Water and Los Angeles: Part Three
Water in Los Angeles is a complicated business. There are different water districts or agencies and individual municipalities that provide water for millions of people over hundreds of square miles. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power provides 197 billion gallons of water per year to the City of Los Angeles (data from 2007 – 2011). Of those millions of gallons, 29 % comes from the Los Angeles Aqueduct (Owens Lake area), 12 % comes from groundwater and 2% is recycled. The rest of the water comes from northern California – 48% - and 9% comes from the Colorado River.
The 9% of City of Los Angeles water that comes from the Colorado River is distributed by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, a regional water wholesaler. The Metropolitan Water District provides water to public water agencies and municipalities throughout Southern California, from San Diego to Ventura. The Metropolitan Water District gets its water from the Colorado River and from the Feather River in Northern California, in addition to some local supplies.
Every water district in Southern California gets its water from some combination of local and imported sources. My district, the Rubio Canyon Land and Water Association, gets water almost exclusively from the Foothill Municipal Water District (a member agency of the Metropolitan Water District) November through April, and from the Rubio Canyon and well water for the rest of the year. If you are curious about where the water you use comes from, look at your water bill and go to the website of your water agency/association.
So I wanted to share with you some interesting and concerning information about the Colorado River. This is important if you live in Southern California, because water levels in Lake Mead are already very low….and that’s where a lot of the water we use comes from. It is anticipated that with climate change these water levels will sink even more. And we are not prepared.
Take a look at this series from Yale University about the Colorado River. These articles are an eye opener.
E360 SERIES - CRISIS ON THE COLORADO