Press Releases

SMWD works regularly with local reporters and media organizations to provide timely and accurate information regarding industry happenings and District news. From local supply reliability projects to water use efficiency and community education programs, SMWD is a valuable source of news and information.

November 7, 2014

Santa Margarita Water Honors Councilman
for Drought-Fighting Ordinance

Santa Margarita Water District Directors on Wednesday honored Mission Viejo City Councilman Frank Ury for authoring a city ordinance that waives fees for drought-fighting improvements such as installing water-efficient appliances, demolishing swimming pools or installing gray-water systems. Read More...



November 6, 2014

Santa Margarita Water Hires Consultant to Study New Public Recycled Water Reservoir

The engineering firm BonTerra/Psomas will study the potential environmental impacts of a 1.6 billion gallon recycled water reservoir south of Ortega Highway under a $75,000 contact approved Wednesday by the Santa Margarita Water District Board of Directors. Read More...



September 3, 2014

Put Pills in their Proper Place!

Santa Margarita Water District will participate in a “National Take Back Day” on Sept. 27, when the public is encouraged to dispose of medications at safe locations to stem the growing problem of pill abuse and even water pollution. Read More...



August 11, 2014

In Keeping with State Order, SMWD Moves to Stage 2
Water Conservation Measures

While commending customers for dramatically cutting their water use during California’s historic drought, Santa Margarita Water District directors on Wednesday enacted irrigation limits and other reductions in outdoor water use. Read More...



May 5, 2014

Fitch Affirms Santa Margarita/Dana Point Authority, CA's ID GOs at 'AA+'; Outlook Stable

Fitch Ratings-San Francisco-05 May 2014: Fitch Ratings has assigned an 'AA+' rating to the following Santa Margarita/Dana Point Authority, CA (the authority) bonds:

--$65.5 million refunding revenue bonds, series 2014A (Santa Margarita Water District Improvement Districts Nos. 2, 2A, 3, 3A, 4, 4A and 4B general obligation [GO] refunding bonds).

Read More...



February 26, 2014

Santa Margarita Water District Presents
2014 Student Water Awareness Contests

Two of the most precious resources on earth – children and water – are the subjects of a collaborative water conservation and awareness effort taking place this spring. Santa Margarita Water District, in a joint effort with the Municipal Water District of Orange County (MWDOC), is calling on the creative minds and talents of local students within its service area to participate in the 2014 student water awareness contests based on the theme, “THIRST”. Read More...



February 10, 2014

SMWD Director Charles Gibson Appointed to the Federal Affairs Committee for the Association of California Water Agencies

SMWD Director Charles Gibson was recently appointed a member of the Federal Affairs Committee for the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA). Read More...



February 7, 2014

SMWD Board of Directors Adopts Resolution Implementing
Conservation Measures in Response to Drought Conditions

The Santa Margarita Water District (SWMD) Board of Directors this week adopted a resolution implementing conservation measures in response to Governor Brown’s recent drought declaration and his request for Californians to reduce their water usage by 20 percent. Read More...



January 22, 2014

A New Disposal for Old Drugs – Flushing Isn’t the Answer Anymore

The Santa Margarita Water District (SWMD) has implemented a “Safe Drop” medicine disposal program to help keep pharmaceutical chemicals out of our waterways and ocean. Read More...



January 14, 2014

SMWD Receives Certificate of Excellence for Transparency

Santa Margarita Water District (SMWD) was awarded the District Transparency Certificate of Excellence from the California Special District Association (CSDA) to recognize SMWD’s efforts to promote transparency in its operations and governance. Read More...



January 13, 2014

Water Reliability Projects Allow SMWD to Meet Customer Demands

Due to the District’s planning and investment in local water reliability projects, SMWD customers will not see any impact or water service interruptions during the 11-day annual maintenance shutdown of the Metropolitan Water District’s (MWD) Allen-McColloch Pipeline. The 26-mile regional pipeline, which serves communities from Yorba Linda to San Clemente, is part of MWD’s continuous effort to upgrade and maintain the region’s vast imported water delivery system. Read More...



