Last summer, by many estimations, was the worst drought on record. Now, with other developments, water officials throughout the state have launched a program called California's Water: A Crisis We Can't Ignore. It's a water pinch that may hurt the Eastern Sierra as a water-shy Southern California looks for replacement water.
In the Eastern Sierra, we're used to water crises of various sorts, but the statewide picture goes to another level. According to the Association of California Water Agencies, critical challenges now confront the state's water supply and delivery system.
The agency has launched TV ads to get across the message of concern:
Timothy Quinn, Executive Director of the Association of California Water Agencies, said that in September a federal court ordered a massive reduction in the statewide water supply. The order halts water export from the Delta area due to an endangered fish.
The Los Angeles Times reports that the Metropolitan Water District, MWD, warns of water cuts and higher rates. The agency is quoted as saying that some local areas may have to consider rationing for the first time in years. MWD provides water to 18 million people across Southern California. They are calling for conservation now.
The Times says that Los Angeles will not feel the pinch so hard because "the city's DWP receives a large portion of its supply for the Owens Valley. LA does receive 34% of its water supply from the MWD.
This could mean LADWP will try to suck more water out of the Eastern Sierra as its MWD supply dries up.