Governor Brown on Monday appointed Santa Margarita Water District Director Dr. Betty Olson to the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board.
Dr. Olson, a Coto de Caza resident, has served on the SMWD Board of Directors since 1996.
Created by the State Legislature in 1967, the State Water Board protects water quality by setting statewide policy and reviewing petitions that contest Regional Board actions. The State Board is also responsible for allocating surface water rights. California is broken into nine regional boards, including the San Diego Region, which has jurisdiction over a large portion of South Orange County and the San Diego region. Each Regional Board is semi-autonomous, setting regional standards, issuing waste-discharge requirements, determining compliance with those requirements and taking appropriate enforcement actions.
Dr. Olson is a full professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering in the Henri Samueli School of Engineering at the University of California, Irvine. Additionally, Dr. Olson was the founding Director of the Urban Water Research Center at UCI and currently serves as an Associate Director for the Center. Her areas of specialization include environmental microbiology, water and wastewater microbiology.
She is also a member of the Orange County Water Association and the Association of California Water Agencies. Before joining SMWD, she was a director of the Irvine Ranch Water District for eight years.
Dr. Olson earned Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Science degrees in environmental health science from the University of California, Berkeley. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem.
The Santa Margarita Water District is the second-largest in Orange County, serving more than 165,000 people in Coto de Caza, Ladera, Rancho Santa Margarita and portions of Mission Viejo and San Clemente.