Skip to comments.Water shortage ominous (Rationing may surface in Southland next year)
Posted on 09/06/2007 12:29:05 PM PDT by BurbankKarl
Southern California water officials are drawing up plans that could force rationing in some cities as early as next year, officials said Wednesday.
For now, residents are being asked to voluntarily use less water, but the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California warned that mandatory rationing could become necessary for the first time since 1991.
The immediate trigger for concern arose from U.S. District Judge Oliver Wanger's ruling last week that to protect the delta smelt, a small fish threatened with extinction, water imports from Northern California must be cut by up to 30 percent.
Officials said the threat of earthquakes and flooding, saltwater intrusion and aging levees in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta compound the problem.
"We have further evidence that the delta is in crisis, if there was any doubt about it," said Lester Snow, director of the state Department of Water Resources.
Officials said Wednesday that they are still trying to sift through Wanger's ruling to determine how much water they will be able to move through the delta and into Southern California.
Wanger did not specify how much less water could be pumped from the delta. Instead, he focused on protecting the smelt by slowing the water that flows into the pumps. Tim Quinn, president of the Association of California Water Agencies, said that in a dry year there could be a 25 percent reduction in the amount of water pumped from the delta.
The MWD is preparing an allocation plan that would spell out how much water it might be able to provide the 26 cities and water agencies that it serves in six counties, including Los Angeles and Ventura counties, said Roger Patterson, the district's assistant general manager.
If the district tells its members it has less water to provide them, it would be up to them to decide how to ask residents to cut back.
"The question is how soon do we need to go into that kind of decision-making. Do we have to do that in 2008, or do we rely on our reserve account - or (banked water) savings - to not do that in 2008? Those are the policy decisions that will be made."
The district imports about 50 percent of the water used by member agencies. About two-thirds of the water comes from the delta and the rest from the Colorado River.
The amount of water the district stands to lose from the court decision amounts to more than 10 percent of all the water its members use in a typical year.
In the city of Los Angeles, which relies on the district for nearly 70 percent of its water, officials already are asking residents to use 10 percent less water this year. But it's a voluntary program.
"If we have rationing in Los Angeles, it won't be the first time that that has happened," said David Nahai, president of the board of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power Commissioners. "If that is what will be needed in order to safeguard our water supplies, well, so be it. But we'll have to see just what this plan is that Metropolitan Water District will be putting forward."
The MWD plans to present its allocation plan to the board in the fall. But Patterson said officials will hope for plenty of rainfall this winter and voluntary conservation before they seek mandatory cuts.
Real bad in NC too.
At the same time, they want to import another 30 million illegal aliens over the next couple of decades, and they keep building tracts of houses IN THE DESERT! JUST STOP!
LOL. You can't make this stuff up. No one would believe it.
Wonder if this judge lives in the area under water restriction.
I wonder how many trains a day would be needed to bring in bottled water for 36 million people.
So all the tax paying citizens are asked to cut back and then mandatory water restrictions will go into effect and they could get fined. Meanwhile, anyone else can use all the water they want and who’s to stop them?
Water, lots of water, may be the only thing of value in the old industrialized cities of New England. Even with crippling taxes, burdensome regulations, expensive schools, and horrible winters for those who don’t like cold, the ONLY thing that MIGHT attract business/manufacturing back to the Northeast is plentiful clean water.
I wonder how violent things would have to get before our Masters put us ahead of the fish.
Mule trains to comply with existing ecological concerns.
Good point. Also, if there is a potential reduction of 10% in the water supply, what would the removal of much of the illegal population in Southern California do to the demand?
The City of LA announced a 10% voluntary cutback....and then the media reported nearly all the City Council and other department heads used up to 10 times the average city household in water.
That said, as a N. Cal resident, there is no bad reason to cut S. Cal off from our water. They live in a freaking desert. They should learn to like rock gardens, not lawns.
They can also fix the kind of crops they grow in the central valley. Currently farmers grow cotton (a water intensive crop) using federally subsidized water at the same time the federal government pays farmers in the south not to grow cotton. It is insane.
Well, you guys damned up the 2nd Yosemite for your water...
i’ve lived in socal for over 20 years.
i’ve never seen any water conservation. people waste water here.
i’m from denver where the water cops come out and ticket you if you water your lawn on the wrong day.
some of socal’s water comes from colorado.
Let me see, smelt or humans, humans or smelt? Gosh that is a tough one...
Seems to me it’s time to get serious about desalinization. Put in a nuclear power plant or five, and use them to produce clean drinking water for the southland. Who knows, we might even find something to do with the excess energy.
You couldn't pay me enough to live there (just like LA).
Given what happened to the Owens Valley I wouldn't throw any stones if I was you.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.