Surveying during the Iron Mountain Tunnel shutdown
A weekly newsletter by and for Metropolitan employees
February 11, 2019
Colorado River and the Drought Contingency Plan
Despite a lot of snow and rain this winter, the Colorado River Basin has been in historically dry conditions since 2000. The situation is so severe the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation predicts Lake Mead reservoir's elevation may drop to a level that will trigger a shortage declaration. If that happens, some water users in Arizona and Nevada will begin to see cuts in water deliveries from the river.

In an average year, about 25% of Southern California’s water comes from the Colorado River. Although Metropolitan would not have a delivery cut next year, a shortage declaration could limit access to nearly 600,000 acre-feet of water that Metropolitan has stored in Lake Mead. To avoid that risk, Met would want to move the water from the lake into our region so agencies have better access to it.

That would require the CRA to operate at full capacity this year, and could delay plans for a major shutdown starting later this year to replace the power cables and make other related repairs at the five CRA pumping plants.

Met ropolitan is collaborating with other states and agencies on a solution. In December, the board authorized the General Manager to enter into agreements that would implement a deal known as the Lower Basin Drought Contingency Plan (DCP). Under the plan, water users would conserve and store w ater so Lake Mead would not drop to critically low levels.

Reclamation has set a March 4 deadline for states and agencies to approve the DCP. If the deadline is missed, Reclamation will proceed with a separate plan to protect Lake Mead.  
HQ Improvements Project is Under Way
If you’ve been at Met’s HQ building recently, you know the seismic retrofit work is starting. And as anyone who has gone through a home improvement project knows, construction comes with its share of inconveniences. As the project goes into full swing, staff and visitors should be prepared for the following:

  • Building closure from 6pm to 6am on regular work days, and closed 24 hours on off-Fridays, weekends and holidays

  • Garage parking is limited to business purposes and only on regular work days

  • Reduced availability of 2nd floor training and committee rooms

  • Temporary relocation of some staff to the wing

  • Courtyard closure with building access through the West Entry

  • Limited food service –the cafeteria will provide food selections in the gallery area and additional refrigerators will be placed on each floor to accommodate more employees bringing their lunches.

Perhaps a bit surprising is the one question that's been most asked of Steve Hines, who helps answer employee inquiries about the project: "Is there somewhere to get ice now that the cafeteria is closed?" Unfortunately, the ice man doesn't cometh. “The project team looked for options," says Steve ," but there is no feasible location for an ice machine given the need for water supply, power and drainage.”

Work is expected to last about three years. Visit the HQ Improvements Web page on the IntraMet for updates.
A Personal Invocation for Black History Month
Three years ago, she didn’t feel quite ready when she was asked. But on Tuesday, Engineering Services Group's Waheeda Ali will give the invocation before Metropolitan’s Board of Directors meeting as part of the celebration of Black History Month. Her courage, in part, is inspired by Chairwoman Gloria Gray. “I couldn’t pass up the chance to speak in front of her,” Waheeda said, adding, “She’s someone I can relate to.”

Drawing from personal experiences, Waheeda  wrote her invocation by first drafting ideas of what is important to her. Being a full-time mom to four children and speaking before our second female and first African-American Chairwoman made for a relatable and powerful theme. Her six-year-old daughter has heard a preview, as have some of Waheeda's  colleagues. “I feel very supported internally. I was so surprised by how many folks have come up to me and said they look forward to watching the speech,” she said. 

Waheeda is an associate engineer for the pipeline design team – one of two women on the team. She came to Metropolitan 10 years ago, her first job after college. She has worked on many design projects - from emergency repairs on the Sepulveda Feeder to the Pre-stressed Concrete Cylinder Rehab Program and other projects to support our infrastructure. 

Waheeda is involved in the Black Employee’s Association and the Society of Women Engineers. 

Click here for a calendar of BEA’s Black History Month activities.
New hires, transfers, promotions & retirements are posted here each month.   
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