Jan. 19, 2023

San Fernando Director Adán Ortega, Jr. Installed as Metropolitan

Board Chair

Chair Adán Ortega, Jr. takes the oath of office from former Metropolitan Director Sylvia Ballin.

Adán Ortega, Jr. was sworn in as the 20th chair of Metropolitan's Board of Directors on Jan. 10, following his election in October. He is the first Latino chair to lead the board in the district's 95-year history. Ortega, the principal of Ortega Strategies group, a public and government relations firm based in Fullerton, previously served as Metropolitan’s vice president of external affairs from 1999 to 2005. He began representing the city of San Fernando on the board in March 2021, after previously representing the city of Fullerton from February 2019 to February 2021. 

Three new directors also took their seats on the board: Jacque McMillan, representing Calleguas Municipal Water District; Jeff Armstrong, from Eastern Municipal Water District; and Arturo Chacon of Central Basin Municipal Water District.

Read the press release

“Together with my colleagues and our communities, I’m ready to continue our work addressing how we will meet the needs of future generations in the face of climate change, while ensuring the safety, well-being and dignity of the workforce that helps make sure there is always water coming out of our taps.

Chair Adán Ortega, Jr.

Projects Advance to Deliver New Water Supplies to Communities Hit Hardest by Drought

Construction will begin soon on the first of several projects to bring additional water to Southern California communities hit hardest by the state’s record drought, following the Metropolitan Board's Jan. 10 vote to award a contract for the project’s construction.

The suite of projects will reengineer Metropolitan’s water delivery system to help bring much-needed water from Metropolitan’s Diamond Valley Lake – the largest reservoir in Southern California – to parts of eastern Los Angeles County and western San Bernardino County that have been under unprecedented mandatory conservation measures since last June because of limited access to water supplies.

"Everyone should benefit from Metropolitan’s diverse supplies and storage, but right now, about one-third of our region can only access one imported water source. This project is a part of our commitment to fixing that," said General Manager Adel Hagekhalil.

Read the press release.

Metropolitan Dedicates Lake Mathews Overlook, Multi-Species Reserve in Honor of Former Board Directors

Miles Krieger, Lois Krieger's grandson, unveils her plaque at Lake Mathews.

Annemarie Metter, Donald Galleano's daughter,

unveils his plaque.

Family, friends, local officials and community members gathered on Jan. 12 to dedicate the naming of the Lake Mathews Multi-Species Reserve in honor of Lois B. Krieger and the Lake Mathews Overlook in honor of Don Galleano. Both directors represented Western Municipal Water District during their service on Metropolitan’s board.

“Metropolitan is in a better position to serve Southern California today because of the leadership and commitment of Lois B. Krieger and Don Galleano,” said General Manager Hagekhalil.

Read the press release.

State Snow Survey Records Big Snow Totals to Start off the Year

The first snow survey of the season, conducted on Jan. 3 by the state Department of Water Resources, recorded a 177 percent of average snow depth at Phillips Station. Statewide the snowpack measured 174 percent of average on that date and recent storms have added to the snowpack.

“While we are certainly grateful for the water supply and ecosystem benefits these recent large storms are bringing to our state, we realize that it will take more than one wet month to end the multi-year drought that has brought unprecedented dry conditions to communities and farms across California," said Metropolitan Executive Officer and Assistant General Manager Deven Upadhyay.

The next snow survey is set for Feb. 1. Read Upadhyay's full statement.

"We must learn how to manage through these extremes. That requires investments in storage, conveyance, conservation and new local supplies. We have no other choice but to adapt so that we are more resilient to these conditions.”

Executive Officer and AGM

Deven Upadhyay

California Department of Water Resources staff measure the snow on Jan. 3. Photo courtesy of DWR.

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