Introducing Chairman Adán Ortega

By Kris Polly

This month, we’re proud to feature a cover interview with Adán Ortega, the new chairman of the board of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, the enormous water wholesaler that serves 19 million people across 6 counties of our most populous state. We talk about the big-picture issues Metropolitan is working on to answer climate change, including the Pure Water Southern California water reuse initiative, the district’s work to plan for the future of its Northern California water supplies, and its efforts to conserve water to save the Colorado River.

Next, we hear from another Southern California water utility, Eastern Municipal Water District. Public Affairs Officer Kevin Pearson tells us about the proactive investments the district is making into groundwater storage and other projects that will help guard its resiliency in the face of a changing climate.

Tony Bush, the manager of the Washington State Department of Transportation’s Stormwater Branch, tells us about the agency’s work to manage the storm water runoff from its facilities across the state, including catch basins and water treatment features.

Cleanwater1 is a newly rebranded company that brings together multiple familiar, proven, and reliable brands. CEO David Stanton tells us about the company’s water quality solutions and how they can help utilities start saving money right away.

Then, we speak with Gerard Lynch, the president and CEO of Spiral Water, about the company’s suite of advanced automatic self-cleaning filters, which are designed to treat water with high and variable total suspended solids across multiple industries.

Michael Michaud, the executive director of the Hydraulic Institute, tells us about how the industry group develops standards, works with municipal and irrigation companies, partners with government agencies, and holds conferences to advance the state of the industry.

Last, we chat with John Mele, the national business development manager at Hobas Pipe USA Inc., about the tours the company holds of its Houston manufacturing facility for professionals from the municipal and irrigation industries.

With incremental advances in technology; reliable products; forward-thinking projects; and bold, generational initiatives, our industry is preparing for a future ofuncertainty. This month’s stories illustrate the hard work  and careful planning that go into that effort.

Kris Polly is the editor-in-chief of Municipal Water Leader magazine and the president and CEO of Water Strategies LLC, a government relations firm he began in February 2009 for the purpose of representing and guiding water, power, and agricultural entities in their dealings with Congress, the Bureau of Reclamation, and other federal government agencies. He can be contacted at