As part of CAP’s Know Your Water series, you will be meeting some of the employees who work each day to ensure Colorado River water flows through our 336-mile aqueduct to reach our municipal, agricultural, industrial and tribal customers.
Learn more about Ernesto Castanon of our Electronics - Communications Department via his words below and by watching this video.
Q: In a nutshell, what do you do for CAP?
A: I maintain all of CAP’s communication equipment, including two-way radios, microwave radios, fiber optics and security systems. Those pieces of equipment are vital to our work. They allow one employee to talk to another, ensure employees in the field can contact Headquarters, and transmit information from equipment in the field.
Q: How did you get into this line of work?
A: When I was working as a hot shot with the Forest Service, I had the opportunity to shadow the communication guys for a couple of days. When I hurt my knee on a fire, the doctor asked if I had other plans for the future work because I would not be able to work as a fire fighter much longer. That is when I decided to go to school. While in school the communication guys at Gila National Forest helped me get an apprenticeship job on the Tonto National Forest, and I stayed there for three years before I came to work with CAP.
Q: How does the work you do on a daily basis affect our water supply?
A: The fiber optics and the microwave radios system are the main communication backbone for all of CAP’s system. My work to maintain those means that the guys in the control center can always monitor the water flow at all pumping plants, check gates and turnouts and ensure reliable water deliveries.
Q: What are some of the technical advances that allow you to do your job more effectively and efficiently?
A: I work in a technology field, which means every few months there are updates to software. Those updates improve our efficiency, make the equipment easier to maintain and increase the security on the system.
Q: What's the most challenging part of your work?
A: Getting up. LOL, not really. Honestly, I like my job and any challenges that come are really opportunities to learn and I embrace those.
Q: What's the most gratifying part of your job?
A: I am lucky, because I get to work with almost all the CAP employees, which is an incredibly gratifying part of my job. I get to know them and really appreciate the professionalism and expertise of my co-workers.
Q: What is your favorite part about working at CAP?
A: I really enjoy the great group of people that work at CAP. We have a great team of true professionals that make it the best place to work!