March 22, 2021

Fountain Valley, CA (March 22, 2021) – The United States Bureau of Reclamation (Bureau) awarded $2 million to the Municipal Water District of Orange County (MWDOC) for sustainable landscape improvements to residential and commercial properties in Orange County. The multimillion-dollar grant award came from the Bureau’s WaterSMART Grants Program for MWDOC’s Orange County Sustainable Landscapes Program (Program) that will promote water conservation by providing rebate incentives for transforming high-water-use landscaping and irrigation to California Friendly landscapes, high-efficiency irrigation, and alternative water sources.

“The Bureau’s grant award endorses MWDOC’s commitment to promoting water use efficiency for all of Orange County,” said MWDOC President Sat Tamaribuchi, “which is the most cost-effective method to increase water reliability in the county.”

The multi-beneficial Program will reduce water and energy use in Orange County, saving an estimated 378 million gallons of water and up to 3.5 million kilowatt-hours each year. Additionally, the Program will reduce stormwater and irrigation runoff and non-point source pollution, and reduce carbon emissions. The Program aims to transform up to 1.5 million square feet of turfgrass into California Friendly landscapes, upgrade approximately 5,500 irrigation timers to smart irrigation controllers, and convert about 12 sites to an alternative sustainable source, such as rainwater capture or recycled water. These measures support local watershed health, improve the region’s water supply reliability, and promote conservation as a California way of life.

“One of my top priorities in Congress is bringing federal funding back to our community to support important infrastructure projects that improve the quality of life for local residents,” said U.S. Representative Mike Levin (CA-49). “As we confront water supply challenges in our region, MWDOC’s Orange County Sustainable Landscapes Program is critically important to increase conservation and improve the reliability of the regional water supply. I’m proud to join MWDOC in announcing this important federal funding, and appreciate their continued partnership to advance local infrastructure projects.”

The Program is expected to begin in October 2021 and run for three years.

The Municipal Water District of Orange County (MWDOC) is a wholesale water provider and resource planning agency whose efforts focus on sound planning and appropriate investments in water supply development, water use efficiency, public information, legislative advocacy, water education, and emergency preparedness.

MWDOC’s service area includes all of Orange County with the exception of Anaheim, Santa Ana, and Fullerton. MWDOC serves Orange County through 28 retail water agencies.