Councilmen Paul Koretz and Mitch O’Farrell Wednesday introduced a motion to obtain reports from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and the Metropolitan Water District on water resilience strategies amid the drought.

“Given the enormity of the alarming drought crisis across the Southwest, we need to do everything we can sooner rather than later to protect the future of our great city,” Koretz said. “We are at a critical juncture with new leadership at MWD, the Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan in place and rapidly-worsening climate breakdown occurring all around us. Now we must work collaboratively with our partners across the Southwest toward a healthy, resilient tomorrow.”

The motion requests a review on the pending update to the Colorado River Compact, a 1922 agreement between states, native tribes and jurisdictions in the Southwest to govern the allocation of Colorado River water rights. The agreement hasn’t been updated in nearly a century, but a drought contingency plan was put into place in 2019 by seven Colorado River Basin states, local water agencies, non-governmental organizations, Mexico and the U.S. Department of the Interior in an effort to protect the river.

The motion requests information on the pending update to the compact, including implementation of water conservation elements, water recycling and watershed management approaches, such as stormwater capture and reuse, groundwater remediation, landscaping with native plants and turf removal programs.

“Los Angeles is leading the way on sustainability and environmental initiatives, and we must lead the way on addressing our worsening drought conditions,” O’Farrell said. “I look forward to bringing this item to my committee, and to working with Councilmember Koretz and my colleagues in responding to these challenges with urgency and purpose.”

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