Pioneers in Groundwater Award presented to Orange County Water District General Manager

By on June 11, 2017

The Environment & Water Resources Institute (EWRI) recently honored Mike Markus, general manager of the Orange County Water District (OCWD) with the Pioneers in Groundwater Award. Only one such award is given each year by EWRI. The award seeks to recognize and honor an individual with pioneering contributions in the teaching, research and/or practice of groundwater science and engineering.

Markus was presented the Pioneers awards at the Groundwater Council Luncheon and Awards following his plenary lecture on OCWD’s award-winning model for water resource management. EWRI serves as part of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) that is responsible for the integration of technical expertise and public policy in the planning, design, construction, and operation of environmentally sound and sustainable infrastructure impacting air, land and water resources.

With more than 25 years at OCWD, Markus in is well known for his expertise in the field. He is an advocate for water reuse and has authored several technical publications. His advocacy for water reuse has included presentations to legislators thereby helping to influence standards for both water reuse and groundwater management.

“With more than 38 years of experience and expertise in large project implementation and water resource management, we are fortunate to have Mike at the helm who’s helped position OCWD as a leader in water reuse and groundwater management,” said OCWD President Denis Bilodeau. “During his 28-year career at the District, Mike has been responsible for managing the implementation of the $480 million Groundwater Replenishment System (GWRS) and oversight of the $142 million GWRS Initial Expansion. The GWRS is the world’s largest water reuse project of its kind and is a global model for water reliability. It has been instrumental in paving the way for widespread acceptance of water reuse,” he added.

Markus earned Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona and a Master of Science degree in civil engineering from the University of Southern California. He is also a registered civil engineer in the state of California and a member of ASCE. He currently serves board of directors of the American Academy of Water Resource Engineers, the California Section of the WateReuse Association and the Water Environment and Reuse Foundation.

“This award is a testament to the innovative work of the entire OCWD staff and board,” said Markus. “Decades of sound planning and investment have put us at the forefront of groundwater management and water reuse. We are committed to high standards for water reliability and I look forward to continuing to lead OCWD on the path to creating a sustainable water supply for generations to come,” he added.