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November 6, 2018 — California General Election
Special District

Orange County Water DistrictCandidate for Board Member, Division 7

Photo of Shawn Dewane

Shawn Dewane

Director, Orange County Water District, Division 7
24,871 votes (40.9%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Local Control and 100% locally sourced groundwater. Groundwater costs 1/3 less than import water, saving ratepayer millions.
  • AAA credit rating saves ratepayers money. Conservative financial policies and strong controls provide allow the District to finance infrastructure projects at extraordinarily low rates.
  • Development of new ground water supplies. The answer to the drought is to increase the supply of water. Pure, plentiful and affordable water are fundamental to our quality of life and key to the eon comic development of our community.



Profession:Investment Management Consultant
Investment Management Consultant / Registered Principal, Dewane Investment Strategies (1999–current)
Director, Division 5, Mesa Water District — Appointed position (2005–current)
Director, Division 7, Orange County Water District — Elected position (2010–current)
Trustee, Orange County Employee Retirement System — Appointed position (2017–current)


Arizona State University, Pepperdine University Bachelor of Science & Masters of Business Administration, Finance & Economics (1989)


Shawn Dewane was first elected to the Orange County Water District (OCWD) Board of Directors in 2010 and re-elected in 2014, representing Division 7, which includes Costa Mesa, and parts of Fountain Valley, Irvine, Newport Beach and Tustin. 


His fellow Directors elected him to serve as Board President in 2013 and 2014. He served as First Vice President in 2012.  Past President Dewane recognizes that clean, affordable water is fundamental to our civil liberties and key to our community's economic development. He is working to increase the local and regional water supply and reliability, preserve local and regional water rights, and promote fiscal responsibility and transparency in government. 


Shawn serves as a standing member on all regular committees of the district. He acts as the District liaison for the Board of Directors to the Federal Government, Army Corps of Engineers, County of Orange.  Shawn is also Chairman of CalDesal, an advocate for clean, safe, reliable drinking water for California through environmentally responsible water desalination and salinity management. He is the past Chairman of the Water Advisory Committee of Orange County; the water policy coordination body of Orange County. He is a member of the Association of California Water Agencies and, having attended numerous annual conferences, he is familiar with the State, Regional and Local issues facing water agencies.  He is endorsed by the Orange County Tax Payers Association for his advocacy on behalf of the ratepayer.



Professionally, Shawn owns Dewane Investment Strategies ( -- an independent branch office of Raymond James Financial Services in Newport Beach -- which provides sophisticated investment planning, estate planning, and tax planning advice to individuals and institutions. The Registered Representative published the article, "Profitable Knowledge," profiling Dewane's professional work in its October 1998 issue. President Dewane earned a Master of Business Administration from Pepperdine University, and a Bachelor of Science degree in business management from Arizona State University. He is also honored to serve as an adjunct professor at Pepperdine University. Recognized for his achievements and service, President Dewane received the Paul Harris Fellowship from Rotary International, and a scholarship from the Los Angeles Society of Financial Analysts. He resides in Costa Mesa with his wife Tracey, daughters Shannon and Cristina, and son Ryan.

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

Pure, plentiful, affordable and reliable water are fundamental to our quality of life and key to the economic development of our community. Water is used in the manufacture of and incorporated into nearly ever product and service we consume every day. By making water abundantly available we make it and the goods that made with water more affordable for everyone. These are non partisan issues.

Position Papers

Clean, Affordable Water is fundamental to our quality of life and key to the economic development of our community.


Science, technology and engineering are the answer to solving our water supply issues.

Clean, affordable and abundant water is fundamental to our quality of life and key to the economic development of our community.


Increasing Water Supply and Storage is the Answer to the Drought Clean, affordable water is fundamental to the economic liberty of our citizens and key the development of our community. For the past 10 years, I have worked to implement policies that have lead to a water supply system that is drought proof and 100% independent from expensive and unreliable imported water. These initiatives include:

Increasing the Basin Pumping Percentage - The amount of water that is available to retail customers from the groundwater basin. Imported water costs about $1,200 per acre foot whereas ground water costs about $275 per acre foot. This saving directly impacts consumer pocketbooks by reducing water supply costs. My advocacy led to an increase in the basin pumping percentage to 72% from 62% saving the ratepayers of Orange County millions of dollars.



Ocean Desalination -Seawater desalination has been discussed as a potential large scale water source since the days of Aristotle. This technology has proven itself effective over the past 20 years in applications like naval and cruise ships and in areas of the world where fresh water is scarce like Australia, Algeria, Israel and other countries. I have been a vocal advocate of Ocean Desalination. The Huntington Beach Desalination plant will supply 8% of Orange County's water needs when completed. I wrote an op/ed article that was published in the Orange County Register about ocean desalination that you can read here -

Affordable Rates and Conservation


Water Economics 101



Keeping water rates low and conserving water is a tricky business proposition. Teddy Roosevelt coined the phrase "conservation" when describing the use of our natural resources. He meant to "use it wisely".


Water Districts have high fixed operating costs. They consist of labor, energy and replacing the aging pipes and water supply infrastructure. Most people are surprised to learn that the water district does not save money when people use less water. People are also surprised to learn that their water rates increase the more they conserve. This happens because the fixed costs remain about the same no matter how much water is delivered. It is more efficient to have a stable and reliable water supply that consumers use in the production and service of our economy and their activities of daily living. Water conservation or the wise use of water is important as we are all stewards of the resource.


Another way to keep rates low is to increase the supply of water and finance the district operation at the lowest possible cost. Building large public infrastructure project is expensive; most are financed over long periods through the issuance of bonds. The interest expense on those bonds is a significant obligation of the Orange County Water District. I am proud of the role that I have had in creating and preserving our AAA credit rating. A high credit rating is like a good credit score; it keeps the interest rate low and save ratepayers money.

Local Water Reliability and Science and Technology


Science, Technology & Engineering

Local Water Reliability and Science and Technology


Water is a commodity product similar to corn, oil or gold in that it is uniform in nature, is readily available and in it's raw form is cannot be distinguished by who produced it. The problem of managing a water utility for the beneficial use of the public is how to get the water to where it is needed, at the time the consumer demands it and a price everyone can afford. In most instances fresh water is located far from where the majority of people live. In Southern California we rely on water from faraway places like the Sacramento River Delta and the Colorado River. Transporting the water requires massive infrastructure, like canals, levies, dikes, pumps, valves and surface reservoirs to store it and it takes a tremendous amount of energy to move it.


Local reliability allows for the development of local projects that use science and technology to treat the water to drinking standards and then serve it to the retail customer for their beneficial use. Projects like the Groundwater Replenishment System, built and managed by the Orange County Water District use reverse osmosis to treat wastewater to distilled quality. It is then returned to the earth where retail agencies, like Mesa Water District pump it back out and serve it to you. I recently voted to expand this world renown, largest of its type in the world project to further implement water recycling and local water supply reliability. You can learn more about the GWRS by going here:



Another type local project is Seawater Desalination. Desal uses the same process, reverse osmosis, to remove the salt and make it ready to drink. Recently, The San Diego County Water made a decision to purchase, at a price fixed for 30 years, 50 million gallons per day of desalinated water from the Poseidon Resources plant in Carlsbad, CA. They are developing their own local resource that will help to stabilize their supply of water and the price the consumers pay.

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