Water Storage: Los Angeles Smart, Sacramento Dumb

That is the only conclusion you can reach from a few paragraphs in a recent story from the Sacramento Bee about the drought:

An excerpt.

Although many local communities and farmers are already suffering from dry conditions, this is not the case statewide. The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, which serves the Los Angeles-San Diego metropolis, is not planning any drought restrictions this year. It may even have enough water if the dry conditions continue into 2015.

The district depends almost entirely on water imported from other places, including the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The state’s last prolonged drought, which lasted from 1987-1992, strained the district’s supplies and brought harsh conservation measures to the region.

Since then, Metropolitan has invested $3 billion in local water storage projects. This includes Diamond Valley Lake, the largest reservoir built in California in nearly 50 years, a billion-dollar tunnel to move larger pulses of water into the reservoir when available, and a range of groundwater storage systems. As a result, it has a cushion to survive droughts even if its imported water supplies dry up.

“We’ll have plenty of water in 2015,” said Jeffrey Kightlinger, Metropolitan’s general manager. “And even if it’s still a drought, we’ll still have enough water in 2016. But our board will be taking a hard look at how do we ease into it. That’s the nice thing about having made all these investments. We have options.”

Metropolitan also has invested heavily in conservation. Since 1990, it has reduced systemwide water demand from 2.4 million acre-feet to about 1.8 million today, despite adding 5 million people to the region’s population.

Retrieved January 12, 2013 from http://www.sacbee.com/2014/01/12/6063205/california-drought-will-test-jerry.html

About David H Lukenbill

I am a native of Sacramento, as are my wife and daughter. I am a consultant to nonprofit organizations, and have a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Behavior and a Master of Public Administration degree, both from the University of San Francisco. We live along the American River with two cats and all the wild critters we can feed. I am the founding president of the American River Parkway Preservation Society and currently serve as the CFO and Senior Policy Director. I also volunteer as the President of The Lampstand Foundation, a nonprofit organization I founded in 2003.
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