Water Authority & MWD Tours

Tour participants experience first-hand how legislative and regulatory policies affect the availability of imported water.

The Water Authority has a four-member delegation to the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) Board of Directors. They are: Directors Jerry Butkiewicz, Michael Hogan, Tim Smith, and Fern Steiner.

Each year, these directors host tours--called inspection trips--that provide elected and appointed officials, business and environmental community leaders, civic leaders, media representatives, educators, and interested stakeholders with the opportunity to learn about current and historical water issues affecting the region from both statewide and local perspectives. The tours also provide a first-hand look at the magnitude of the water delivery systems that feed Southern California by visiting numerous sites and facilities across the state. 

Applications for each tour typically open about eight weeks prior to the tour date.

Tour Date

Hosting Director

Type of Tour

Application Link

September 28-29, 2018

Michael Hogan & Tim Smith

State Water Project/Bay Delta

Application closed.

October 27-28, 2018

Fern Steiner

Colorado River Aqueduct System

Application closed.

January 18-19, 2019

Michael Hogan

Colorado River Aqueduct System

Application closed.

March 16-17, 2019

Fern Steiner

State Water Project/
Bay Delta

Application not yet available.

April 12-13, 2019

Tim Smith

Colorado River Aqueduct System

Application not yet available.

June 7-8, 2019

Jerry Butkiewicz

Hoover Dam & Colorado River Aqueduct System

Application not yet available.



Harvey O. Banks Pumping Plant

These tours focus on the largest state-built water and power system in the nation. Guests will also hear about the complex issues that influence how the system operates and the numerous problems affecting the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay Delta.

Trip participants may visit key State Water Project facilities, meet with legislative representatives, and receive detailed presentations and updates from Bay Delta experts.



Colorado River Aqueduct

These tours focus on the 242-mile-long system of pumping plants and canals that brings Colorado River water into Southern California.

These tours stop along the Lower Colorado River region and may include visits to Hoover Dam, the All-American Canal, the Coachella Canal, and other critical components of the historic Quantification Settlement Agreement. Guests may have the opportunity to visit facilities located near and in the San Diego County region, such as the Water Authority's Olivenhain Dam and Reservoir, San Vicente Dam, and Twin Oaks Valley Water Treatment Plant as well as MWD's Diamond Valley Lake and Robert A. Skinner Water Treatment Plant.


Transportation, lodging, and meals are provided by MWD. Limited seating is available on each tour. Trip participants must be 18 years of age or older, and background checks may be required to visit some secure federal, state, and local facilities.

To receive email notices about upcoming Water Authority & MWD Tours or invitations to upcoming trips, please email MWDProgramTours@sdcwa.org.