Monarch butterfly on Achillea millefolium . Photo courtesy of the Theodore Payne Foundation.
A weekly newsletter by and for Metropolitan employees
July 29, 2019
A Regional Project for a Climate Resilient SoCal
“It’s only wastewater if you waste it,” the saying goes.

No one understands that better than Metropolitan, which is a leader in conservation and water use efficiency - and looking to do even more.

Last week, the Board held the first of two workshops on the proposed Regional Recycled Water Program to consider possible steps to fast-track its implementation. The second workshop will be held this fall.

If built, the project would be the largest water recycling facility in the country.

Board members had positive feedback about the program and the benefits of investing in local water supplies. Here are the links to the workshop presentation and white paper .

The program, a partnership with the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County, would purify wastewater that could replenish groundwater basins and improve climate resilience. It could also be delivered to industrial facilities and potentially to two of Metropolitan’s water treatment plants for additional treatment and distribution.

Construction on the demonstration facility in Carson is wrapping up and equipment is being tested prior to operation. In another milestone, Metropolitan and the City of Los Angeles recently signed a Letter of Intent to plan and coordinate their recycled water projects.

Since the early 1990s, Met has invested about $474 million in local recycling projects. The Regional Recycled Program would produce up to another 168,000 acre-feet annually.
Met Collaborates on New Long Beach Exhibit
In recent months, retired Assistant General Counsel Joe Vanderhorst has been on a historical treasure hunt of sorts. Wearing a different hat as a volunteer with the Historical Society of Long Beach, Joe approached Metropolitan in search of records and photographs from the early days after Long Beach joined in 1931 as a member agency.

The information is part of a new exhibit on the city’s evolving relationship with water. “Water Changes Everything” is free to the public and runs through June 2020.

In fact, Long Beach’s origin story is awash in water. It was a resort and farming town of many transplanted mid-Westerners who got water from aquifers under Signal Hill. Soon, drill bits even found a more lucrative resource underneath: oil. As the city outgrew the wells, Long Beach voted to join the newly-formed Metropolitan Water District.

Reviewing boxes from Metropolitan's historical collection, Joe struck gold. To document a 1933 city initiative calling for a withdrawal from the Metropolitan, Joe found original, impassioned, pro- and con- withdrawal letters. (Spoiler alert: Long Beach didn’t withdraw and remains one of our member agencies today). Other exhibit highlights include 19th century maps and information about recreation activities, flood control and conservation.

Kristi Fischer, the Society’s Treasurer (and Joe’s wife), also received help from Met staff with another part of the exhibit, “Women in Water,” which is sponsored by the District’s former General Manager, Ron Gastelum. For more information click here .
Perspective Gained from Diving Below the Surface
The first time Julia Mewbourne saw a shark while scuba diving, she was hooked. She’s since traveled to more than a dozen countries to explore the seas.

Highlights from her travels include the Federated States of Micronesia, where she explored WWII shipwrecks; Cocos Island, thought to be the inspiration for Jurassic Park’s Isla Nublar; and the Jardines de la Reina (Gardens of the Queen) in Cuba, where Fidel Castro also liked to dive.

Julia joined Metropolitan in 2018 as Team Manager for Records Management and Imaging Services, which maintainins records and archival materials. 

Julia is a certified Information Governance Professional and describes her job as “getting the right information to the right people at the right time.” She previously worked in information governance and compliance. Julia has a bachelor’s degree in communication studies and a master’s degree in human resource development, both from Vanderbilt University.

She recently returned from diving the Red Sea with her partner Kevin Mount (who she met while crewing a dive boat). There, they saw pristine reef structures and hammerhead sharks. In the future, she hopes to dive in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, Vietnam and South Africa.

“It’s extremely Zen and peaceful and you actually have to give up control,” she said of diving. “You don’t know on any given day what animal you’re going to see or what the weather is going to be…so you have to just let go and just be present.”
New hires, transfers, promotions & retirements are posted here each month.
NEXT LIST: AUGUST 5, 2019   
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