Water and Los Angeles: Part Four
The other place we Angelenos steal our water from is the Feather River and the Sacramento/San Joaquin River Delta. Imported by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, this water is delivered to Southern California and San Francisco via the California State Water Project (SWP) and comprises 22 dams/reservoirs, pumping plants and 444 miles of aqueduct. The water is pumped 2000 feet over the Tehachapi Mountains to Los Angeles – quite a feat! The California State Water Project not only provides water, it generates electricity; it is also a large USER of electricity for pumping the water. 70% of the water from the SWP goes to urban Los Angeles and San Francisco, while the other 30% is used for agriculture.
So what are the environmental implications of taking water from these sources and re-routing it 500 miles to the south? Well, from what I have read, the effects on the environment don’t appear to be as devastating as they have been in the Owen’s River Valley/Mono Lake area. And the northern California rivers seem to be holding up a heck of a lot better than the poor Colorado River.
Here are some articles and websites to read about current conservation attempts in the Feather River watershed and in the Sacramento/San Joaquin River Delta: