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Posted on: January 13, 2023

Metropolitan dedicates Lake Mathews reservoir facilities in honor of former board directors

RIVERSIDE, Calif. –In honor of their contributions to advancing water reliability in Southern California, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California today named two facilities at Lake Mathews in memory of former board Directors Lois B. Krieger and Donald Galleano. 

Family, friends, local elected officials and community members gathered to dedicate the naming of the Lake Mathews Multi-Species Reserve in honor of Lois B. Krieger and the Lake Mathews Overlook in honor of Donald Galleano. Both directors represented Western Municipal Water District during their service on Metropolitan’s board. 

“Metropolitan is in a better position to serve Southern California today because of the leadership and commitment of Lois B. Krieger and Don Galleano,” said Metropolitan General Manager Adel Hagekhalil. 

Randy A. Record, a former chair and director of the board, said he was privileged to nominate both Krieger and Galleano for these honors. 

“At a time when men, particularly those commonly referred to as ‘water buffalos,’ dominated the scene, Lois Krieger was a true pioneer in the California water world,” Record said. 

“I am grateful for the opportunity to have served on the board with Don Galleano, who advocated for smart water policy and believed in the importance of investing in a diverse water portfolio that helps make our region more resilient,” he added. 

Metropolitan’s board in 2019 took action to name the Multi-Species Reserve in honor of Krieger, the first woman board chair at Metropolitan. She led the board from 1989 to 1992 and represented Western on the board for more than 20 years. Krieger helped Metropolitan navigate the 1987-92 drought, spearheaded efforts to address challenges in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and was an advocate for building Diamond Valley Lake, the largest reservoir in Southern California. 

“Lois had an intense interest in the complex problems the world faces today and was tenacious in examining them,” said her grandson Miles Krieger. “But Lois also had a truly profound sense of the big picture — of what life can be if you engage in it. Lois’s life was just that—a life well lived.”  

The reserve, which surrounds the Lake Mathews reservoir, represents Metropolitan’s commitment to protecting open spaces and watersheds.  It includes 5,100 acres managed for native habitat and sensitive plant and animal species, including the endangered Stephens’ kangaroo rat. 

Metropolitan’s board in 2021 voted to name the Lake Mathews Overlook to recognize Galleano, who served as a board director from 2015 until his passing in 2021. 

Galleano served on the Jurupa Community Services District Board of Directors for 22 years before he was elected to Western’s board in 2004. During his nearly 40 years of public service, Galleano was known for his valued relationships with the agricultural community and big-picture water thinking. As a third-generation winegrower, he took pride in using a highly acclaimed dry farming operation — a statement of his commitment to water supply sustainability. 

The overlook now named for Galleano provides picturesque views of Lake Mathews, the terminus reservoir of Metropolitan’s 242-mile Colorado River Aqueduct. Galleano had a lifelong appreciation for the reservoir and was known for taking frequent visits to the overlook. 

“Donald loved Lake Mathews and visited often. It means a great deal to our family, and would have meant so much to him, to have this Overlook named in his honor,” Galleano’s wife Charlene Galleano said on behalf of her family. “We are grateful that Metropolitan Water District named the overlook in his honor and are immensely thankful that all his work is being recognized.”

Following remarks at the dedication event, family members, Metropolitan’s directors and general manager helped unveil new plaques paying tribute to Galleano and Krieger. 

“These exceptional leaders hold a special place in our hearts and history,” said Brenda Dennstedt, Metropolitan Board director representing Western Municipal Water District. “They continue to inspire all of us here today.”

The Metropolitan Board’s Facilities Naming Committee is charged with recommending the naming and renaming of Metropolitan facilities in honor of those who left a substantial and positive impact on Metropolitan, including Krieger and Galleano. 

“As one of the longest-serving members of the board dating back to the early 1990s, I had the opportunity and pleasure to work with both Lois Krieger and Don Galleano,” said John Morris, chair of the board’s Facilities Naming Committee. “They may no longer be with us, but I am proud that we are able to recognize the indelible mark they left on this agency and the region.”  

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