About Your Drinking Water

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The District's water is provided from local groundwater supplies and imported water from either the Colorado River or from Northern California. In our continuing efforts to supply a reliable source of water for the community, the District has resumed its groundwater pumping in the Santa Ana River Basin and is looking into other water supply projects as future additional sources of water.

The Laguna Beach County Water District operates 21 water storage reservoirs with a total storage capacity of 33.5 million, providing approximately ten days of water to the community in the event of an emergency. These reservoirs are located within five elevation zones to ensure reliable distribution to all customers. They are monitored by the District’s state-of-the-art telemetry system, allowing District personnel to manage water distribution throughout the system from the District’s headquarters.

District staff operates and maintains 36 pumps in 14 pumping stations, with a total approximate connected horse-power of 2,660. The system encompasses 135 miles of distribution pipelines. These pipelines range in diameter from 4 to 16 inches.

As lead agency in a joint powers relationship with the South Coast Water District, Irvine Ranch Water District, the city of Newport Beach, and the Santa Margarita Water District, the District also operates and maintains the Aufdenkamp and the Coast Supply transmission lines. These pipelines range in size from 24 to 42 inches in diameter and provide the District’s imported water supply.

Handy Water Equivalents
  • 1 Cubic Foot = 7.48 gallons of water = 62.4 lbs. of water
  • 100 Cubic Feet = 748 gallons of water 
  • 1 Acre Foot = 43,560 cubic feet = 325,900 gallons

Water Terms

  • Acre-Foot - This unit of measurement is used in the water industry to describe large quantities of water, such as the capacity of a reservoir. One acre-foot equals approximately 326,000 gallons, or enough water to cover one acre of land (about the size of a football field) one foot deep in water. One acre-foot of water is enough to meet the needs of an average family for two years.
  • Aqueduct - A constructed system of canals, channels and/or pipelines to move water from one location to another. Irvine Ranch Water District receives about 50 percent of its water through the Colorado River Aqueduct and the California Aqueduct.
  • Desalination - The process of removing salts and other minerals from seawater so that it can be used for drinking water.
  • Dilute- To lessen the amount of a substance in water by adding more water.
  • Filtration - The process of allowing water to pass through layers of a porous material such as sand, gravel or charcoal to trap solid particles. Filtration occurs in nature when rain water soaks into the ground and it passes through hundreds of feet of sand and gravel. This same natural process of filtration is duplicated in water and wastewater treatment plants, generally using sand and coal as the filter media.
  • Groundwater- Water located beneath the ground surface in soil pore spaces and in the fractures of geological formations. Groundwater is recharged from, and eventually flows to the surface naturally. 
  • Household Hazardous Waste - Any product found in the home or garage that can be hazardous to the environment if not disposed of correctly. Examples of household hazardous waste include cleaning solutions, pesticides, pool chemicals, motor oil, antifreeze, or used batteries.
  • Irrigation - Applying water to crops, lawns or other plants using pumps, pipes, hoses, sprinklers, etc.
  • Precipitation - Water from the atmosphere that falls to the ground as a liquid (rain) or a solid (snow, sleet, hail).
  • Reservoir - A place where water is stored until it is needed. A reservoir can be an open lake or an enclosed storage tank.
  • Surface Water- Water collecting on the ground or in a stream, river, lake, sea or ocean.
  • Water Conservation - Using water wisely and efficiently so that it is not wasted.
  • Water Cycle - The continuous process of surface water (puddles, lakes, oceans) evaporating from the sun's heat to become water vapor (gas) in the atmosphere. Water condenses into clouds and then falls back to earth as rain or snow (precipitation). Some precipitation soaks into the ground (percolation) to replenish groundwater supplies in underground aquifers.