LOS ANGELES — The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday adopted a “water plan” for Los Angeles County in an effort to bolster local water supplies and reduce reliance on more costly imported water.
“The County Water Plan is a detailed blueprint for weaning greater LA from its historical reliance on imported sources of water,” Rita Kampalath, the county’s chief sustainability officer, said in a statement after the vote. “By investing in increased water recycling and runoff capture, we are investing in local systems that are more reliable, more resilient and less energy intensive.”
In conjunction with the plan, the board adopted a motion by Supervisor Lindsey Horvath outlining a series of steps aimed at meeting the plan’s objectives — in part by bolstering stormwater-capture efforts, recycling and other conservation strategies, with a goal of increasing the local water supply by 600,000 acre-feet by 2045. An acre-foot of water is generally considered enough to serve at least two households for an entire year.
Horvath noted that despite historic rainfall in 2022-23, many of the area’s groundwater basins of overtaxed, and access to safe water is threatened in some vulnerable communities.
“Water is our most precious natural resource, especially as cycles of drought, wildfire, and flooding threaten our region’s water supply,” Horvath — who took over as chair of the Board of Supervisors Tuesday — said in a statement. “The Los Angeles County Water Plan is the first comprehensive planning document that articulates a shared, inclusive, regional path forward to sustainably and equitably achieve safe, clean, and reliable water resources for all Los Angeles County residents. With this plan in place, we must work regionally to implement it and reduce our reliance on imported water.”
Horvath’s motion accompanying the water plan called for the creation of a local task force to coordinate water conservation and drought-preparedness efforts, convening of a Water Resiliency Summit with area water agencies and other stakeholders and creation of a panel to develop standards “for nature- based water management solutions.”
“This plan comes at a critical time for the Los Angeles County region,” county Public Works Director Mark Pestrella said “Three years of drought followed by a year of intense rainfall along with other significant stressors — including polluted groundwater basins, aging infrastructure, and lack of access to safe, clean and reliable water supplies in vulnerable communities — clearly demonstrate our region’s vulnerability to the weather impacts driven by climate change and the urgent need to boost resilience.”