Moreno Valley third grader names Metropolitan Water District’s new boring machine

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RIVERSIDE, Calif. (KABC) — The Metropolitan Water District has a new tunnel boring machine, her name is Rachel Carson. It’s the name chosen by Moreno Valley third grader, Jessica Wang.

“The name I choose for the new tunnel boring machine is Rachel Carson Tunnel Machine or RCTM for short. Rachel Carson was a fresh water scientist. She published a book called Silent Spring in September 1962,” said Wang.

The 9-year-old Victoriano Elementary School student submission beat out others for the naming rights. Carson was a scientist who warned of the dangers posed by chemicals to the environment.

“Rachel was important because she was the woman who challenged the notion that humans could obtain mastery over nature by chemicals, bombs and space travel,” said Wang.

She wasn’t the only third grader to attend the unveiling of the huge piece of machinery 29 of her classmate and her teacher joined in the celebration.

“We’re here to celebrate the launch of a critical project to extend the existing Perris Valley pipeline to deliver water to our growing region in the Inland Empire,” said Metropolitan General Manager Adel Hagenkhalil.

At least 20-million people rely on getting their water from Metropolitan Water District and that number is growing.

The agency is doing its part with a new pipeline to meet the demands of a growing population.

The RCTM will be dropped down a 40-foot shaft near the March Air Museum where it will then begin to tunnel into the Earth about 30-feet a day for the next month helping to bring water to western Riverside County.

“It is about ensuring safe reliable water for everyone with no one left behind,” said Hagenkhalil.

The celebration was also a chance for those in the water industry to recruit the next generation.

“Look into careers in the water industry in the construction industry… we need folks like you to take an interest in this and really be those leaders in society as we go forward,” said Metropolitan Chief Engineer John Bednarski.

While Wang wants to be a technician when she grows up, she already has a job waiting for her if she changes her mind.

“I’m just going to say at Eastern we have a lot of jobs, we’re a good place work. So think about it in the future,” said Jeff Armstrong with Metropolitan Eastern Municipal Water District.

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