Imperial Irrigation District, California’s third largest public power provider and the largest irrigation district in the nation, will be extending its voluntary on-site shelter-in-place program at designated critical facilities for a core group of employees.
To keep employees safe and to ensure that the district’s water and energy systems remain operational during the COVID-19 pandemic, 32 district employees have been living and working at their job sites since April 25.
Employees in the initial group will be heading home for the first time in three weeks when their shifts end this weekend. Those shelter-in-place positions will be filled by a second wave of district employees starting Saturday, May 16. The sheltered employees will continue to maintain the district’s essential water and energy operations, which are important to customers who rely on these services in the harsh desert climate of the Imperial and Coachella Valleys.
“We are extremely proud of our dedicated employees who are heeding the call to voluntarily step up to serve the district and its customers during one of our most difficult times in history,” said Henry Martinez, IID general manager.
“Their dedication allows IID to continue to provide essential water and energy services without interruption and is a testament to IID’s mission of providing reliable, efficient and affordably priced water and energy service to the communities we serve, despite any challenge we may face,” he added.
The second wave of the shelter-in-place program, which begins at 6 a.m. Saturday, May 16, reflects a slight readjustment from 32 to 28 employees, to continue maintaining reliability and reducing expenses. It, too, will continue for three weeks, at which time the district will reassess the continued need for the program.
IID’s Energy Department serves 155,000 customer accounts in the Imperial and Coachella Valleys, representing a population of 450,000 residents and IID’s Water Department delivers water to nearly 500,000 acres of farmland, municipalities and industries in the Imperial Valley. Critical employees from both IID’s Water and Energy departments are participating.
The shelter-in-place program is a part of the district’s Pandemic Response Plan to mitigate employee exposure and assist in ensuring the continuity of customer service. The emergency measure recognizes the importance of the district’s employees in continuing the delivery of critical utilities to customers and the importance of maintaining a safe workplace.
The employees who have the skills and qualifications to perform the required duties work 12-hour shifts, seven days a week, remaining at the designated worksites 24 hours a day for the duration of the program.
Article from Imperial Irrigation District