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Cities on the Hill Have Enough Water to Last the Year -- Official

The West Basin Municipal Water District has "banked" water for dry times such as these, says its GM.

Cities served by the Water Basin Municipal Water District should have enough water to last the year, officials said today. Patch photo credit: Penny Arévalo.
Cities served by the Water Basin Municipal Water District should have enough water to last the year, officials said today. Patch photo credit: Penny Arévalo.

A West Basin Municipal Water District official said today Los Angeles should have enough water to make it through the end of the calendar year despite a statewide drought.

Richard Nagel, general manager of the West Basin Municipal Water District, warned at a news conference this morning at the Edward C. Little Water Recycling Facility in El Segundo that if the dry conditions persist and becomes a “mega drought,” a water rationing program may be needed in the future.

“We are in the most severe drought in the modern history of the state of California,” Nagel said.

While some rain fell Thursday in Los Angeles and other parts of the
state, California is still in a drought. Gov. Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency in January.

Brown's emergency proclamation -- which warned that scientific projections predict that California may be headed toward its driest year on record -- was meant to allow quicker transfer of water supplies to areas that most need them and speed up the release of funding for water storage projects.

The West Basin Municipal Water District, which serves Southwest Los Angeles County and West Hollywood, has worked to invest in new water storage systems over the years, Nagel said.

“We've banked water that now we can use during these dry times,” Nagel said.

During the news conference, Assemblyman Isadore Hall, III, D-Los Angeles, called for a statewide water bond on the November ballot that would increase water capacity and clean existing water sources in Los Angeles County that would help reduce the need for Northern California water.

He said the bond will not be the only solution, adding “no amount of money can produce water that does not exist.”

Hall said a recent snow pack measurement shows the state has received only 12 percent of the average precipitation for this time of the year, and that Lake Mead and Lake Powell are only half full.

--City News Service

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