Adel Hagekhalil, Chief Executive & General Manager at the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California tells World Water-Tech North America about how the water utility is tackling drought and water scarcity in the region. 

Adel Hagekhalil - MWD Southern California - World Water-TechHow is California tackling drought and water?
As the drought worsened, Metropolitan has fostered innovative approaches to deal with the impacts to our two primary sources of water, the State Water Project and Colorado River. Metropolitan and its member agencies took action to preserve water supplies with mandatory water-use restrictions. Our agency is investing in new water projects to increase our resilience.  And Southern Californians are being called on like never before to conserve more with water saving tips, rebates, and an advertising campaign in seven languages on TV, radio, digital, community newspapers, billboards and social media.

Tell us the biggest challenges facing the region?
Every watershed that depends on supplies imported from the Colorado River and the Sierra Nevada has become less reliable because of climate change. Metropolitan is preparing for this different future through our Integrated Water Resource Plan – a 25-year blueprint to build a diverse portfolio of resources. We’ve invested in more local supplies, developed new storage, and increased our system’s flexibility. All these pieces together support a One Water Vision – a holistic approach to ensure the water we need for our future.

Which exciting or innovative projects are making an impact in California?
Metropolitan embraces the concepts of the three “I’s” – integration, innovation and inclusion. They serve as hallmarks as we look to the development of new local supplies and greater conservation. One example is Pure Water Southern California, our partnership with the Los Angeles County Sanitation District. The project will produce a new, drought-proof source of high-quality water and, when completed, produce up to 150 million gallons of water daily, serving more than 500,000 homes and making it one of the largest recycling projects in the nation.

Meet Adel at the summit and join his panel on the ‘California Spotlight: Tackling Drought and Water Scarcity’ on September 29 at 9.15am PT. For more information about the Metropolitan Water District Of Southern California – visit their website here.