Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District
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602 E. Huntington Drive, Suite B., Monrovia, CA, 91016 | (626) 443-2297

The MWD’s boss tells it like it is on California’s water woes

Patt Morrison


April 14, 2015


The Metropolitan Water District was formed in 1928, when the Roaring ’20s in Southern California meant a roaring abundance of water too. Today the nonprofit wholesaler provides water to half of the people in California, through cities and water agencies. Water is getting harder to find, the price is going up — truths brought home by this week’s 15% cut in how much water the MWD will sell to its members. One of them is Los Angeles’ Department of Water and Power, whose own independent water sources are being stretched, forcing the DWP to get more of its water from the MWD. Jeffrey Kightlinger has run the MWD for more than nine years, a job that’s now about doing much more with a lot less.

It used to seem California water agencies wanted us to just turn on the tap and not think about the value of water. Why?

It fed our ideas about what California was — this lifestyle, transforming California from an arid-looking desert to a lush environment. In the utility business, we pride ourselves on being so reliable that the consumer doesn’t have to think, is my toilet going to work today? Is my light switch going to work? We want to be there 24/7, 365, under all circumstances, because people expect it.

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