January 5, 2015

SMWD Chief Engineer Featured in Televised OC Drought Panel

Santa Margarita Water District Board Chief Engineer Don Bunts participated recently on a panel with other OC water experts to discuss the drought and its impact on Orange County.SMWD Chief Engineer Don Bunts

The panel was organized and televised by the Association of California Cities Orange County. ACC-OC CEO Lacy Kelly said the topic was intriguing because "there’s no more important issue to our residents than a safe, secure and reliable water supply,”

That's why the Association of California Cities – Orange County and Cox Communications, through its Cox OC Connection Program, recently hosted the 2014 South County Drought Forum to address these strategies, current conditions and the region’s long-term outlook.

Executive leadership from the region’s largest water and wastewater agencies gathered in-studio for a conversation-style program facilitated by ACC-OC CEO Lacy Kelly. In addition to SMWD's Bunts, participants included:

  • Betty Burnett, General Manager, South Orange County Wastewater Authority
  • Joone Lopez, General Manager, Moulton Niguel Water District
  • Karl Seckel, Assistant General Manager, Municipal Water District of Orange County
  • Paul Cook, General Manager, Irvine Ranch Water District

Collectively, these agencies represent more than three million local residents and businesses.

Santa Margarita Water District leaders have worked with customers to weather the drought with increased public outreach and increased water-efficiency. SMWD customers, for example, are leading the county in replacing water-guzzling turf with water-efficient landscaping. SMWD is also focused on developing new sources of drinking water and maximizing water recycling for irrigation.

Both episodes of the discussion are available at Cox on demand, or by following the links in this story.

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