Shane Chapman, Upper District’s General Manager, recently said that “There is no shortage of expensive water, but there is a shortage of cheap water.”
In the San Gabriel River Watershed, the Los Angeles County Flood District already captures over 95% of the stormwater run-off and store it underground. Projects to capture the final 5% of water from the San Gabriel River, which flows out to sea, are underway.
Secondly, water imported from Northern California and the Colorado River through the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is getting more expensive doubling in price since 2005 for groundwater replenishment purposes. The cause of expensive imported water stems from increasing drought shortages; competition for the same supplies from other states and for environmental purposes; as well as water quality regulations that call for more expensive and sophisticated treatment technologies.
The way to manage risks of skyrocketing water rates is by striving for overall water system efficiency, taking a long-term view in developing new water supply sources, keeping a close eye on imported water trends, and conserving water.