Capture It. Recycle It. Conserve It.
Mayor Garcetti Urges LA to Tap into Local Water Sources
We often reference Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti's
Sustainable City pLAn, in which LA committed to cutting the purchase of imported water in half by 2025 and to meeting 50% of water demand using local sources by 2035.
In his recent op-ed, Mayor Garcetti outlined
how we will get there
-- and shined a light on how we won't.
In years past, we've taken water from the Owens Valley, the California Delta and the Colorado River. But we cannot rely solely on 20th century engineering for our 21st century water needs - and projects like the Delta tunnels run the risk of siphoning off precious ratepayer dollars and endangering the fragile Delta ecosystem. We will never be able to solve our water needs if we have tunnel vision.
We couldn't have said it better ourselves! As we've made clear at Metropolitan Water District (MWD)'s many hearings on the issue, the so-called "California Water Fix" (aka the Delta tunnels/
) would continue California's antiquated, expensive, energy-intensive and ultimately unreliable pump-and dump approach to water. Importantly, it would divert critical resources away from sustainable, equitable and reliable local water options, like those outlined by Mayor Garcetti.
Westlands Water District - the largest irrigation district in the state - voted
the tunnels back in September, which left other districts on the hook for financing even larger portions of the multi-billion dollar proposal. This led to
pushing for a 'downsized' version of the project. Whether we're talking one tunnel or two, we're facing what MWD has referred to in the past as the 'worst case' fiscal scenario. And yet, MWD is embracing it.
Instead of committing Southern Californians to financing this ill-conceived project, we encourage investment in a "4R" integrated approach to water management (
Reduce water waste,
Restore our groundwater basins). It seems Mayor Garcetti agrees that this is the most sensible way to go.