LOS ANGELES (CNS) – The Los Angeles City Council approved Friday, April 14, a motion calling for a reduction of imported water and increasing its local water supply, as well as obtaining a report on any infrastructure and conservation projects in the early planning or development stages.
The motion, introduced by councilmembers Katy Yaroslavsky and Paul Krekorian, also directs the Department of Water and Power, the city’s Bureau of Sanitation and the Metropolitan Water District to review current sources of potable water, the feasibility of achieving the city’s goals under current executive directives and Green New Deal policies and contingency plans to support water import systems.
Currently, 90% of the city’s water comes from out-of-basin sources, including the LA aqueduct, State Water Project and Colorado River deliveries through Metropolitan Water District. All three of these water sources have experienced extreme swings in reliability as a result of extreme weather events.
According to the motion, the importation of water supplies have had direct, negative impacts on the natural environment and populations near the sources of this water, including in Mono County, Inyo County, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and the Colorado River Basin.
“Due to the potentially significant risk of ongoing water supply issues in the immediate and medium terms, the council has a vested interest in understanding and overseeing any continuation of service plans for water supply for city residents,” the motion reads. “While the city has adopted lauded goals, the LADWP should be requested to report on the progress made towards them and what projects are on the drawing board that need to be green-lighted now to ensure we stay on track.”
In October 2014, former Mayor Eric Garcetti issued an executive directive calling for a reduction in purchased imported potable water by 50% by 2024. Additionally, LA’s Green New Deal set goals for the city to achieve 70% local water supply, recycle 100% of all water waste for beneficial reuse and reduce potable water use per capita by 25%, all by 2035.
In 2018, voters in Los Angeles County approved Measure W, the Safe Clean Water Program, to provide funding to increase stormwater capture through enhanced green infrastructure to recharge local groundwater basins and enhance local water supplies.