News Item

Rayfield Reelected Chair

Today, the San Juan Basin Authority reelected South Coast Water District Director Wayne Rayfield as Board Chairman. Mr. Rayfield is a long-standing ocean water quality advocate. He previously served on the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board and as mayor and councilman of the city of Dana Point. Wayne came to the region after retiring from the World Bank in Washington, D.C., and serving on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin. He holds a degree in Engineering Geophysics.

The San Juan Basin is a 26 square mile groundwater basin located in southern Orange County, within the San Juan Creek Watershed. The basin is comprised of four subbasins: Upper San Juan, Middle San Juan, Lower San Juan and Lower Trabuco.  The San Juan Basin underlies portions of Mission Viejo, San Juan Capistrano, Dana Point, and unincorporated areas of South Orange County and is only one-tenth the size of North Orange County’s extensive groundwater aquifer.

Since the San Juan Basin is categorized as a subterranean flowing stream, the State Water Resources Control Board issues water rights permits for diversion and extraction of water from the basin.  The San Juan Basin Authority (SJBA) conducts the monitoring activities that are needed to comply with its permits and also actively pursues the development of projects within the basin. 

The South Coast Water District uses a brackish groundwater desalination facility to remove up to 1300 AF (which produces 1040 AF) or roughly 15% off SCWD’s drinking water each year. During the last drought, SCWD was unable to run the facility from September 2014 to February 2017.

The San Juan Basin Authority is governed by the City of San Juan Capistrano, Moulton Niguel Water District, Santa Margarita Water District and the South Coast Water District.

If you would like to learn more about South Orange County’s subterranean stream visit