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Tell the LA Dept of Water and Power: Conserve Water during the Drought!

For Immediate Release
February 25, 2014
Contact: Liz Crosson, Los Angeles Waterkeeper
Gary Wockner, Save The Colorado River Campaign

Water Conservation Groups Launch Petition Targeting Los Angeles Department of Water and Power

Los Angeles – As the drought intensifies in California and the Southwest U.S., a new era begins for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) with its new General Manager, Marcie Edwards.  To help push forward an increased focus on water conservation in Los Angeles, Western American water conservation groups – Los Angeles Waterkeeper and the Save The Colorado River Campaign – joined forces today with Change.org to launch a petition targeting LADWP.

The Change.org petition is posted here.

“This historical drought brings an opportunity for Los Angeles to increase our focus on water conservation, new water supply programs, and river protection,” said Liz Crosson, Executive Director of Los Angeles Waterkeeper which advocates for water conservation and protection throughout LA County.  “We look forward to working with Manager Edwards to help lead Angelinos forward in this critical time.”

The petition calls on the LADWP to:

  • Increase its focus on water conservation.
  • Launch new programs around wastewater and stormwater recycling, including collaborating with Public Works, the Regional Water Quality Control Board, and the Planning Department to integrate water management in LA.
  • Better educate the community about negative impacts on river systems, including the San Joaquin River of northern California and the Colorado River, both sources of LA’s water.

The petition comes forward as community and environmental leaders in Los Angeles are encouraging LADWP to expedite its Stormwater Capture Master Plan, and work with water quality and water supply agencies to incentivize capturing stormwater to augment local groundwater supply.

“Los Angeles has a huge opportunity to become a national leader in the efficient use of water by recycling wastewater and stormwater, most of which right now just washes out
to the ocean polluting our beaches and coasts,” continued Crosson. “This drought further affirms that it is Southern California’s responsibility to make a good faith effort to address the long term climate change impacts now and join the rest of the state in taking immediate and impactful action.”

California’s drought has hit water supplies in the northern part of the state the hardest, while Southern California appears to have enough water to stave off this drought, at least for one year.  Southern California’s ample water supplies are in part due to its reliance on the Colorado River whose water is served to Los Angeles by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD).  Although MWD has stated that Southern California will get its full allotment of Colorado River water this year, the Colorado River ecosystem is also suffering through a 1 in 1000-year drought, which has lowered the levels in Lakes Mead and Powell to their lowest point in history.  In 2013, the Colorado River was named the “Most Endangered River in America” and the U.S. Department of Interior has launched a major study to find ways to address the increasing threats to the river from climate change and future population growth.

“Drought and climate change have brought a ‘new normal’ to the Southwestern U.S. and the Colorado River,” said Gary Wockner, Coordinator for the Save The Colorado River Campaign, which is based in Denver and works throughout the Southwest U.S. to protect the river.  “We encourage LADWP to also create a ‘new normal’ in educational programs about all of our combined impact on the increasingly endangered Colorado River ecosystem.”

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ABOUT LOS ANGELES WATERKEEPER
Founded in 1993, Los Angeles Waterkeeper’s mission is to protect and restore Santa Monica Bay, San Pedro Bay, and adjacent waters through enforcement, fieldwork, and community action. It works to achieve this goal through litigation and regulatory programs that ensure water quality protections in waterways throughout L.A. County. Los Angeles Waterkeeper’s Litigation & Advocacy, Marine, and Water Quality teams conduct interconnected projects that serve this mission.

ABOUT SAVE THE COLORADO RIVER CAMPAIGN
The Save The Colorado River Campaign works to protect and restore the Colorado River from its headwaters in Colorado and Wyoming to the Gulf of California.  Save The Colorado donates funds to non-profit environmental groups across the Colorado River basin that are working to protect the river.  Save The Colorado also runs campaigns focusing on water conservation, stopping bad water projects, and river restoration throughout the Southwest U.S. including areas that receive Colorado River water in Southern California.

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