A Sea of Succulents. Photo by Jannine Rojo.
A weekly newsletter by and for Metropolitan employees
May 13, 2019
Storing Water Today for a Dry Tomorrow
With California out of drought thanks to lots of rain and snow this year, Metropolitan is pioneering ways to store more of that water for future dry years. 

Two new Board actions will help make that happen. The first is an agreement with the Antelope Valley-East Kern Water Agency to create a new groundwater banking program along the State Water Project. The project would construct recharge basins and store up to 280,000 acre-feet of water.

“Instead of getting this water through an exchange, we will be able to pump it directly back into the East Branch of the California Aqueduct,” said James Bodnar , team manager of supply acquisition in the Water Resource Management group. “Because of that, this project provides us a lot of reliability, even in years when we have low State Water Project allocations.” 

A second action modifies the existing cyclic storage program and will allow more water to be captured here in Southern California. Under the program, Met will pre-deliver water and provide a credit to offset costs for member agencies that put these supplies into their groundwater basins and surface reservoirs. For example, Met could issue credits to a member agency that accepts its treated water, instead of pumping its own groundwater. Agencies have up to five years to pay for this water. 

The district’s storage programs, primarily in the Central Valley, have provided more than 1 million acre-feet in the last 25 years. Learn more .
Metropolitan Employees Score a Slam Dunk
After taking a couple of years off, Metropolitan’s basketball tournament has come back in full force. This year’s event was May 3 in Garden Grove and had 30 participants ranging from veteran employees to newbies, and even included Director Michael Hogan from the San Diego County Water Authority.

Human Resources’ Brandon Ward helped organize the tournament with support from Diane Pitman . “We are always looking for ways to increase employee engagement. I love basketball and have played all my life, so I was excited to get the program going again,” Brandon said.

This year’s tournament had four teams – Ice Grey, Black, Red and Green. After facing off in games of two 20-minute halves, Team Red came out on top as champions – winning shirts and bragging rights. For a small fee, participants received a jersey, refreshments and good fun.

The tournament was also an opportunity for employees to connect. “You see people from all over and put some faces to names,” said O&M Technician Jonathan Berry , who started at Met in the Apprenticeship Program and has worked at Skinner for the past two years. Jonathan’s manager, Jerrod Niehus said, “We have such a variety of professionals here and when we get a chance to meet, we can really see how much talent the company has." WSO veteran participant since 2008, Stacie Takeguchi summed it up best, “Good people, good competition, and good times!”

For a list of all the tournament participants, click here .
Tubbs' Tales of Travel and Teamwork
For some, the 12th floor of Metropolitan's headquarters has a certain mystique about it, being the hub of our executive management team and Board of Directors. But whatever hesitation a visitor might feel when stepping off the elevators is quickly disarmed by the welcoming face of Brian Tubbs . His official title of Admin. Analyst III hardly describes his finesse with people and attention to detail that has earned him the respect of more than a decade of managers, directors and employees.

The year before joining Met as an HR temp in 2003, Brian worked for Warner Brothers in the labor relations department. He credits this time for teaching him “spot-on record keeping.” In 2004, Brian was hired by WRM as an Admin. Assistant, responsible for coordinating their four board committees. This experience, “by a stroke of luck,” helped him secure a temporary position on the 12th floor when Isabel Aldrete was on maternity leave. An opening at the end of his assignment landed him a permanent role working for the board. Today, he coordinates travel for directors, among other duties.

This dovetails his own love of travel – which includes a trip to Alaska next month and a past visit to the Kentucky Derby. Brian also likes to travel to Las Vegas to see his family.

Outside of work, Brian is an avid softball player, competing in a league he likens to “varsity baseball for those of us in our 30s and 40s.” A few years back, his team made it to the national equivalent of the World Series.
New hires, transfers, promotions & retirements are posted here each month.   
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