A view of the motor room at Julian Hinds Pumping Plant
A weekly newsletter by and for Metropolitan employees
November 11, 2019
"Metropolitan is deeply committed to hiring, supporting and providing economic opportunities for veterans. As we celebrate Veterans Day, please join me in thanking those here at Metropolitan who have served our country, as well as our many employees and families who support these brave men and women in service. We are honored to have you working beside us."
- General Manager Jeff Kightlinger
Learn more about Metropolitan's outreach for veteran- and
disabled veteran-owned businesses in this new video .
Federal Water and Wildlife Official Visits Metropolitan
Paul Souza, the western regional director for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, was a featured guest at the Water Planning and Stewardship committee last week.

He thanked Metropolitan and its board “for all you do to provide leadership in water and conservation, trying to get good solutions and balance the very challenging issues.”

Last month, Souza's agency issued a new water management plan for the State Water Project and the Central Valley Project called a ‘biological opinion.’ This is a science-driven determination whether certain actions or operations will jeopardize the existence of fish or wildlife.

“Water is critical for the health of the environment. We worked very hard to come up with a plan that is protective of our environment but finds flexibility for our water supplies when possible - and when they are not in conflict with fisheries protection,” Souza told the committee.

The new plan will provide more cold water (many fish species need colder water to survive), create Delta smelt hatcheries to increase the species’ population, and use real-time advanced monitoring for fisheries and water operations in the Delta.

Souza explained that scientists have learned a lot about Delta fisheries since the last biological opinion was issued. He also said Metropolitan's science investments have provided great benefits, including helping agencies better understand how Delta smelt use turbidity (cloudy water) to avoid predators. 
Hosting an International Seismic Event
Every two years, the Water Research Foundation hosts an earthquake preparedness conference with agencies from around the world. This year, for the first time, Metropolitan co-hosted the conference with LADWP.

John Shamma , Engineering Services unit manager, organized the recent event and Chief Engineer John Bednarski opened the conference by talking about Metropolitan’s comprehensive Seismic Reliability Strategy.

“It’s a highly technical conference,” said Shamma , “and an opportunity for the world’s leading engineers and planners to share the latest information on how to keep water systems resilient.”

Team Manager Winston Chai , was the featured keynote speaker and presented information about the seismic rehabilitation of the Upper Feeder Santa Ana River Crossing. Research papers from three other Metropolitan staff, Andrew Brainard , Mohsen Beikae and Tao Peng , also helped shape the discussions.

Research and development in Japan and Taiwan has resulted in more resilient materials for water agencies.

“Metropolitan continues to adjust and expand its approach to seismic resilience,” Bednarski told the 150 attendees.

This includes seismic upgrades and emergency storage in the event the region’s imported water supplies - all of which cross the San Andreas Fault- are damaged. 
This Engineer Thinks Big When it Comes to Projects
After graduating from college, Mehdi Jalali had his sights set on being an entrepreneur and developing big projects in the private sector. He was offered a lucrative position to work on high rise buildings. But his wife had another idea. Shortly after they were married in 1989, she convinced Mehdi to instead look for a government job.

“I applied at Caltrans and a few city jobs. Then I saw a full- page ad in the LA Times that Metropolitan was hiring seven junior engineers to work on treatment plant capital improvement projects,” he recalls. Seeing the opportunity to use his skills and still build big projects, Mehdi applied. The job paid $16 an hour. “It was less than the private sector, but a few years later when the real estate market took a big hit and a lot of developers went bankrupt, I was glad to have the Metropolitan job.”

Mehdi started in La Verne as a junior engineer and worked in Engineering for 23 years. For the past seven years, he has been a team and unit manager of Construction Services at Lake Mathews. He and his staff handle a variety of construction activities including emergency repairs, service connections to member agencies and projects requiring "fast track" or specialized expertise. Over his years at Metropolitan, Mehdi has managed or worked on over $700 million worth of projects.

Mehdi loves running, reading, gardening and traveling. He enjoys the rich history and culture of other countries. “Traveling has provided a proper perspective for my family in appreciating and respecting other's cultures and history,” he says.  
New hires, transfers, promotions & retirements are posted here each month.
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