Orange County Water District gets ‘Leading Utility of the World’ status

The Orange County Water District (OCWD) has received the status of Leading Utility of the World (LUOW), according to the Global Water Leaders Group, a non-profit organization aiming to create a better story for water worldwide. The inauguration took place at the American Water Summit on Nov. 13 in Houston, Texas. OCWD also received the iconic Golden Tap trophy to commemorate its membership in LUOW.

“We thank the Global Water Leaders Group for accepting us into its prestigious membership as one of the Leading Utilities of the World,” said OCWD President Vicente Sarmiento. “The Orange County Water District is dedicated to sharing ideas and inspiring others to their best performance in building sustainable and smart projects that deliver reliable and high-quality water. We look forward to collaborating with this distinguished group as we all work to advance the water industry in the 21st century.”

OCWD was one of six nominees who presented their outstanding innovations during the Summit. This included three innovation areas the District considered to be remarkable on a global scale: wastewater treatment and environmental impact, stakeholder engagement and water resources management. OCWD General Manager Mike Markus provided the District’s presentation.

Once the presentations were completed at the event, roundtables followed in order to continue the discussions with utility CEOs from all around the world.

Other nominees were Clean Water Services; Tucson Water; Philadelphia Water; Unitywater, Australia; and Great Lakes Water Authority. All six nominees received Leading Utility of the World status and membership and have joined an additional 44 gold standard utilities that have been inaugurated since the LUOW initiative launch in 2017.

According to Global Water Leaders Group, Leading Utilities of the World is a network of the world’s most forward-thinking water and wastewater utilities, as defined by the network’s 14 distinct innovation areas. Its members represent the gold standard of utility innovation and performance throughout the developed world’s water sector.

To learn more about the LUOW initiative visit

The Orange County Water District is committed to enhancing Orange County’s groundwater quality and reliability in an environmentally friendly and economical manner.  The following cities rely on the groundwater basin, managed by OCWD, to provide 77 percent of their water demands: Anaheim, Buena Park, Costa Mesa, Cypress, Fountain Valley, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Irvine, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Newport Beach, Orange, Placentia, Santa Ana, Seal Beach, Stanton, Tustin, Villa Park, Westminster and Yorba Linda.  For more information about OCWD, please visit, like @OCWaterDistrict on Facebook, follow @OCWDWaterNews on Twitter, and follow @OCWD on Instagram.

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