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Internship Experience: Sam Gonzalez

Sam Gonzalez

Mr. Gonzalez's strong initiative and dedication to his tasks were invaluable for Team Alvarez. Following completion of his internship, he went on to intern with Congressman Juan Vargas and was soon after hired as staff for Assemblymember Akilah Weber.

As part of his internship experience, Mr. Gonzalez went on a tour of the California River Aqueduct to learn more about water as a critical resource. Below is a reflection provided by Mr. Gonzalez after his trip.

On Friday, September 30, half of our office embarked on a journey to learn more about the importance of water in Southern California. This was my first trip to another US State and my first work-related trip. Aside from the fun and privilege that comes along when you travel with a diverse and magnificent group of individuals to inspect government facilities throughout the state, this trip provided me with the opportunity to reflect on the significant relationship between natural resources and our lives.

Every compassionate and mindful Californian knows that water is a precious resource. When you have small and controlled quantities of water, you are able to fill up a nice cup of fresh water or take an efficient and cooling shower on a hot sunny day. In large and uncontrolled quantities, water can be devastating and flood acres of fertile farmland like in 1905 when the Colorado River decided to do just that. 

According to “A Guide to the Colorado River Aqueduct,” construction of the Hoover Dam began in 1931 and was completed in 1935 (p. 25). JR, our guide for the Hoover Dam tour, informed us that 96 lives were lost during the construction of the Hoover Dam. We also learned that these workers would only receive two days off per year. Happy Independence Day and merry Christmas Hoover Dam workers.

The architects of the Hoover Dam had three goals for the dam: to control the river, conserve its floodwater and generate hydroelectric power. And there is no doubt that the Hoover Dam is pretty dam impressive. However, I did not know that the Dam was just the starting point of a long line of open aqueducts, siphons, pipelines, and tunnels all crossing the mountains and plains of Southern California. In fact, I never really wondered where our water came from until I submitted my application for this trip.

Knowing how much effort and thought was placed into the creation of the aqueduct makes me appreciate every ounce of water I pour into my cup. However, knowing that most San Diegans rely on this aqueduct to receive water drastically changes my view on water conservation. JR reminded us that water is a limited resource. The Hoover Dam will work as long as there is enough water to power it. The aqueducts will only work as long as there is water to go through it.