January 02, 2014

SMWD Releases an Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration for
Proposed Plano Lift Station Force Main Relocation Project

The Santa Margarita Water District (SMWD) has released an Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration (IS/MND) for the proposed Plano Lift Station Force Main Relocation Project to evaluate any potential environmental impacts of the proposed project. Public comments should be received by 5:00 p.m. on January 18, 2014, and comments received relating to the IS/MND will be presented to the SMWD Board of Directors for final consideration prior to any adoption. Read More...



October 24, 2013

General Manager Dan Ferons Recognized as “Outstanding Civil Engineer in Government” by the American Society of Civil Engineers, Los Angeles

SMWD General Manager Dan Ferons, P.E., has been recognized as “Outstanding Civil Engineer in Government” for 2013 by the American Society of Civil Engineers, Los Angeles Chapter (ASCE LA) for his 27 years of work as a Professional Civil Engineer (P.E.) in the public sector. Mr. Ferons was presented the award during ASCE LA’s annual awards luncheon recently held in Irvine. Read More...



July 25, 2013

Check Your Irrigation Controller After A Power Outage

The Santa Margarita Water District (SMWD) reminds customers who experienced the SDG&E power outage last week in south Orange County to check their irrigation controller to ensure watering times are appropriate for this time of season. Read More...



July 17, 2013

San Juan Basin Authority Releases Draft Update of the
Groundwater Management and Facilities Plan for the San Juan Basin

The San Juan Basin Authority (SJBA) has released a draft update of its Groundwater Management and Facilities Plan for the San Juan Basin. Read More...



June 21, 2013

Justin McCusker Appointed to SMWD Board of Directors

Rancho Santa Margarita resident Justin McCusker was appointed by the SMWD Board today to fill the vacant seat on its Board of Directors. The seat was vacated by Roger Faubel, who served 12 years on the Board. McCusker’s term will expire in December 2014. Read More...



June 14, 2013

Santa Margarita Water District Awards Scholarships to Local High School Students

Established in 2005, the Jim Mizell Memorial Water and Environmental Scholarship Program provides five $1,000 scholarships to outstanding students who plan to major in science, finance, engineering or environmental studies and pursue a career within the water industry. Read More...



May 13, 2013

Santa Margarita Water District Seeking Candidates
to Fill Board Vacancy

The Santa Margarita Water District (SMWD) is seeking interested candidates to fill the Board of Directors seat left vacant by the recent departure of Roger Faubel. Read More...



May 6, 2013

Santa Margarita Water District Welcomes
the Community at its Water Awareness Day

Santa Margarita Water District (SMWD) welcomed nearly 1,000 people to its Water Awareness Day event held on Saturday, May 4, where adults and children were able to learn more about water use efficiency, water delivery and local supply reliability through a variety of crafts, presentations and tours. Read More...



April 24, 2013

Director Roger Faubel Announces his Departure
From the SMWD Board of Directors

Director Roger Faubel, who has served on the Santa Margarita Water District Board of Directors for nearly 12 years, announced his departure from the Board. Director Faubel made the announcement during the evening’s Board of Directors meeting, which will be his last meeting as a Director. He cited the need to focus on new professional opportunities. Read More...



April 14, 2013

Celebrate Water Awareness Day with SMWD

SMWD will celebrate Water Awareness Month on May 4 with its annual family-friendly Water Awareness Day event. Enjoy a day filled with fun and learning at the District’s office, near the corner of Antonio and Oso parkways. Read More...



February 25, 2013

General Manager Dan Ferons Recognized as
"Government Engineer of the Year" by the
American Society of Civil Engineers, Orange County

SMWD General Manager Dan Ferons, P.E., was recognized as “Government Engineer of the Year” for 2012 by the American Society of Civil Engineers Orange County Branch (ASCE OC) for his 27 years of work as a Professional Civil Engineer (P.E.) in the public sector. Mr. Ferons was presented the award during ASCE OC’s annual awards dinner recently held in Costa Mesa. Read More...



January 31, 2013

Jim Mizell Scholarship Program

Santa Margarita Water District (SMWD) Board Members Betty Olson, Charley Wilson and Chuck Gibson were sworn in during the Board’s recent meeting of the Engineering Committee. All three individuals were elected to serve a four year term through 2016. Read More...



