Los Angeles is running out of water, and time. Are leaders willing to act?
Water is at a crisis point: The Los Angeles City water supply is in danger of being depleted. Los Angeles has been drawing down as fast as it can, and yet, the supply is not where it needs to be.
It doesn’t look like this is going to get better. The water officials of the Metropolitan Water District (MWD) are telling residents they face a very dangerous future if the water supply doesn’t ramp up when their contract expires in August.
“The contract is set to expire on September 16. That’s just a couple of months away,” says Laura Amann, a spokesperson for the MWD.
With the water supply at an emergency state, the MWD has resorted to a controversial practice called “water rationing.” This involves issuing emergency water shutoff (EWO) letters to customers who are not currently using an emergency water rate. The MWD says EO letters provide an emergency response during water shortages.
“You have to be proactive. You have to be prepared,” says Amann. “One of the biggest issues for the residents is that they will run out of water. We cannot simply rely on the emergency state of the supply.”
But according to a report by LA Weekly, the practice can lead to “unintended consequences,” including death.
“Every day, we get a letter from residents who are being served by the MWD saying, ‘I’m fine, leave me alone, I have water,’” says Amann. “We are not going to leave them alone.”
Some have been served by the MWD for years.
In 2017, a lawsuit by The City of West Hollywood against the MWD and the city of BeverlyHills was launched, claiming the water authorities were violating the rights of residents.
The lawsuit claimed the water authority was violating the California Constitution, by sending out EO notices to residents in the absence of a water emergency. Residents were told to “take care of business” as the water crisis deepened.
The lawsuit also stated: “The water officials’ actions in this case have caused them to be sued in several courts.”