By Breeana Greenberg
The two open seats on the South Coast Water District Board of Directors will not be on the ballot in November’s election after incumbent Bill Green and Dana Point Mayor Joe Muller both ran unopposed in their respective divisions.
The Orange County Board of Supervisors will appoint the candidates ahead of the election, SCWD Public Information Specialist Sheena Johnson explained. The two candidates are anticipated to be sworn in on Dec. 2.
Green has served as a director on the board for the past eight years, and he has also served on the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board and the Riverside County Flood Control and Conservation District.
“I have over 40 years of engineering experience providing services to support needed water supply development,” Green said in a recent email.
“Serving on the Board for the last eight years has provided me the insight in moving the district and our community to a greater reliance on local water supplies through conservation, recycling wastewater, storm water capture, groundwater recovery with our well in the San Juan Creek Basin and Ocean Desalination,” Green continued.
Addressing concerns of rising water costs, Green noted that he will continue his fiscally conservative approach to serving on the board.
“I believe we at SCWD are currently the best-qualified, both technically and customer service-oriented,” Green said. “Our staff is responsive to your needs in water and sewer services, ‘Ready to Serve.’ ”
Green will continue to represent Division 3 of South Coast’s governing board for another four-year term.
“I look forward to serving you for another four years and thank you for your confidence in providing you the top water and sewer agency,” Green said.
With Muller’s second term on Dana Point City Council ending, he looked to continue working for the public in a new role.
Muller has served on a variety of governing boards including the Orange County Fire Authority, the Transportation Corridor Agencies, Orange County Transportation Authority, Orange County Parks Commission, and the Orange County Division of the League of California Cities.
“I decided to continue my public service and run for the South Coast Water District because of the critical issue of water stability facing our community,” Muller said in an email. “I will use my experience working with multiple state agencies and other elected officials to deliver water security for Dana Point and our neighboring communities.”
Muller will represent SCWD’s Division 1.
The water district is set to present its Doheny Ocean Desalination project to the California Coastal Commission in October, followed by the State Lands Commission.
In early 2023, Green anticipates that the water district will publish a request for proposals for the design, building, operation and maintenance of the desalination project.
“It is anticipated (that) construction (will) be completed in 2026,” Green said in the email, adding that the board and district staff are working to find regional partners to collaborate on the project.
Muller said that the proposed Desalination Plant at Doheny is “critical for the stability of the region.”
“South Coast Water District has done a great job thinking through both the Desalination Plant design and the potential environmental impacts,” Muller said.
“We can no longer depend on Sacramento and the Colorado River to supply our drinking water,” Muller continued. “As the drought continues, with no relief in sight to capture rainwater, our water independence becomes even more critical.”
Breeana Greenberg is the city reporter for the Dana Point Times. She graduated from Chapman University with a bachelor of arts degree in English. Before joining Picket Fence Media, she worked as a freelance reporter with the Laguna Beach Independent. Breeana can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org