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November 6, 2018 — California General Election
Special District

Orange County Water DistrictCandidate for Board Member, Division 7

Photo of Kelly E. Rowe

Kelly E. Rowe

Engineering Geologist/Hydrogeologist
35,878 votes (59.1%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Complete the coastal seawater intrusion barrier network of injection wells.
  • Drop interest in the presently very-expensive, unneeded Poseidon/HB ocean water desalination project.
  • Double the capacity of groundwater recharge facilities in Orange County.



Profession:Engineering Geologist & Hydrogeologist
Hydrogeology & Engineering Geology Consultant, Kelly E. Rowe & Associates (1996–current)
Hydrogeologist & Engineering Geologist, Several large engineering and environmental consulting firms in Southern California (1977–current)
Director - Division 7, Orange County Water District — Elected position (1998–2001)


San Diego State University Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Geological Sciences, hydrogeology, geochemistry & engineering geology (1978)

Community Activities

Member, American Water Resources Association (1980–current)
Founder-President, Southern California Section-American Water Resources Association (2001–current)
Member, Association of Engineering Geologists (1983–2000)


Kelly Rowe is a passionate water resouces technical professional.  

Kelly has 40 years of experience working as a lead professional technical consultant as a project/program manager, primarily through large engineering and environmental consulting firms in Southern California.  Clients include myriad private companies and local, state and federal agencies.  His expertise is primarily hydrogeology.  This includes the design, drilling, construction and testing of high-capacity municipal water production wells along with groundwater basin and watershed water resouces management studies and development plans.

Kelly is a California-licenses Professional Geologist, Certified Engineering Geologist and Hydrogeologist.  He is also a ASFPM-Certified Floodplain Manager.

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

As a passionate water resources technical professional, Kelly is interested in our goals to have the best short-term and long-term water resources management projects and programs.  Orange County should not invest in projects or programs, such as the Poseidon/Huntinton Beach ocean water desalination project, that will unnecesarily raise our water bills, when there are plenty of other sources of water that are available and cheaper for us to get.  The future uncertainty of droughts in Southern California is troubling.   We need to minimize our water use to comfortable levels.  No one want to live in a dry sterile environment.  We need to preserve water for recreational use and for native ecosystems to be preserved and enhanced.

Videos (1)

August 2017 presentation for WACO (Water Advisory Committed of Orange County)

Titled: Sespe Aquifer Development in South Orange County, CA - An overlooked large new groundwater reservoir in the northern San Juan Creek Basin Watershed

Presentation describes the geology and geological history of South Orange County relevant to the areal extent and thickness of the overlooked Sespe Aquifer.  Kelly Rowe's research identifies the Sespe Aquifer contains at least two million acre feet of fresh groundwater within an uplifted fault block beneath mainly the Ranco Santa Margarita area.  The Sespe Aquifer has the potential to become the centerpiece for water resources management in South Orange County.  Exploratory borings and pilot groundwater production wells need to be drilled and tested to confirm its potential based on geological mapping and testing of surface exposures of the Sespe Formation/Aquifer.

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