California Native Toyon Berry on display. Photo courtesy of Theodore Payne Foundation.
A weekly newsletter by and for Metropolitan employees
February 4, 2019
Win Lakers Tickets!  As part of our partnership with several local sports teams through our "365 Save Water Every Day" conservation campaign, we have one pair of Lakers game tickets for a lucky Metropolitan employee. The tickets are for the March 6, 2019 game against the Denver Nuggets.

To enter, fill out this short survey by noon on Friday, February 15. The winner will be notified and announced in the February 19 issue of WaterTalk.
MWD is Investing Big In Our Future Reliability
Fifteen projects in Southern California will help unleash a new wave of water technology innovation and new local supplies, thanks to Metropolitan’s Future Supply Actions funding program.

An investment of $3.5 million was approved for studies and pilot projects aimed at ensuring Southern California’s water future.

One of the projects will test artificial intelligence technology in the control systems of a water treatment plant. Another seeks to advance seawater desalination technology. Others will work to create a smart watershed network, better utilize groundwater at golf courses, operate a demonstration treatment plant to support the LA River restoration, and various other projects to improve the use of storm water and recycled water to increase local water supplies. Here is a link to all the projects.

When combined with matching funds from the 11 member agencies who will lead these projects, and other resources, an additional $8 million will be infused into the projects.

In August 2018, Metropolitan invited its member agencies to submit proposals. Then, a panel of Metropolitan staff and independent experts evaluated the proposals based on how they could help increase local water supplies and provide regional benefits,

The projects are “helping us all make more informed decisions about the potential for new water resource programs,” says  GM Kightlinger .
Annual Achievements Shared with Legislature
Call it a water yin and yang. 

Last year, Metropolitan was able to meet regional water demands on the heels of a sustained drought while hardly touching its storage reserves. This and other accomplishments in recycling, conservation and groundwater recovery, are highlighted in an annual report to the California legislature. 

Link to the full and " mini " report.

The report, nicknamed “SB60” as a tie to its legislative origin, is a reference document for progress in regional water-saving programs. It is prepared by Water Resources Management and External Affairs.

It shows that last year, Southland consumers responded to calls for conservation and lowered regional water use by about one million acre-feet or about 337 billion gallons. A suite of conservation efforts funded by Metropolitan and its member agencies was complemented by recycling projects and groundwater recovery.

The report also spotlights the Regional Recycled Water Program that will see a demonstration plant move into operation this March.

Reading through the report, a common thread of innovation is evident. From Metropolitan’s Innovative Conservation Program – which offers grants to evaluate new water-saving technologies and strategies – to the World Water Forum which inspires university students to develop water resource solutions – the tide of innovation is evident in many of the achievements listed.  
Residing on Copper Basin Reservoir
For the last nine years, Russ Ingram has called Metropolitan’s Copper Basin Reservoir home.

“It’s not for everyone – a lot of people would get scared because of the remoteness and all of the animals – but I like it,” the Maintenance and Operations Tech said.

Russ is the sole resident of the reservoir, located five miles from Gene Camp in Parker, AZ. He maintains the reservoir and surrounding roads, patrols the area and is the point-of-contact for agencies such as the Division of Safety of Dams, Department of Fish and Wildlife and the U.S. Geological Survey. He also drives the pontoon boat for Metropolitan’s Colorado River Aqueduct inspection trips – making him the face of Copper Basin for many visitors.

“I like the variety of the work,” said Russ . “It’s a demanding job, but you get to see the return on what you’re doing.”

Hired in 1989, Russ was at Iron Mountain before coming to Gene Camp in 2010, and soon after moved to Copper Basin. In his career, he has learned many trades including HVAC, equipment operations, aqueduct and camp maintenance, construction and tele- and fiber-optics communications. He credits his versatility to his childhood growing up on farms in Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee. “That’s what you did on the farm – if you needed to fix something, you had to figure it out.”

Three decades later, he is still figuring it out for Metropolitan.
“I don’t know where the time has gone. It feels like I just started yesterday,” he said. 
New hires, transfers, promotions & retirements are posted here each month.   
Suggestion Box
Do you like this newsletter? Do you have any ideas for an employee profile? A great photo?
Email your thoughts and ideas to Jannine Rojo.
Stay Connected