drought but also becoming a water-resilient county.

Orange County Coastkeeper has modeled a 2.5-acre Coastkeeper Garden at Santiago Canyon College in Orange. This unique, sustainable garden hosts plants from six native habitats in southern California as well as drought-tolerant plants. Since the Coastkeeper Garden opened in May 2013, nearly 20,000 have toured it. Visitors have learned how to transition from water-wasting to drought-defying landscaping – without losing color to adorn their backyards.

And this is the kind of education that produces action, Brown says.

We can end California’s long-term relationship with droughts through conservation. At home, you can start off by using less water outdoors. Besides replacing water-guzzling plants with native and “California-friendly,” drought-tolerant plants, substituting concrete in your backyard with water-permeable ground cover can deliver long-term benefits. When we do (finally) welcome rain, the ground cover will absorb it, rather than losing it to storm drains.

Then head indoors and replace older showerheads, toilets and faucets with water-efficient, low-flow models. Be sure to check with your water utility first, as many offer customer incentives.

Next, be open-minded about innovative adaptations to local groundwater replenishment systems in the future. Orange County is already testing technologies to accelerate the water reuse and recycling process. In fact, Brown says “Orange County has been one of the water recycling leaders in the state and country since the 70s.”

Brown wants to see Orange County continue this kind of leadership. That’s just one of the reasons Orange County Coastkeeper pursues state advocacy as vigorously as consumer education. He outlines four things we can support to help spur Southern California’s transformation as a water-resilient area:

1.     Transition to drought-tolerant landscapes only. “In years we have limited rainfall, it’s absurd that we use 60 percent of our county’s drinking water outside the home,” Brown asserts. “A majority of this water is used on landscaping, especially grass lawns. If we change to colorful, drought-tolerant landscaping year-round, we could save water, increase groundwater and prevent harmful runoff.”

2.     Embrace innovation. Orange County’s groundwater replenishment system already is the world's largest water purification system for indirect potable reuse. This process produces high-quality water that meets or exceeds all state and federal drinking water standards. And tests are underway to explore direct potable reuse, which would create a new water source Orange County could count on.

3.    Restore contaminated aquifer systems. Although the natural, central aquifer under Orange County is very well managed, other aquifer systems need clean up. These remedial efforts could put an additional 13-million-acre-feet of water storage into Southern California’s aquifer system. Until they’re restored, all that water is lost to ocean runoff.

4.     Less reliance on imported water. Orange County imports approximately 48 percent of our water from the Colorado River and the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. Relying on these distant watersheds to quench our thirst and recharge groundwater is energy-intensive and expensive. Plus, the Delta is an environmentally sensitive area and home to water-dependent threatened and endangered species. Rather than relying on this water as a primary water source, the goal would be to use it as a secondary water source for replenishing storage. Coastkeeper is working with California’s legislative and environmental leaders to find better ways to source, route and deliver water throughout the state.

“If we tackled these four things, Southern California could be far more sustainable,” Brown said. “And if we used technology to keep our aquifers full without relying on imported water, Orange County could be totally sustainable.”

Orange County, are you ready to be water wise? To learn more, visit Nonprofit Central to find organizations working to protect our valuable natural resources.



Post Your Comment
1000 characters left


Add Comment
Showing 1 - 25 of 70 Sort by
Epson Printer Help 0808-238-7544
Report | Reply
When you buy Epson printer you have to go through various tech issues and such issues are hard to understand and resolve. In this situation you can contact Epson Printer Support Number UK 0808-238-7544 at any time.
Best Hookup Apps
Report | Reply
good post
<a href="
Report | Reply
good post
cisco router support
Report | Reply
we provide service regarding router support. if you have face any problem related to the router so please contact our team
Soundcloud to Mp3
Report | Reply
Fast and Free SoundCloud to MP3 conversion and download via SoundCloud MP3. You don't need software or an account, just the SoundCloud URL.
cheap hotels in madinah
Report | Reply
Nice article your feedback Great
McAfee antivirus helpline number
Report | Reply
Get McAfee antivirus helpline number and solve your query. Call us: +1-888-274-2621 Toll Free.
HP Printer Tech Support
Report | Reply
If you have problem with HP printer so don’t get nervous just call us: +1-888-274-2621 Toll Free.
happy wheels
Report | Reply
Your blog posts are more interesting and informative. I very like and visit regularly.
hill climb racing 2
Report | Reply
Nice! I want you to thank for your time of this wonderful read!!!
Assignment Help
Report | Reply
The surrounding and environment around those orange fields is very lively. I would suggest to first name it orange city or village to be more precise, orange country is way more exaggerating the whole process.
Report | Reply
Very nice post. Thanks for sharing.
mobdro for pc
Report | Reply
good post
Microsoft Customer Support
Report | Reply
Thank you very for your great webpage, I learned a lot from this.
Hp Laptop Support
Report | Reply
Awesome post thank you for sharing this information. This is very much useful for me.
Toshiba Laptop Customer Support
Report | Reply
Thank you for sharing them!I got good ideas from this amazing blog.
Lenovo Laptop Support Number
Report | Reply
Great blog. Thanks for share this post. It may helpful for all newbie bloggers, i really appreciate. keep posting.
Canon Printer Support Number UK
Report | Reply
Using a printer from Canon fulfils all the necessity of printouts yet; however it shows tech issue and to fix that, must contact the technicians at 0800-090-3220.
cash advance
Report | Reply
You can protest about the quick result or you can be appreciative to have the chance to get quick money.
payday loans
Report | Reply
Keep an uplifting outlook when working with the bank. The costs might be high, however they are giving an administration that most others would not offer you.
Cash Advance Chicago
Report | Reply
Payday credits - These advances are unsecured. There is no guarantee, only an agreement to pay.
Cash Advance San-diego
Report | Reply
Payday loaning organizations here and there pull back the postdated check the borrowers have issued before the genuine assention date. So as opposed to helping them with the budgetary issue, these organizations additionally bring the borrowers down on their knees by perpetrating extra charges and punishment.
brother printer customer support number
Report | Reply
very very nice article, thanks for the sharing with us.

brother printer support number
brother printer customer support number
software support
Report | Reply
Thank you for this awesome piece of content, very informative.

software support
windows support number
Microsoft office support number
norton support number
Report | Reply
This is outstanding and great post! i really like it. thank you so much.

norton helpline number
norton help
       1   2   3