An inside view of the Lake Skinner Dam Outlet Tower Seismic Assessment, looking up from about 30 feet below the exit/entrance of the tower. Video crews were brought to film concrete coring.
Photo by Kevin Mapp
A weekly newsletter by and for Metropolitan employees
June 17, 2019
AWWA Awards its Highest Honor to Heather Collins
Metropolitan’s Water Treatment Section Manager Heather Collins was presented last week with the American Water Works Association’s most prestigious honor for her contributions to the water supply field.

The award, presented at AWWA’s annual conference in Denver, honors association members for “their sound engineering skill, brilliant diplomatic talent and the constructive leadership which characterized the life of George Warren Fuller,” a sanitary engineer known for his innovative contributions in water and wastewater treatment.

Heather is the international organization’s honoree for its California-Nevada section, composed of 12,000 of the association’s 51,000 members. She joined AWWA in 1990, while she was earning her civil engineering degree at Cal Poly Pomona and serving as a student intern at Metropolitan.
Since then, she’s served in many different capacities, including AWWA’s California-Nevada section chair, while helping to organize conferences, leading committees and participating in technical action working groups on regulatory and legislative initiatives.

And she does it all while managing two other important responsibilities: one is overseeing operation of Met’s five water treatment plants and a staff of 300 employees. The other is being the mom of two very busy teenagers.

“I spend a lot of my time outside of work hours volunteering for AWWA. This benefits both AWWA and Metropolitan because of our regulatory involvement, outreach and ability to network with utilities throughout the U.S.” says Heather .
Helping California Prepare for Climate Change
Despite California’s trailblazing efforts to cut carbon emissions and reduce the extent of climate change, it’s clear some effects are already unavoidable.

Metropolitan is helping our state prepare in many ways.  

The district’s board of directors voted unanimously last week to become a member of the California Resilience Challenge , a new statewide effort to build local resilience to the droughts, floods, wildfires and sea-level rise.
Metropolitan will contribute $200,000 to the initiative that will award grants for up to 10 climate change adaptation grants for community-level projects. As a board member, Met will help determine the grant recipients.

One of the most profound impacts of climate change will be on water supplies. The state is already seeing the effects. The past decade has been defined by record drought followed by record rainfall, extreme flooding and immense wildfires – indicators of a changing climate.

“The good news is, Metropolitan has been planning for this new reality for more than a decade, taking steps to ensure the region’s water supply remains reliable under these extreme and changing conditions,” GM Kightlinger said. “We are eager to identify adaptation strategies that can benefit the entire water sector.”

Other partners in the initiative, which is administered by the Bay Area Council, include:

  • Santa Clara Valley Water District
  • Climate Resolve
  • Environmental Defense Fund
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • Pacific Gas & Electric
Planning for Success and for the Future
Whether she’s at work, volunteering, traveling or building, Lilly Shraibati is an expert when it comes to planning and getting big projects done.
In her 26-year career at Metropolitan, Lilly has risen through the ranks from a junior engineer to a group manager, working 13 years in Engineering, nearly 10 years in Operations and three years in Real Property. 
After spending the early part of her career in the private sector, she came to Metropolitan and was excited to find out how much of a stake employees have in their work. “Here, staff can get deeply involved in all phases of their projects, which helps us better understand the value our work brings,” she says.  
Lilly is passionate about workforce development and mentoring. She is a founding member of Women in Science and Engineering at Cal State University, Northridge and is on the university’s advisory board for civil engineering.

She’s also a mentor for Woman at Metropolitan, and she and her husband help run the world-level competitions for robotics, an annual event that brings together 26,000 students from 60 countries.
Born in Ecuador, Lilly moved to the United States when she was seven. She is passionate about traveling. Her last trip was to Japan. This summer Lilly will return to Scotland, and she plans to take her mom to South America next year.
Lilly is working on plans to rebuild her home, after losing her house in the Woolsey fire last year. But she’ll have some help on that project since one of her two daughters is an accomplished architect who is currently working in London on projects across the globe.
New hires, transfers, promotions & retirements are posted here each month.    
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