Metropolitan Water District Inspection Trip of the Colorado River Aqueduct

On September 11th through the 13th Community Organizer, Mercedes Ortiz and Project Assistant, Mariaelena Fuentes were given the opportunity to attend Metropolitan’s Water District Inspection Trip of the Colorado River Aqueduct. After assembling at San Fernando City Hall the bus departed for the Robert A. Skinner Water Treatment Plant where Plant Manager, Dave Foust discussed how water is disinfected by ozonation – the process of bubbling ozone gas through untreated water for disinfection and to improve its taste and aroma as well as an up and close look at the Skinner Solar Power Generation Facility. After departing, the bus headed over to Diamond Valley Lake, which was designed to be filled from two sources: the Colorado River Aqueduct and the California Aqueduct. Driving around Diamond Valley Lake (DVL) also displayed the reality of California’s drought as the water level was visibly different from previous years. Afterwards, the bus arrived at Hiram W. Wadsworth Pumping Plant for lunch and a tour. The Wadsworth Pumping Plant is Metropolitan’s only pumping and hydroelectric plant that pumps water and generates power. Then we headed out and saw Parker Dam from a distance and arrived at Gene Village, Metropolitan’s Desert Field Headquarters for dinner and lodging.

The next day provided a scenic boat ride at Copper Basin Reservoir with an amazing view from the Copper Basin Dam. Then the bus headed over to a tour of the William P. Whitsett Intake Pumping Plant. Whitsett Intake Pump Plant is located on the California shores of Lake Havasu and is the beginning of the Colorado River Aqueduct. Afterwards, there was a presentation in Gene Assembly Hall with introductions of the various City of San Fernando Representatives and their work. The day winded down with a look through the Allan Preston Museum where we had a firsthand look at the lives of the men and women who helped build the Metropolitan Water system.

On Sunday, we departed Gene Village to Patton Museum, a museum dedicated to General Patton’s life and the history of armored warfare from World War I through World War II. The day ended with a delicious Italian lunch at Bellatrix Restaurant before heading back to San Fernando. This trip was quite informative and emphasized the reality of the impact the drought is having on California’s water system