Shipley Reserve is one of four nature reserves established by Metropolitan. It spans 30,000 acres in Riverside County and is home to at least eight types of habitat, and 16 sensitive bird, animal and plant species .
A weekly newsletter by and for Metropolitan employees
July 30, 2018
Investing in Research for Tomorrow's Water
Metropolitan recently committed nearly $1 million in funding for water reuse research. Working with the Water Research Foundation (WRF), the funding will launch six studies for potable reuse and one study for non-potable agricultural reuse. The total cost for the studies is about $8 million and will be funded through California state grants and other research partners.

Research is a first step in preparing for new water supplies to meet future demand and understand water quality issues. Water that reaches the taps in our homes and offices is made possible by research started decades ago by agencies with vision. But because much of the work occurs behind the scenes in labs and offices, we are often not aware of Met’s significant involvement with research.

The seven studies are funded through Metropolitan’s Future Supply Actions Funding Program, with the goal of removing barriers to future local supply production. Met staff selected the studies based on the possible benefits to member agencies and the potential Regional Recycled Water Program. The studies will measure pathogen variability and develop statistical methods to assess pathogen removal; evaluate ways to optimize wastewater treatment; identify indicator viruses to assess treatment performance; develop protocols to integrate real-time sensor data; and address impediments to agricultural reuse. One study, proposed by Metropolitan staff, will develop treatment and blending strategies for integrating new supplies into existing distribution systems.

This research will have far-reaching effects, helping Southern California prepare for climate change and moving other water agencies toward more sustainable water supplies.
Expanding Small Business Opportunities
The remote locations of Metropolitan's five pumping plants along the Colorado River can present a challenge when staff needs products or services from qualified vendors and contractors. One way to deal with this is by building good relationships with local business communities. 

In 2002, Metropolitan’s Board approved a Business Outreach program and that same year Met joined the Lake Havasu Chamber of Commerce and the Parker Arizona Regional Chamber of Commerce. In those early years, many businesses in those desert communities didn’t know much about Met, their neighbors just across the Colorado River. But that began to change after a series of workshops and community outreach events.

Many staff working at our desert facilities live and raise families in those communities and it makes good business sense to support the local economy. Staff started to establish good partnerships with local business owners and could rely on them in an emergency, or to get routine parts and supplies.

Last month, Metropolitan renewed some of those business relationships by hosting a “Connect to MET” business workshop in Lake Havasu to introduce new staff to the local business community. Desert staff members, including Kevin Casey , Jeanne Zegers , Jackie Madsen and Veronica Villarreal and several staff from HQ, helped make sure the event ran smoothly . Lake Havasu Mayor Mark Nexen and other local officials attended the event and talked about the value of doing business with local government agencies. Many agencies have challenges getting qualified contractors and vendors so the event was a great way to promote small business growth and support a sustainable local economy.
Extending Desert Hospitality for a Cause

" At Metropolitan, we send guys out in the field all the time and we know they are coming back. For 19 people not to come back one day - that struck a big chord in me. It became a big deal for me to help this one guy honoring their memory,” explains Mike Jones, WSO’s O& M Technician at Iron Mountain.

The 19 referenced were Granite Mountain Hotshots, an elite fire crew from Prescott, Arizona who perished in the Yarnell Hill wildfire in 2013. To honor the five-year anniversary of their deaths, El Segundo firefighter Jose Zanbrano planned “A Run to Remember” to travel 360 miles from the LA County Fire Museum in Bellflower to the Arizona memorial site in full “turnout” gear weighing up to 40 pounds.

Mike learned of Jose’s trip through his association with the father of one of the fallen firefighters – LA County Fire Captain Joe Woyjeck. Their paths crossed through Mike and his son Anthony’s hobby of restoring antique fire equipment. Among other projects, Mike and his son helped transport two retired Granite Mountain crew buggies to the LA County fire museum.

Jose’s tribute route included overnight stays at fire stations except for one location. “When I saw June 26 overnight was planned at the intersection of Highways 62 and 177," said Mike , " I knew there was no way he was going to spend the night on the side of the road when he was less than 10 minutes away from me.” Metropolitan desert hospitality flowed – with accommodations, special vegetarian fare and even an ice bucket bath for Jose’s feet. There’s a saying that goodness begets more goodness. It happened at Iron Mountain.

Link to news coverage of the run.
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