December 10, 2012

SMWD Board Members Take Oath of Office;
Roger Faubel Selected to Serve as President of the Board

Santa Margarita Water District (SMWD) Board Members Betty Olson, Charley Wilson and Chuck Gibson were sworn in during the Board’s recent meeting of the Engineering Committee. All three individuals were elected to serve a four year term through 2016. Read More...



November 9, 2012

Director Bill Lawson Recognized for his Leadership on the Board

Retiring Director Bill Lawson is recognized for his five years of service on the SMWD Board of Directors during the Finance Committee Meeting held November 9. Read More...



July 31, 2012

SMWD Board Votes to Advance Cadiz Project

After more than two years of extensive study and environmental review, the Santa Margarita Water District (SMWD) Board of Directors voted at its special board meeting to advance the Cadiz Valley Water Conservation, Recovery and Storage Project (Cadiz Project) by certifying its Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act. SMWD served as lead agency for the project’s environmental review. Read More...



July 30, 2012

Video Conferencing Available in Joshua Tree for SMWD Special Board Meeting on July 31

The Santa Margarita Water District (SMWD) will provide video conferencing between Copper Mountain College in Joshua Tree and the Norman Murray Community and Senior Center in Mission Viejo during its special board meeting on Tuesday, July 31. The video conferencing site will be held in Copper Mountain College’s Bell Center Room. The special board meeting will begin at 6:00 p.m. Read More...



July 25, 2012

SMWD Board Continues Decision on Proposed Cadiz Project

The Santa Margarita Water District (SMWD) Board of Directors has continued its consideration and review of the proposed Cadiz Valley Water Conservation, Recovery and Storage Project (Cadiz Project), scheduling a follow-up special board meeting for July 31 at 6:00 p.m. at the Norman P. Murray Community and Senior Center. Read More...



July 21, 2012

SMWD Releases Proposed Water Purchase and Sales Agreement For Proposed Cadiz Project

The proposed Water Purchase and Sale Agreement (Purchase Agreement) outlining the basic financial terms for the Santa Margarita Water District (SMWD) to secure a reliable new supply of water from the proposed Cadiz Valley Water Conservation, Recovery and Storage Project (Cadiz Project) is available by clicking here and will be considered by the SMWD Board of Directors during its public hearing on the proposed project on July 25. Read More...



July 13, 2012

SMWD Releases Final Environmental Impact Report for Proposed Cadiz Project

The Santa Margarita Water District (SMWD) announced today that it has released a Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) for the proposed Cadiz Valley Water Conservation, Recovery and Storage Project (Cadiz Project) and scheduled a public hearing on July 25 in two locations to make it easier for residents of Orange and San Bernardino counties to provide their input on the report and the project. Read More...



June 25, 2012

Notice of Cancellation of June 27th Board of Directors Meeting

As our standard practice, Santa Margarita Water District cancelled its Board of Directors meeting scheduled for June 27, 2012, since there are no board action items on the agenda. Cancellation of the meeting was noticed on our website and at the district office on Friday, June 22. Read More...



June 20, 2012

SMWD Board of Directors Selects Chief Engineer Dan Ferons as New General Manager

To ensure continued strong leadership and innovation in providing customers with a safe and reliable water supply, the Santa Margarita Water District (SMWD) Board of Directors selected an experienced and capable new leader, Dan Ferons, SMWD’s Chief Engineer, to replace retiring General Manager John Schatz, Board President Bill Lawson announced today. Read More...



June 15, 2012

SMWD General Manager Issues Statement on Orange County Grand Jury Report on Transparency

John Schatz, Santa Margarita Water District (SMWD) general manager, issued the following statement today regarding the Orange County Grand Jury’s latest report on transparency: “The Orange County Grand Jury report issued today is factually inaccurate and mistakenly fails to acknowledge that SMWD has posted executive and employee compensation and benefits information and has made this information easily accessible to the public.” Read More...



Click here to view earlier press releases.


To contact a member of the Public Relations team, call Jim Leach at (949) 459-6601 or fill out the form to the right.

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