As California’s water challenges mount, Metropolitan Water District recognizes that it will take unprecedented solutions to drive us forward.
We’re helping drive water innovation not only within our walls, but also among entrepreneurs across the country through collaboration and outreach. If you have a great idea, we want to know it. Our goal is simple: finding the best emerging technologies and solutions out there.
Through our growing portfolio of innovation programs, we’re exploring more efficient and economical ways to move and treat water, testing creative approaches to conservation and investing in new ways to maintain our infrastructure. The solutions are out there. Metropolitan is committed to finding them.
“Metropolitan was founded on innovative thinking. The challenge of bringing water to Southern California has always required creative solutions.”
— Jeffrey Kightlinger, General Manager
Metropolitan is working hard to identify emerging technologies and practices that support our goal of providing water supply reliability to Southern California. Those innovations may come from within Metropolitan or from the other side of the globe. They may meet our direct needs, or help one of our member agencies.
Through our various programs, we strive to understand and evaluate the ideas entrepreneurs bring to us. And we equally aim to help them understand the needs and business practices of the water sector. The programs are designed to guide worthy entrepreneurs onto the appropriate path and facilitate the movement of the best ideas to market.
The Water Savings Incentive Program (WSIP) encourages innovation in conservation at commercial, industrial...
The Innovative Conservation Program (ICP) provides direct grant funding, in partnership with other agencies, for...
The Innovative Supplies Funding Program promotes innovative technical advances that will help prepare...
The Technology Feedback Forum offers innovators and entrepreneurs an opportunity to pitch their new...
Technology Feedback Forum
The Technology Feedback Forum offers innovators and entrepreneurs an opportunity to pitch their new technologies or services to Metropolitan, its member agencies and their partners. It provides entrepreneurs a sounding board for ideas and gives agencies the chance to discover early stage technologies.
While the Feedback Forum generally accepts only technologies that are well on their way to commercialization, less advanced technologies may be referred to other programs or services.
Water Savings Incentive Program
The Water Savings Incentive Program (WSIP) encourages innovation in conservation at commercial, industrial and agricultural facilities in Southern California. Through the program, customers who implement customized projects that result in water savings are paid based on the amount of water they save.
Innovative Conservation Program
The Innovative Conservation Program (ICP) provides direct grant funding, in partnership with other agencies, for studies of new conservation and water efficiency technologies. The program has funded research into: a hydrogel that cuts the water needs of grass, rainwater harvesting, irrigation systems, a special sand that holds water around a plant’s roots to cut watering needs, and myriad other technologies.
The next round of ICP is expected to launch in 2020 and is subject to funding availability.
Innovative Supplies Funding Program
The Innovative Supplies Funding Program promotes innovative technical advances that will help prepare the region for future water supply uncertainties. The program funds studies and pilot projects that reduce obstacles to the future production of recycled water, seawater desalination, groundwater recovery and local stormwater.
The program is an important part of Metropolitan’s long-term resource strategy and allows us to
tackle challenging issues and move innovative ideas forward, creating a path to implementing new resources when the time comes.
Metropolitan was born out of innovative thinking. Nearly 90 years ago, facing a growing population and a lack of water, cities across the region united in a level of cooperation unprecedented at the time to create the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. Together, we built the Colorado River Aqueduct, an unparalleled engineering feat that relies largely on gravity to carry water from the Colorado River 242 miles west, across the desert, through mountains to taps across the Southland.
In the decades since, Metropolitan has stood out as a leader in the water industry, not just for the size and scale of its endeavors, but for the innovative solutions and creative thinking that drive our ability to deliver water, from the source to the tap.
Detecting water quality issues before they spread can save millions of dollars. Scientists in Metropolitan’s water quality lab are nationally known for developing various innovative methods for early detection of dangerous parasites, invasive species and foul-tasting compounds in source water.
For example, Metropolitan scientists have:
To meet our mission of water supply reliability, Metropolitan supports new technology to measure stream flows, soil moisture and snowpack quality and maintains the most sophisticated data analytics, allowing us to gain valuable insight into how much water we can count on from the Northern Sierra and the Colorado River.
Metropolitan staff has produced innovative techniques to improve ozone treatment, including developing the peroxone process, which, together with ozone, provides enhanced disinfection and removes taste and odor compounds. They also determined biological filtration could be used with ozone disinfection, avoiding millions in unnecessary capital improvements. And most recently, they implemented the use of ammonia-chlorine upstream of ozone disinfection to control bromate formation.
Metropolitan has adopted emerging technologies to ensure the safety and reliability of our 830 miles of pipeline. We were one of the first agencies to inspect pipelines using an unmanned water vehicle that conducts electromagnetic inspections, eliminating the costly process of dewatering pipes and more effectively detecting leaks and potential leaks. Metropolitan is also exploring technology to conduct leak detection using satellite aerial surveying, which could save hundreds of millions of dollars.
Southern California has seen its per capita water use drop significantly over the past three decades, thanks, in part, to Metropolitan’s innovative conservation programs, dropping from 205 gallons a day in 1985 to 131 gallons in 2015.
Metropolitan has helped make innovative conservation technology mainstream in Southern Californian homes, offering rebates for everything from high-efficiency toilets to water-saving irrigation systems.
Do you have a solution to a specific challenge faced by Metropolitan? We receive a lot of proposals on inventive technologies to conserve water or develop alternative water supplies, and while those are always welcome, we have some specific needs and challenges. Share your solution through the Technology Feedback Forum Program.
Metropolitan works with dozens of partners who help us fulfill our goal of finding innovative ways to provide water supply reliability. Among our strategic partnerships: The Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI), Sustain OC, Imagine H2O, American Water Works Association, Cleantech San Diego, OCTANE, The Water and Energy Technology Center and many more.