Los Angeles, CA

Alarming Water Shortage in California. How does it affect Los Angeles?

Narda Maren
Los Angeles City is among the 20 major cities in the world where water shortages will begin in 2050. But in 2021, we are already feeling its effects."
Photo by Luis Quintero from Pexels

According to a study conducted and published by Nature, the global urban population facing water scarcity (933 million, one-third of the world's urban population in 2016) will increase between 1.693-2.373 billion people (one third to almost half of the global urban population) by 2050. However, today, the severe effects are already being felt in part of the planet, including California, and its most populous city, Los Angeles."

Alert for Lack of Water

For the first time in seven years, Southern California authorities issued a water rationing alert. The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) has asked consumers and businesses to voluntarily reduce their water use and help preserve the region's storage reserves.

The declaration comes a day after the Office of Reclamation first declared a shortage on the Colorado River, typically providing about 25 percent of Southern California's water needs.

Southern Californians have done an extraordinary job reducing their water use, which has helped us build up our stored reserves for times like these. But now, we're relying on our storage to get us through this arid year. And we don't know what next year it will bring," Metropolitan board Chairwoman Gloria D. Gray said. "We must all find ways we can save even more so we have the water we need if this drought continues."

According to a publication by Los Angeles Times, the 705-mile storage and delivery system collects water from rivers and tributaries to redistribute it throughout the state. One of its largest reservoirs, Lake Oroville, has experienced such a steep drop in water level that state officials had to shut down its main hydroelectric plant for the first time.

Reduction of Water Supply to Mexico

The International Boundary and Water Commission (CILA) Mexico-USA indicated in a statement that it is the first reduction since the entry into force of the bilateral treaty.

It explained that in 2022 will be reduced Mexico's allocation by 62 million cubic meters and, additionally the country will contribute 37 million cubic meters of recoverable water savings, per the Binational Contingency Plan for Water Scarcity established in Act 323 of the treaty, signed in 2017.

Article 10 of the treaty establishes that The United States must allocate to Mexico a minimum of 1.85 billion cubic meters per year of water from the Colorado River and its tributaries.

The Agriculture and Water Shortage

California's agricultural sector is one of the largest in the nation, with approximately 24.6 million acres of cultivated land. Drought and forest fires are threats facing this activity, which generates 5.7% of GDP and 11% of employment for the United States, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS)

A publication by CNN, making things worse, thieves are taking billions of liters of water, which they extract from fire hydrants, rivers, and even small family homes and farms.

To make matters worse, according to a publication by CNN, thieves are taking billions of liters of water, which they extract from hydrants, rivers, and even small family homes and farms.

State and local authorities say water theft is a long-standing problem. Still, the intensification of the drought has seen thefts reach record levels as reservoirs dry up and thieves’ appropriate stolen water, often to grow illegal marijuana crops.

Science and the State

Scientists explain that climate change will cause even more extreme and frequent droughts than we are currently experiencing, further jeopardizing food security, representing a real challenge for the US food supply. It is why The California Secretary of Agriculture and Congressmen announced a special fund to help farmers and workers during this time of extreme drought.

Once again, the importance of raising awareness in society is highlighted, and the need for large industries to understand the importance of reducing the environmental impact of global warming

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