West OC Water Board

West Orange County Water BoardThe West Orange County Water Board is a Joint Powers Agency whose mission is to transport water to its member agencies via two large-capacity pipelines.  The intent of the Board is to provide dependable water supply to the entities on a fair and equitable basis.  Water is delivered from Municipal Water District of Orange County through the OC-9 and OC-35 connections located at Katella Avenue and Dale Street in the City of Stanton.

The Board was formed in 1955.  The original participants were the City of Huntington Beach, the City of Seal Beach and Orange County Waterworks District Nos. 3 and 5.  In 1960 the City of Garden Grove entered into agreements for the acquisition of the rights and interests of Orange County Water Works District No. 3.  In 1965 the City of Westminster also entered into agreement for the acquisition of the rights and interests of Orange County Waterworks District No. 5.

The revised Joint Powers Agreement dated October 25, 1967, now includes the following member agencies:
1.    City of Garden Grove
2.    City of Huntington Beach
3.    City of Seal Beach
4.    City of Westminster

Based on the joint powers agreement, the Board consists of five members.  Garden Grove, Seal Beach and Westminster each appoint one member.  Huntington Beach appoints two members.  Huntington Beach appoints two members because it is the majority entity.

Current Board of Directors (2023)
Nathan Steele, City of Seal Beach
George Brietigam, City of Garden Grove, Chair
Gracey Van Der Mark, City of Huntington Beach, Vice Chair
Tony Strickland, City of Huntington Beach
Amy Phan West, City of Westminster

The Budget is formulated by the Manager to conduct the administrative affairs of the Board of Directors.  The Board may contract with one of the entities or any public or private concern to provide management services.  Currently, the City of Huntington Beach is the Contract Manager.  The Board also contracts Legal and Independent Financial Audits.  The Manager shall be responsible for administering the following programs:
1.    Maintenance and repairs of existing facilities.
2.    Carrying out policies of the Board.
3.    Operation of the facilities.
4.    Administrative functions of the Board.
5.    Submittal of monthly operation reports.
6.    Maintenance of adequate records of operations.
7.    Preparation and submittal of a tentative budget at the January meeting each year; adoption of the final budget at the April meeting each year.

The Manager shall have the authority to issue purchase orders and/or work orders to carry out the responsibilities stated.  The Manager will control and order all changes in the amount and flow of all water.  As of this date, the City of Huntington Beach is the Maintenance and Operation Contract to the WOCWB and invoices monthly.  Cost of operation, maintenance, repairs and administration, including Director’s fees, engineering services, management services, legal fees, accounting and administrative costs, including the expense of a secretary and assistant, office supplies, an annual audit and insurance shall be borne by each entity on the basis of ownership/capacity rights, as follows:
1.    Huntington Beach    56.1%
2.    Westminster    25.4%
3.    Seal Beach    14.3%
4.    Garden Grove    04.2%

These ownership/capacity rights are based on the dollar amount that each entity contributed to the capital cost of the facilities when they were constructed.

Board Members are paid through the City of Huntington Beach, acting as Fiscal Agent for the West Orange County Water Board, upon approval of all invoices presented at each board meeting submitted through the Secretary.  Board members do not have expense accounts.  The current stipend is $100 per member; they must attend the meeting to receive the stipend.

Board meetings are held every quarter on the third Wednesday of the month.   The current quarterly schedule is January, April, July and October.

The Water Board has no employees, but several functions are contracted on a time and/or material basis as follows:

Manager/Engineers:  City of Huntington Beach Utilities Division
Secretary:  City of Huntington Beach Utilities Division
Fiscal Agent:  City of Huntington Beach
Treasurer:   City of Huntington Beach
Legal Service:   Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Romo & Ruud.
Audit Service:   Currently Davis Farr.  Included as a subtask on the professional service agreement between the Auditors and City of Huntington Beach.
Maintenance and Operations:   City of Huntington Beach Utilities Division.
Insurance:   Association of California Water Agencies – Joint Powers Insurance Authority for General Liability and Property Coverage.

Vendors are typically selected by the bid process and contracts to these vendors are awarded by the Board.

The Budget is prepared by City of Huntington Beach staff and presented to the Board at the January meeting.  Upon review by the Board, each member agency presents the budget to their respective City Councils for approval, with the Board adopting the budget at the April meeting.

For current agenda information, please click here: City of Huntington Beach Calendar