Faced with drought, global warming, and chronic overuse, the Colorado River— responsible for providing water for millions of Southern Californians — has hit dangerous new lows. As the water system grows older and more vulnerable to rapid change, it is ever more important to ensure the critical water infrastructure in Southern California.
The Los Angeles Times recently reported on the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California’s $37-million project to ensure the Colorado River Aqueduct is safe from deformation or rupture in the event of an earthquake. Officials said it was a significant step in securing the state’s water future, and without it, the nearly 100-year-old segment of the critical aqueduct could be displaced by as much as 13 feet due to seismic activity.
This project underscores the overwhelming number of catastrophes the state officials must consider as our water systems grow older and more vulnerable to rapid change.
Adel Hagekhalil, Chief Executive Officer and General Manager of MWD, told the Los Angeles Times that the “double whammy” of a Colorado River pipeline shutdown against the backdrop of extremely limited state supplies is one of many reasons for officials to stay proactive when it comes to diversifying the region’s water portfolio.
“We have a huge responsibility to build a water system that is resilient to earthquakes, resilient to drought — both in local water supplies and in storage,” he said. “We can build our system in a way to respond to these challenges, but also if something happens, we are able to adapt and respond quickly to move water around.”
Read More at the Los Angeles Times
To learn more about the drought and proposed solutions, check out the Rebuild SoCal Zone Podcast, where we’ve launched a mini-series focused on California’s Water Crisis.
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