Water Authority & MWD Tours

Tour participants see how water is transported across the state to the San Diego region.  The photo above shows guests stopping at Lake Havasu along the Colorado River.   

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

These directors host tours—also called inspection trips—to 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 showcase the Water Authority and MWD's water reliability efforts and also provide participants 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.   

The tour program is currently on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic, but please email MWDProgramTours@sdcwa.org to receive email notices about the Water Authority and MWD tours when they resume. 



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.