By Mary O’KEEFE
The Metropolitan Water District (MWD) is getting ready to repair the pipeline that brings precious Colorado River water to Southern California. The repairs will affect outdoor watering for most Los Angeles County residents from Sept. 6 to Sept. 20. Residents are being asked to suspend outdoor watering for these 15 days.
MWD discovered the damage to the pipeline in April.
“We put a temporary repair on it,” said Bob Muir, MWD spokesman. But those at MWD knew this was only a temporary fix and have been planning the best way to move forward to create a more stable repair.
“This is a critical pipeline and we need to make the necessary repairs,” Muir said. “We are trying to guard ahead of a bigger problem, should there be a leak and it becomes worse.”
MWD is one of 29 contractors that get some water supplied from the California State Water Project, the state water distribution system. Though repairs will affect outdoor watering the bigger picture is that California, like other southwestern states, are facing critical water crisis.
We must keep in mind that, under the California umbrella of a 20% goal for conservation, a portion of MWD’s service area is under a strict water management budget, Muir said.
“That is a more dire situation than these [upcoming] 15 days,” Muir added.
With the record low levels of the Colorado River and its tributaries, water conservation is part of life from now on in California, Arizona and Nevada.
In May the State Water Resources Control Board adopted emergency water conservation regulations in response to an executive order issued by Gov. Gavin Newsom.
“California is facing a drought crisis and every local water agency, and California, needs to step up on conservation efforts. I am hopeful the measures enacted by the State Water Board will lead to a reduction of water use across the state. These conservation measures are increasingly important as we enter the summer months. I’m asking all Californians to step up because every single drop counts,” Newsom stated at the time.
The State Water Resources Control Board voted to implement a statewide ban on watering non-functional turf in the commercial, industrial and institutional sectors, as well as issuing regulations requiring local agencies to implement water use restrictions amid the possibility that water supplies may be up to 20% lower due to extreme weather.