L.A. water use plummets during hot summer amid calls to conserve during drought
In many ways, Los Angeles has changed in the past two decades. And residents of the Greater Los Angeles Area have changed with it.
The city is getting a “little dumber,” as the saying goes. And it’s not just the residents who are getting left behind.
During the early 2000s, there was a debate about whether the city should expand its water supply, but now residents are urging the state to give the city more water. That water would allow the city to better manage its water infrastructure.
The Greater Los Angeles Area relies on a third of its water supply to provide its residents with potable water. And the city is experiencing challenges from drought and extreme temperatures.
A big problem is that Los Angeles’ water infrastructure is deteriorating, leaving the city with a smaller water supply than it needs.
“This is a big problem for us,” said L.A. resident and environmental activist John M. Poulos.
A report issued by the Southern California Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners revealed that the city’s water infrastructure in general has been underfunded by $4.2 billion. And in L.A. County, there has been a loss of water for 1.2 million residents during extreme weather events.
And residents have noticed.
“I’ve been telling my friends and family in Santa Barbara and Ventura, you’d better watch out,” said Poulos, who, like other activists, has been calling on state officials to boost water supplies. “We need water.”
The L.A. Department of Water and Power is facing a $23.7 million shortfall, according to the department’s financial report issued last month. The shortfall reflects $15 million of infrastructure and reserve costs, $1.5 million of capital investment over the next five years, and $2.9 million in water conservation and reclamation costs.
“We look forward to receiving the final financial year-end financial report in June with a projection of the FY10 DWP capital programs,” said DWP spokesman Mike Buell.