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The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California

75 Pano

75 Years Celebration Event – June 13, 2016

June marks the 75th anniversary of the first deliveries of water to the Southern California from the Colorado River Aqueduct.  The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California celebrated this event on June 13, 2016 with a series of special events to commemorate this historic milestone and to honor the men and women of Metropolitan's past and present, its member agencies and supporters who have kept the dream alive.

In the ticket concourse at historic downtown Los Angeles' Union Station, more than 500 people gathered to commemorate the 75th anniversary of water deliveries from the Colorado River Aqueduct to Southern California.  Renowned historian Dr. Kevin Starr was the keynote speaker.  His address, "The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California: An Epic of Social Cooperation" recognized Metropolitan's paradigm for "doing things for the greater good" and charged the agency to continue to define the future of water in California.  Following the presentation, guests enjoyed the opening of a new exhibit space in Metropolitan's headquarters lobby entitled, "Turning on the Tap" which commemorates in photographs, artifacts and audio-visual materials the building of the CRA and the legacy considered to be one of the nation's engineering marvels. 

This page provides segments of that event for your viewing and reading pleasure.

 13 Original Member Cities
Thirteen original cities receiving resolutions for first delivery of Colorado River Aqueduct water.

Back row, l-r:  Michele Martinez, MWD Director - Santa Ana, John Morris, MWD Director - San Marino, Shari Thomas, GM - Pasadena Water and Power, MWD GM Jeff Kightlinger, Chris Garner, GM - Long Beach Water, Ted Bardacke, Dir. of Infrastructure – L.A. Mayor's Office, Mayor Pat Furey, City of Torrance.

Front row, l-r: Judy Abdo, MWD Director- Santa Monica, Michael DeGhetto, Asst. GM, Water - City of Glendale, Councilmember Bruce Whitaker - City of Fullerton, Mayor Jess Talamantes - City of Burbank, MWD Board Chairman Randy Record, Erick Lee, Dep. Dir. of Public Works - City of Beverly Hills, Susan Faessel, Vice Chair Anaheim Public Utilities Board, Leticia Vazquez, MWD Director - Central Basin MWD (accepting for City of Compton).

Video Gallery

Keynote Speaker, Dr. Kevin Starr’s Presentation

Dr. Kevin Starr talks about how the delivery of water to Southern California is an “Epic of Social Cooperation” at The Metropolitan Water District’s 75th Anniversary celebration. The event, on June 13, 2016, celebrated 75 years of water delivery to Southern California as a result of the construction of the Colorado River Aqueduct. Read Dr. Starr’s presentation.




MWD's "Turning on the Tap" Exhibit

Staff began preparations for the new exhibit in the north gallery lobby area at Metropolitan's Headquarters Building as early as August 2015.  The exhibit includes a timeline wall of photos, maps, historical artifacts, flyover video of Metropolitan's facilities and audio clips playing legacy broadcasts of the Colorado River Aqueduct project.  The actual installation of the exhibit took about a month to complete and was captured in a time lapse video below.




Metropolitan's Archives

In preparing for the 75th event, staff had a chance to dive into Metropolitan's historical archives that included approximately 96 books of local newspaper clips dating back to 1931. 




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75th Anniversary Event