Updated: March 27, 2024     Download PDF Version

Mesa Water District (Mesa Water®) supports:

  1. Groundwater Quality Protection
    1. Support the Orange County Water District (OCWD) groundwater quality protection programs
      1. Basin Equity Assessment (BEA) Exemption Program for Impaired Groundwater (including the Mesa Water Reliability Facility)
      2. The MTBE, North Basin, and South Basin groundwater protection projects
      3. The Tustin and Irvine desalters
    2. Encourage OCWD to protect the Basin from chlorides caused by seawater intrusion
      1. Encourage OCWD to set a goal of maintaining protective elevations along the coast
      2. Encourage OCWD to hold semi-annual barrier meetings with Coastal Agencies (Huntington Beach, Mesa Water, and Seal Beach)
      3. Encourage semi-annual reporting on the barrier
    3. Collaborate with OCWD in advocating for funding and treatment of Constituents of Emerging Concern (CECs) such as PFAS
  2. Policies that raise and stabilize the Basin Pumping Percentage (BPP)
    1. Support OCWD setting a target BPP that they intend to consistently meet
    2. Support new water supply projects that help achieve this goal
    3. Support OCWD adopting a water supply policy that sets a goal of developing water supply and recharge capabilities, including purchasing replenishment water, or other actions that result in a reliable and predictable source of groundwater at a BPP of not less than 80 percent. A goal of this policy is to accomplish this with a cost-neutral, or better, impact on producers when the avoided cost of purchasing imported water is considered
  3. Policies that keep the Basin full
    1. Support OCWD adhering to the BPP-setting formula
    2. Support maximum production at the Groundwater Replenishment System (GWRS) to ensure a cost-effective, high-quality, environmentally-friendly and sustainable local water supply that benefits all OCWD producers and that increases the region’s current and future water reliability
    3. Support maximum wastewater flows treatable by the GWRS to the Orange County Sanitation District (OCSD) -- and support OCSD/OCWD’s permanent acquisition of such wastewater flows -- to ensure source reliability for the GWRS
    4. Support stormwater capture projects that are cost-effective (e.g., equivalent to or less than GWRS costs) and that contribute source water to the Basin Principal Aquifer
  4. Basin Storage/Banking and Exchange/Transfer Programs that are market-based with the primary benefits accruing to OCWD, its Groundwater Producers, and the ratepayers they serve, with such Programs applying the “Beneficiaries Pay” principle and addressing issues including, but not limited to:
    1. Full cost recovery, at a minimum, of a proportional share of the historic and future capital investments as well as operations and maintenance costs incurred by OCWD to manage the Basin
    2. Full cost recovery, at a minimum, of the proportional value that entry into the Basin affords, including the value of reliability (and thus loss of reliability to the Groundwater Producers through the loss of available storage capacity) and the value of treatment
    3. Accounting for water loss in a current or future year (both lost out of the Basin and lost due to inability to spread or extract)
    4. Consideration that the above is merely a “break even” deal, and any program should bring significant benefits in excess of the above to OCWD and its Groundwater Producers
    5. Deferring entering into any agreements until the IRWD v. OCWD lawsuit is resolved
    6. Deferring entering into any agreements until the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California Conjunctive Use Program has been terminated
    7. Limiting any potential future storage/banking agreements to programs that are compliant with OCWD Act Section 2.1.c
    8. Maximizing the beneficial use of the Basin while maximizing the BPP for the Groundwater Producers overlying the Basin
  5. Annexations into OCWD that are financially neutral
  6. Policies that ensure a financially strong OCWD, including practices that maintain OCWD’s current AAA credit rating from two of the three credit rating agencies
  7. The potential merger of the Municipal Water District of Orange County (MWDOC) and OCWD if the merger:
    1. is mutually agreed upon by both MWDOC and OCWD, with any governance change supported by MWDOC’s and OCWD’s Boards of Directors
    2. encourages MWDOC and OCWD exploring mutual areas of efficiency that results in economic savings for the members of both agencies
    3. improves or, at a minimum, preserves the quality, reliability, and sustainability of wholesale water services to the members of both agencies
    4. preserves the interests of groundwater producers currently existing within Orange County’s groundwater basin and protects those interests from diminished groundwater resources or supplies
    5. supports MWDOC’s current geographic boundaries, and preserves the existing boundaries of the Orange County groundwater basin for pumping and storage purposes
    6. supports MWDOC’s current mission, and allows the Orange County groundwater basin to remain unadjudicated
    7. respects the “one person one vote” principle if the new Board of Directors is a wholly elected board
    8. is facilitated openly and transparently
    9. increases the effectiveness of Orange County’s representation at MWD, with a coordinated and unified voice representing Orange County
  8. Increased influence at Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD)
    1. Support increased allocations of MWDOC resources for engagement at MWD
    2. Support coordination of the entire Orange County MWD delegation
  9. MWDOC’s priority initiatives at MWD
    1. Protect Mesa Water’s service area from any cost shifts as a result of any lawsuits impacting MWD
    2. Encourage continued efforts in improving the Delta
