Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti joined local water officials Tuesday to detail a new partnership that will shift water from the State Water Project to the Colorado River to ensure that Southland residents have continued water access amid a historic drought.
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power receives imported water via the Metropolitan Water District from the State Water Project and the Colorado River. Under the new partnership, LADWP will give some of the water back to the MWD to be distributed to regions that don’t have access to the Colorado River.
Los Angeles will use reserves built through past conservation efforts, and LADWP customers will not be penalized with increased charges for the water shift.
“Living with limited water resources isn’t just a phase — it’s the new normal, and we have to work together as a region if we want to ensure that we can count on access to water for generations to come,” Garcetti said. “This partnership is about more than how we respond in a dry year — it’s about how we prepare our region for tomorrow.”
According to the mayor’s office, Southern California is more capable of managing the drought compared to other parts of California thanks to previous conservation efforts and investments in storage and new technology.
Garcetti noted the importance of continued water conservation and urged Southern California residents Tuesday “to do their part again to meet our goal to reduce usage by 15 percent.”
Conservation efforts that have led to the city’s water reserves include the county’s safe, Clean Water Program through Measure W, which provides $300 million in local, dedicated annual funding for projects that increase local water supplies, improve quality, enhance the public right of way and protect public health.
“The key to being resilient during dry weather periods is to continue investing in and strengthening our local water supply. That is why we’re working on expanding our local stormwater capture capabilities through large and small infrastructure projects,” said Anselmo Collins, the LADWP’s senior assistant general manager of the water system. “This is all to ensure a stronger and more sustainable water future, not just for LA, but for the region as a whole”
The partnership includes Calleguas Municipal Water District, which services parts of Ventura County, and Las Virgenes Municipal Water District, which services Agoura Hills, Calabasas, Hidden Hills and parts of unincorporated L.A. County.
“We’ve managed through this dry year thanks to innovative shifts in our operations, water stored in reserves and increased water efficiency across the region. But we’re facing unprecedented conditions in our Northern California reservoirs, and next year could be an even bigger challenge,” MWD Board Chair Gloria Gray said. “So we need everyone to work together to save water, particularly in communities that rely on the State Water Project.”