Mesa Water District Celebrates 50 Years of Providing Pure, Plentiful Water

Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, Henry Segerstrom, Costa Mesa Mayor Allan Mansoor, and Other Local Leaders, Attended the District’s Golden Anniversary Event Honoring Mesa Water

Costa Mesa, Calif. – Mesa Water District (Mesa Water) celebrated its 50th anniversary Oct. 13 with a VIP event attended by Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, Henry Segerstrom, Costa Mesa Mayor Allan Mansoor, and more than 80 community leaders. Guests included local business, government, nonprofit, and water officials, as well as Mesa Water notables, including the District’s prior Board members and General Managers. All were on hand to commemorate Mesa Water’s role in the region’s development, and its plans for getting closer to 100 percent reliant on local water supplies by 2012. The District can currently meet 92 percent of its demand with local water supplies.

50th anniv a“For the past 50 years, Mesa Water has provided a safe and reliable water supply that has supported the region as it transformed from farms into the bustling mix of homes and businesses we know today,” said Board President Shawn Dewane. He continued, “We look forward to continually meeting that challenge. To that end, increasing Mesa Water’s use of locally produced, drought-tolerant supplies is key to our community’s ongoing success.”

Hosted by the District’s current Board members, the event featured proclamations by Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, Costa Mesa Mayor Allan Mansoor, MWDOC Board Director Susan Hinman, OCWD Board Second Vice President Jan Debay, and representatives from the offices of State Senator Tom Harman and County Supervisor John Moorlach.

“Water is a vital ingredient necessary for freedom, for prosperity, and for human health,” said Congressman Dana Rohrabacher.” He continued, “Mesa Water is on the forefront of something that is so significant to all of us, and to our families; and, everyone should be grateful for what Mesa Water is doing, and proud of what you’re leaving for future generations.”

50th anniv bMesa Water’s legacy was honored with “Lifetime Water Achievement” awards given to former Board member Henry S. (Hank) Panian and former General Manger Karl Kemp -- two individuals who paved the path of greater local water reliance. Also, C.J. Segerstrom & Sons received a “Water Stewardship” award for its longstanding partnership with Mesa Water on water conservation efforts and on furthering our community’s water system and infrastructure development.

Henry Segerstrom commented, “When I first served on the Orange County Water District Board many years ago, 90 percent of our groundwater was for agriculture use, and only 10 percent was for residential and business use.” Now, 99 percent of the water is being used for homes and commerce.

Mesa Water’s Golden Anniversary ceremony also featured a historical look from 50 years ago through present day with memorabilia displays, a slide show of archival photos, and a time capsule. The All-American Boys Chorus of Costa Mesa performed and, as a tribute to its 50th anniversary, Mesa Water has published a commemorative history book that can be purchased from the District for $23 (Mesa Water’s cost, includes tax).

Meeting Future Water Needs

50th anniv cMesa Water has a goal of becoming 100 percent reliant on local water supplies. Key to achieving that goal is increased use of locally available, drought-resistant groundwater. Hundreds of feet below Mesa Water’s clear-water supply is an ample reserve of colored water -- left over from the redwood forests that populated our coastal plain. This colored water is safe to drink and of higher quality than more-expensive, less-reliable water imported from Northern California and the Colorado River.

For the past 40 years, Mesa Water has been advancing colored water treatment technology to provide customers with a more reliable water supply. Today, the District’s Colored Water Treatment Facility meets 25 percent of the District’s demand, and protects regional supplies by keeping the colored water separate from the clear-water portions of the basin.

Construction begins next year on improvements to the Colored Water Treatment Facility that, when completed in 2012, will result in Mesa Water getting closer to its goal of 100 percent reliance on local water supplies.


About Mesa Water

Founded on January 1, 1960, and governed by a publicly-elected, five-member Board of Directors, Mesa Water is an independent special district that provides water service to 110,000 residents in an 18-square-mile service area that includes most of Costa Mesa, a portion of Newport Beach, and John Wayne Airport. Mesa Water provides 100 percent local reliable groundwater to its customers due to the Mesa Water Reliability Facility. Visit, follow @MesaWater on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, email, or call 949.631.1200 to learn more.