The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) held its monthly Board and committee meetings on February 11-12, 2019. At these meetings, the MWD Board:
· Approved a commendatory resolution recognizing Randy Record for his leadership as MWD Chairman.
· Approved a commendatory resolution recognizing the service of three past MWD directors including Peter Beard, Michael Camacho, and Michelle Martinez.
· Inducted new MWD directors Adán Ortega representing the City of Fullerton, Jose Solorio of the City of Santa Ana, and Jasmin Hall of Inland Empire Utilities Agency.
In other actions the Board:
· Authorized the General Manager to acquire up to 732 acres of property located in Riverside County in the Palo Verde Valley.
· Authorized the General Manager to sell 243 acres on Chipps Island located in Solano County to the Department of Water Resources.
· Authorized partial settlement in San Diego County Water Authority v. Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.
· Heard an update regarding the proposed Drought Contingency Plan (DCP) on the Lower Colorado River. The goal of the DCP is to avoid Lake Mead reaching critical elevations through water use reduction triggers for each state, with delivery reduction amounts conditionally recoverable, while providing flexibility during shortages in terms of delivery of water in intentionally created surplus, and interstate banking. While the January 31, 2019 deadline that U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) Commissioner Burman was not met, she applauded the efforts and progress made, and has started the process through the federal register for an alternate plan. If all agencies approve the DCP by March 4, the USBR will terminate the alternate plan. Once all parties agree, Congress will need to pass implementing legislation for the DCP to be implemented.
· Heard a report on Exchange Agreements with Coachella Valley Water District and Desert Water Agency. The proposed 2019 agreement would consolidate exchange agreements, and extends the term through the State Water Project (SWP) contract extension, eliminates call-back provisions, defers Colorado River exchange deliveries in dry years, simplifies the payment structure, and shares in the SWP operational risks and benefits.
· Heard an update on water operations and supply conditions. The demands are at a record low. The SWP allocation is currently at 15 percent, and will likely increase. Article 21 (excess supply) is likely to be available starting in the fourth week of February. MWD is preparing for the March Colorado River Aqueduct shutdown. Both the California and Colorado Basin snowpack conditions are above normal.
· Awarded a contract in an amount not to exceed $799,170 to ViaTRON Systems, Inc. for conversion of hardcopy documents into electronic images for migration into the planned Enterprise Content Management System. This is a positive action to maximize self-service as items are appropriately indexed for easy retrieval in a future Enterprise Content Management (ECM) system.
· Awarded $20,975,000 contract to J.F. Shea Construction, Inc., to rehabilitate the Greg Avenue Pump Station; and authorized an agreement with Black & Veatch for a not-to-exceed amount of $900,000 for engineering services during construction. Much of the Greg Avenue Pump Station’s equipment is more than 50 years old and is approaching the end of their operating lives. This proposed project will improve the reliability of the pump station by replacing the existing pumps, control building, and surge tanks, and upgrading key electrical, mechanical, and control equipment at the facility.
· Awarded $16,452,832 contract to Baker Electric, Inc. to replace the 6.9 kV power cables at each Colorado River Aqueduct pumping plant. Each of the five Colorado River Aqueduct (CRA) pumping plants has nine pumps and motors. Power is transmitted to the motors via 3-inch-diameter 6.9 kV cables. The quantity of cables varies from nine to twenty-seven per plant and varies in length from approximately 200 feet to 650 feet. These cables were installed in four phases from 1939 through 1959 and after 60-80 years in continuous service, the power cables have deteriorated and need to be replaced.
· Appropriated $4,212,500, and authorized entering into a project agreement with the Sites Project Authority for participation in the Sites Reservoir 2019 Workplan. The Sites Reservoir Project includes a 1.8 million acre-foot water storage reservoir that would be located in a valley north of Sacramento, about 10 miles west of the town of Maxwell on Interstate 5 in northern California. Currently, there are 31 agencies that form a Reservoir Project Committee participating in funding the Phase 1 effort (including MWD). The 2019 Workplan will include further operations modeling, additional environmental surveys and geotechnical data collection, completion of the Final Feasibility Report, analyses to complete the Biological Assessment, and other state/federal permitting consultations. The 2019 Workplan budget is estimated at $34,965,764. This includes $16.1 million in water user funds, $10.1 million in State Proposition 1 grants, and $8.8 million in federal WIIN Act grants (subject to federal appropriation). For MWD to continue its participation and reserve 50,000 AF of water supplies under the 2019 Agreement, the cost share would total $4,212,500. This includes a step-up cost of $1,212,500 ($24.25 per AF) and a 2019 Workplan participation cost of $3,000,000 ($60 per AF). MWD’s participation in the 2019 Agreement will preserve the opportunity to work with the participants to improve water supplies for both northern and southern California, enhance critical habitat for native fish species, prepare for potential climate change impacts, and develop key analyses of project feasibility.
· Authorized implementation of modifications to the Landscape Transformation Program. This action item implements changes to the turf replacement program proposed last month. Rebates were increased to $2/square foot; maximum project sizes was increased; plant requirements are reduced; and the name of the program will be changed. With the exception of the reduced plant requirement, these changes support EMWD’s efforts to implement market transformation in landscape.