    3. Seek opportunities for MWD to provide assistance, funding, and/or partnership with MWDOC on developing and supporting seawater and brackish groundwater desalination in Orange County, including support for Mesa Water’s Local groundwater Supply Improvement Project (Local SIP)
    4. Support MWD’s incentive programs to encourage and help fund local/regional development of new water supplies, as well as water use efficiency and related outreach and education programs, such as the Mesa Water Education Center, that benefit the communities and customers served by MWD member agencies and sub-member agencies
  10. Close working relationships with MWDOC on local and regional issues and programs for which the organization is advocating at MWD
  11. The current Mesa Water Strategic Plan, including the District’s goals to:
    1. Provide an abundant, local, reliable and safe water supply
    2. Perpetually renew and improve our infrastructure
    3. Be financially responsible and transparent
    4. Increase favorable opinion of Mesa Water
    5. Attract, develop and retain skilled employees
    6. Provide excellent customer service
    7. Actively participate in regional and statewide water issues
  12. Government Transparency and Accountability
    1. Support policies that balance the benefits and costs of new mandates regarding accessibility to public meetings and public agency websites, including compliance with the American Disabilities Act as well as with any future mandates related to website (and email) domain extensions
    2. Support policies that provide access to public information, including California Public Records Act (CPRA) requirements that:
      1. Are clearly defined and feasible to implement without adding overly burdensome and costly processes (preserving the “balancing test”)
      2. Do not place new limits on the filing of reverse-CPRA lawsuits
      3. Exclude documents maintained by private contractors and vendors relating to their work for public agencies
      4. Preserve the “attorney-client”, “deliberative process”, “executive”, and “official information” privileges, as well as the “attorney work product doctrine”, for redacting or withholding records
      5. Allow the public agency to recover full costs of CPRA requests
  13. The Orange County Local Agency Formation Commission (OC LAFCO) as more of a facilitator than an initiator of actions
  14. The development of cost-effective and environmentally sensitive sources of water, including storage, potable reuse, recycling, groundwater clean-up, stormwater capture, conjunctive use, conservation, and desalination
  15. CalDesal’s mission and its efforts to advocate for funding for brackish and seawater desalination
  16. The co-equal goals of improved water supply reliability and Delta ecosystem health
  17. Policies that protect local revenue sources and uses for special districts -- including through ratemaking authority, property tax, and the ability to fund and maintain appropriate reserves -- as well as policies that ensure special districts have equitable access, as compared to other service providers, to government funding to support building and maintaining water infrastructure
  18. Water rates, fees, and other service or use charges based on true costs in conformance with Prop. 218, and tax-free revenue
  19. The “Expenditures Per Capita” metric as being more accessible and equitable, as well as a simpler and superior method -- versus comparing water rates alone -- for measuring the full, true cost and “affordability” of a public water system’s services to its community
  20. Policies that encourage economical and practical water efficiency for indoor water use, irrigation water use, and commercial and industrial water use, without stranding investments in potable reuse systems, including:
    1. Indoor water use efficiency at the level needed for community health and safety -- as substantiated fact-based analyses that are credible, replicable, and verifiable -- and that protects local investments in potable reuse systems
    2. Irrigation water use efficiency at the level necessary for productive crops, attractive landscapes, tree health, fire protection, heat island prevention, recreation, and property value preservation
    3. Commercial and industrial water use efficiency at a level that sustains economic vitality
  21. Policies that recognize existing local water source development, and that incentivize potential future investments in local water source development, for bonus incentives/credit/variances within conservation mandates
  22. Policies and practices that safeguard and secure critical infrastructure and operations from threats including, but not necessarily limited to, the following: cyberthreats, data breaches, natural disasters, ransomware attacks, supply chain attacks, terrorism, and theft of municipal metal infrastructure, such as fire hydrants, manhole covers, and backflow devices
  23. The equitable treatment of OCWD -- and its programs and projects -- by the Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority (SAWPA) with respect to grants funding and related considerations as part of SAWPA’s Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) planning and One Water One Watershed program

Mesa Water opposes:

  1. The encroachment of Mesa Water easements, rights-of-way, and property without negotiation, agreed upon compensation, and advance approval at the sole discretion of the District
  2. Administrative, legislative, and regulatory actions that mandate new, unfunded operational practices which add cost burdens or time delays to work conducted by essential public utilities
  3. Policies that would limit essential services and infrastructure funding tools -- such as capacity fees, connection fees, and development impact fees -- which allow special districts to effectively plan and fund the long-term infrastructure needed to serve current and future residents
  4. One-size-fits-all mandates regarding water use efficiency that ignore local IRWM plans or Urban Water Management Plans