Los Angeles is running out of water, and time. Are leaders willing to act?
“L.A. County’s water supply is in crisis and has been for some time,” said Rick Jiles, of Resource Conservation and Recovery, a nonprofit environmental group. “The system’s aging infrastructure—many of the pipes are more than 50 years old. And in the last couple of years, we’ve had some dry spells, which has meant more people are being hit with higher water bills.”
The water crisis has hit hardest in L.A. County, which, because of geography, it is more heavily dependent on groundwater sources, and therefore, faces a lot of pressure to find new water sources.
The city of Huntington Beach has become an epicenter of the crisis, and more than a few cities are feeling the heat.
“This is an unprecedented national crisis,” Jiles said. “We’re talking about 10 million people who are struggling to pay their water bills.”
“It’s going to be a long haul,” he said.
Jiles said the water crisis in L.A. County is being driven by two things:
“One is an unsustainable growth pattern in agriculture and urbanization,” said Jiles. “It’s been going on for decades; it’s been an enormous, unsustainable trend that’s put pressure on the groundwater supply.”
“The other is the changing climate,” he said. “We’re seeing drought conditions in many other parts of the country that’s not unique to California,” adding that these conditions could soon spread to L.A., and that they are having a “significant” impact on the county.
Jiles said there are some possible solutions for the water crisis, and they are largely based on the premise that California will be able to manage the problem.
“The solution is conservation,” Jiles said. “We’ll have to be smarter about how we use our water.”
“We need to make sure people aren’t flooding in from other counties,