Another Successful Solar Cup Weekend Floats By, photograph by Sue Sims
A weekly newsletter by and for Metropolitan employees
May 21, 2018
Gearing Up to Build California WaterFix 
One of the unique aspects of California WaterFix is how it will be built. The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) owns, operates and has constructed most of the State Water Project facilities.

But building California WaterFix will be done differently. 

A new Joint Powers Authority - known as the Delta Conveyance Design and Construction Joint Powers Authority (DCA) - has been formed by Metropolitan and other public water agencies who are inve sting in the project to modernize the state’s water delivery system. It will be responsible for the final planning, design, construction and financial accounting.

The DCA Board of Directors held its first meeting in Sacramento last Thursday. Two Met representatives are on the board - Director Atwater, who will serve as vice-chair, and Director Blois.

Asked about constructing California WaterFix at a recent state legislative hearing, GM Kightlinger shared Met’s strong track record of building large infrastructure projects.

“In 1999, Metropolitan completed a $2.1 billion reservoir (Diamond Valley Lake), the largest reservoir built in California since 1960. We did it on time and on budget," Kightlinger told the legislators . "We then connected it with a $1.2 billion tunnel project…and we delivered that on budget. We have also done a $1.5 billion retrofit of the water treatment plants in Southern California, moving to ozone treatment, on budget."

“We know how to manage large-scale projects," GM Kightlinger said. "We are bringing in the expertise of agencies like ours that build big projects to marry with DWR’s authority (for California WaterFix) and deliver on time and on budget."
Solar Cup Success Thanks to MWD Staff, Volunteers
It was ‘all hands on deck’ this past weekend at Lake Skinner for the 16 th annual Solar Cup. That’s because an event this big couldn’t happen without lots of hands and helpers. 

More than 110 Met staff and volunteers spent their weekend making the nation’s largest solar-powered boat competition run smoothly.

Some, like External Affairs' Julie Miller Kalbacher , Brian Martz , Bob Muir and Benita Horn have been there since the beginning. Others like Albert Cortes , April Fiedler-Hall and Lupe Nava are first-time volunteers. Dave Foust (retiring within weeks) does a great job setting up a ‘mini-city’ at Lake Skinner for 700-plus camping students, teachers and parents. Dave Murphy helps on the docks. Many others handle scoring, technical advising, food and student services, camping arrangements, health and safety, and coordinating media interest. Most helpers are Metropolitan employees, including apprentices and interns. Many bring spouses, children and friends.

Some are from our member agencies - like Malea who works at Eastern MWD and her husband Don who have volunteered 14 of the 16 competition years. Then there’s Sam, who learned about Solar Cup on a CRA inspection trip and volunteers every year “because he just loves the program.”

One of the best stories is about Glenn, a Downey High School teacher who proposed to his now-wife at the Solar Cup awards ceremony nine years ago. She said yes and they return each year with their two young kids. “We’re a Solar Cup family,” he says.

Thanks to all who made Solar Cup 2018 a great success.  
Running Met's DC Office Like Clockwork
His interest in politics was sparked when he was a student, and partly from the media coverage of the Watergate scandal. That interest grew when his father’s colleague, Bill Dannemeyer, ran for Congress in 1978 and needed a smart person to help on the campaign.

Over the years, Metropolitan’s federal legislative advocate Brad Hiltscher, has developed a wealth of public policy knowledge, political insight and hands-on experience that he puts to use every day in Washington DC.

After putting himself through college playing classical and Flamenco-style guitar, Brad worked for Congressman Dannemeyer in his Washington DC and Orange County offices. He did community relations work with local officials, and wrote policy papers and floor statements that were read in the Capitol as legislators prepared to vote.

From there, Brad came to work for Metropolitan in Southern California, doing the government relations work he does so well. After 10 years, Brad returned to Washington DC and has been working in Metropolitan’s office there ever since.

On any given day, he might meet with members of Congress, negotiate with administration officials, or strategize with other water agencies and their lobbyists. “For Metropolitan and many other public water agencies, the big issue this year is financing for water infrastructure,” says Brad , “There are important water projects all over the country, and most agree that the time for action is now."

Speaking of time, one of Brad’s hobbies is collecting antique clocks, including his oldest, a grandfather clock that was built in 1790.   
Moments in Metropolitan Diversity

On May 23, the Asian American Employees Organization (AAEO) will celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. The event will feature delicious Korean cuisine and a presentation about meditation for spiritual and physical wellness. A limited number of tickets are still available by contacting Suresh (MetNet 77966) .

Metropolitan's AAEO was founded in 1976 and is one of our largest employee resource groups with nearly 200 members. To read more and/or join AAEO click here .
New hires, transfers, promotions & retirements are posted here each month .   

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