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 outside the box, reaching out to innovators and entrepreneurs across the world. If you have a great idea, we want to hear it. Our goal is simple: Find the best emerging technologies and solutions.
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.
We are pleased to share with you highlights of the exceptional work our team has accomplished to innovate, create and solve challenges to deliver quality water from the source to the tap. In the report, you’ll see four sections that outline how we innovate to provide a reliable water supply; collaborate through partnerships; explore technologies, pilots and research; and embrace ideas advanced by our innovative employees.
Learn more about how we innovate as we transform the shape of water for an even better Metropolitan. We welcome you to view the full report, or use these quick reference links:
Metropolitan works hard to identify emerging technologies, innovation and practices that support our goal of providing water supply reliability to Southern California. These 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. There are no boundaries.
Our innovation programs are designed to guide creative entrepreneurs along the appropriate path and move the best ideas to market. We facilitate an exchange of ideas, striving to understand and evaluate ideas presented while also providing an education about the needs and business practices of the water sector.
The Water Savings Incentive Program encourages innovation in conservation at commercial, industrial...
The Innovative Conservation Program 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, our 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 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 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 reduce watering needs, and a myriad of other technologies.
The latest round for proposal submissions closed at the end of 2020. Please check back for future grant funding opportunities.
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 100 years ago, facing a growing population and a lack of water, cities across the region united in an unprecedented level of cooperation to create the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. Together with our partners, 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 risen as a leader in the water industry, not just for the size and scale of our 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 innovative methods to ensure high quality water for Southern Californians.
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 project. Together with ozone, peroxone 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, that more effectively detects leaks and potential leaks, eliminating the cost process of dewatering pipes. Metropolitan also is 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, water use dropped from 205 gallons per person a day 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.
Metropolitan drives water innovation not only in its own operations, but also with entrepreneurs across the country through collaboration, outreach and new technologies.
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: Braid Theory, Connect San Diego, Larta Institute, Los Angeles Venture Association, Murrieta Innovation Center, Sustain Southern California, US Green Building Council of Los Angeles, WaterStart and many more.