Thanks to the Mesa Water Reliability Facility, Mesa Water District provides 100 percent locally-reliable water supplies to its service area. In fact, Mesa Water is the only Orange County water provider meeting water demand exclusively from local groundwater supplies.

The MWRF (pronounced “Murph”) is the result of diligent planning by generations of Mesa Water Board of members who have been committed to providing high-quality, reliable and local water to the service area. The plant, which opened in 2012, features two deep-water wells, a one-million gallon reservoir, and state-of-the-art nanofiltration technology. The deep-water wells pump raw water from approximately 1,000 feet underground. The water is soft and meets all water quality standards, but contains an amber color. A nanofiltration technology treatment process removes the organic color while sand separators and other filters remove inorganic materials. Chloramines are used to disinfect the water before leaving the facility. The water then moves into the onsite reservoir before being pumped into the Mesa Water distribution system. For every gallon of water moved through the MWRF, 98 percent is delivered as drinking water to Mesa Water customers.

The Gardens

Several gardens on site promote water conservation and public awareness of drought-tolerant plants and landscaping. The gardens are grouped by water needs. The garden begins on the roof of the buildings, with a water capture system. Water runs from the roof through downspouts and into the landscape. On the ground, the gardens are watered through a drip irrigation system managed by a smart timer. Mulch covers the areas where water retention is needed in the soil.

Ancient Redwoods

The mini redwood forest represents the ancient redwood roots found deep in the lower groundwater basin. These roots contribute to the amber color of groundwater. Redwoods are thirsty; they require the most water in the garden. An automated mist and fogger system keep them hydrated.

Mesa Water Reliability Facility Redwoods

Riparian Area

The riparian area is home to sycamores and oaks, trees that gather in the low points where water gathers on a property. Riparian roots need to get moist but can go for periods of time without water. The riparian garden on also contains plants typical of a Coastal Sage Scrub habitat, native to southern California.

Mesa Water Reliability Facility Riparian Area

Coastal Grassland

Grasses featured in the grassland garden are native to the United States and are a disappearing species. They require even less water than the riparian area.

Mesa Water Reliability Facility Coastal Grassland


Mesa Water’s succulent garden has an attractive variety of succulents. They are colorful due to their leaves and sometimes flower. This garden requires very little water.

Mesa Water Reliability Facility Succulents