Metropolitan employee Steve Hines has his very own Super Bloom (after removing his lawn in 2015).
A weekly newsletter by and for Metropolitan employees
April 22, 2019
Storms Brought Water Damage on a Big Scale
For most of us, this years’ rains brought good news. But a storm back in October 2018 caused extensive erosion over the cut-and-cover conduits at 36 sites along a nine-mile stretch of the Colorado River Aqueduct (CRA), west of the Hinds Pumping Plant. The exposed lengths of the CRA varied from 15-150 feet and up to 11 feet deep. The storms also damaged roads, earthen berms and drainage channels.

WSO staff typically repairs erosion damage on an as-needed basis with O&M funds. And during the past four months, Met workers have done a great job to re-establish patrol roads and restore ground cover over the cut-and-cover conduit. This work has temporarily restored the integrity of the CRA.

But grading work done earlier this year showed the urgent need to re-establish the original berms and drains that historically channeled storm flows safely across the CRA conduit.

Because these repairs will result in a deposit of fill material into what are known as 'waters of the United States,' it requires a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Contractor assistance is needed to do the work since a large number of Met staff have been fully occupied on the 2019 CRA shutdown, repairing other erosion damage and working on other projects.

Board action earlier this month awarded a $3.7 million contract for the repairs, along with funds for inspections and construction management, environmental compliance, aerial mapping, and contract administration.

A second project to rehabilitate the Whitewater Erosion Protection structure on the CRA will be featured in next week’s WaterTalk. 
CRA Conservation Area Honors Dennis Underwood

Looking across the newly created Dennis Underwood Conservation Area, you’d be forgiven for mistaking the site for any other farm along the Colorado River in the Palo Verde Valley near the city of Blythe. But in a few years, the 635-acre property will be a forest of cottonwood, willow and honey mesquite trees. 
It will stand as a fitting tribute to a man who dedicated much of his life to finding solutions to ensure the Colorado River continues to serve as a reliable source for cities, farms and ecosystems. 
The site was officially dedicated by Metropolitan and the Bureau of Reclamation last Tuesday, marking the beginning of the land’s transformation from farm to forest. It is the latest addition to Lower Colorado River Multi-Species Conservation Program, a federal/state partnership to protect threatened and endangered species that once thrived in the river’s floodplains.
As Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman, General Manager Jeff Kightlinger and Chairwoman Gloria Gray spoke about the program, workers planted seedlings in the distance. The family of Dennis Underwood – who served as Reclamation Commissioner from 1989 to 1993 and at Metropolitan from 1999 until his passing in 2005 – watched his legacy grow.
“To my children today, may you now be old enough to have a memory connecting you to your grandfather,” Underwood’s daughter Michele DeJournett said at the dedication. “I hope you reflect back on this day to remember the importance of finding your purpose in life and striving to live it service others."
A True Met Legacy: Self-Proclaimed "District Kid"

“No city life for me,” says Tony French , a pump plant specialist at Gene Camp. “I like the quiet life. With the desert you know what’s coming with each season. It may be hotter than heck, but for me, this is the good life.”

Tony , who was raised at Gene Camp, grew up as a 'district kid.' He is a proud participant in the first apprenticeship program graduating class in 2009. During those five years, he had the opportunity to work side-by-side with his father, Don French, a hydroelectric specialist, during facility shutdowns.

“As a pump plant specialist at Intake, I get to give tours and show off my plant. It’s where the 242-mile journey all begins,” states the 14-year veteran, who moved to Lake Havasu City three years ago with his family.

The chance to go boating on the Colorado River and enjoy off-road activities during the winter is what Tony loves best about desert life. His mantle holds trophies from many motorcycle competitions.

Tony’s first daughter was born in 2009 right before Christmas. He, along with a few other new parents, had a light parade around camp with their off-road toys. The unofficial parade recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary and “keeps getting bigger and better each year. It’s a lot of fun when so many in people in camp get involved.”

Any close calls with desert wildlife? Tony describes one morning he was collecting water samples at Copper Basin. When he looked down, his boots were just a few inches from a rattlesnake. Fortunately, it was early spring and - with cool nights - the reptile was still a bit dormant. Tony slowly backed away without the rattler going off. Whew!
New hires, transfers, promotions & retirements are posted here each month.
Next List: May 6    
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