FAQ on Metropolitan’s innovation programs

  • Who is Metropolitan Water District and why is it important for entrepreneurs to know?

    The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is a regional wholesaler and the largest supplier of treated water in the United States. It delivers water to 26 member public agencies – 14 cities, 11 municipal water districts, one county water authority – which, in turn, provide water to more than 19 million people in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego and Ventura counties. The district imports water from the Colorado River and Northern California to supplement local supplies and helps its members develop increased water conservation, recycling, storage and other local programs.


    Metropolitan is a wholesaler, not a drinking water retailer. As such, Metropolitan operations, approaches and needs may somewhat differ from your local water retailer. Our operations revolve around supply reliability, water quality, infrastructure and water resource management.

  • What is Metropolitan’s Innovation Program?

    Metropolitan’s Innovation program is designed to connect the water industry, entrepreneurs, university innovators, investors, service providers, mentors, technology corporations, public agencies, economic development professionals, and other key players in global innovation. It facilitates efficient and relevant networking and collaboration and drives economic impact for technology commercialization, tech transfer, start-up growth, and job creation.

  • How can I sell my product or innovation to Metropolitan?

    Metropolitan procures goods and services in accordance with our administrative code, usually through a competitive process. Entrepreneurs are required to register with Metropolitan to receive information on upcoming opportunities and bids. To register and learn more about Metropolitan’s procurement process, visit our business website.


    For new unsolicited proposals and requests for introductions of emerging technologies, entrepreneurs are encouraged to participate in Metropolitan’s Technology Feedback Forum.

  • What is the Technology Feedback Forum?

    The Technology Feedback Forum offers innovators and entrepreneurs an opportunity to pitch their innovation or technology to MWD, its member agencies, and partners. The primary objectives of the program are to: evaluate unsolicited proposals, provide industry-scale feedback to entrepreneurs, and give water agencies an opportunity to discover early stage technologies. Entrepreneurs can also benefit from the program’s network of resources for funding, pilot programs and assistance in determining technical and market viability.

  • How can my technology be considered for the Technology Feedback Forum program?

    Entrepreneurs interested in participating in the Technology Feedback Forum are required to complete and submit an application available here.

    Technology proposals are made in writing and reviewed for potential use and market viability. Entrepreneurs may then be invited to make an in-person pitch to a panel of experts. From there, they receive valuable industry feedback and may be invited to take next steps.

  • Is there an application deadline to be considered for the Technology Feedback Forum?

    The Technology Feedback Forum is an ongoing process. Applications will be accepted and reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis. Applications and instructions must be thoroughly followed to be considered.

  • After submitting an application, when will I get a response?

    We receive many applications and strive to provide the best feedback and guidance in a timely manner. All applications will undergo an initial review to determine whether the applicant thoroughly complied with the application and instructions. Those applications deemed non-responsive will be returned and can be resubmitted. Please wait for at least two weeks for an initial response.

  • What happens after I submit the application?

    Responsive applications will be reviewed for potential agency use and market viability by industry experts. Entrepreneurs whose technologies or services are deemed viable will be invited to pitch to a panel of experts. This process may take an additional two weeks.

  • What are the possible outcomes for the Technology Feedback Forum participants?

    Applicants who are invited to pitch will receive valuable industry-scale feedback from experts, ranging from technical aspects of the technology to the product’s market viability. They may also be invited to pitch to a higher level group of water agency decision-makers, be asked to explore trials, or even have their product procured.

  • Can I submit more than one application?

    We recommend that applicants submit one application for each technology or innovation. An organization may submit more than one application at a time if each application is for a different technology or innovation. However, if more than one proposal is submitted by an applicant, Metropolitan will select a single proposal to move through the process.

  • What types of technologies are water agencies looking for?

    Many opportunities for innovation and efficiency exist for municipalities. Among those considered are new technologies that reduce energy use, increase operational efficiency, capture nutrients, and increase water reuse.

  • Is there funding available through the Technology Feedback Forum process?  Will Metropolitan fund the development of my new technology?

    No. The Technology Feedback Forum process is designed to help innovators pitch new technologies and proposals to Metropolitan for evaluation and feedback.  However, as part of the feedback process, Metropolitan may refer applicants to partners with funding expertise.

  • Will the Metropolitan Water District sign a non-disclosure agreement?

    No, the Metropolitan Water District does not sign non-disclosure agreements as part of the Technology Feedback Forum.

  • What are Technology Readiness Levels (TRL)

    Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) are a type of measurement system used to assess the maturity level of a particular technology. There are nine technology readiness levels. TRL 1, where basic principles are observed and reported, is the lowest and TRL 9, where the actual technology is proven to be successful, is the highest. The Technology Feedback Form accepts all TRL levels.

  • How can I know if my technology/innovation complies with California water regulations?

    Links to help you determine if your technology or innovation meets California regulations can be found here.

  • Who can I contact with other questions?

    The MWD Innovation team can be contacted by email at [email protected] or phone at 213.217.7620.

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