LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The 8 News Now Investigators ran a four-part series on the “California Water Hogs,” with a special focus on the water used to irrigate farmland in the Imperial Valley, water storage, water recycling, and desalinating seawater. However, officials in Los Angeles County said they are doing more there than people in Las Vegas might think.
“There’s some new stuff we’re doing,” Terrence McCarthy, manager of water resources policy for the Los Angeles Department of Power and Water said.
In addition to pointing out that Los Angeles water customers have lowered their water consumption by 30% in the last 15 years, McCarthy said L.A. County is offering residents rebates to tear out their lawns and replace them with sustainable landscapes.
“We can’t just stay on the same path we’ve been on the last three decades,” Bill Hasencamp said, manager of Colorado River resources for the Metropolitan Water District, which supplies water to 19 million southern Californians.
Hasencamp said southern California is facing massive drought and the high costs for implementing change in how they handle the shrinking water levels on the Colorado River will take his agency and others implementing “a suite of actions to add to our water supply reliability.”
Additionally, they work with commercial property owners to help identify where they can save water, as well as offer them financial assistance to upgrade their systems. The strategy to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on water recycling, diversion, reuse, and capture came to fruition with one of their prize pieces of water policy – the Safe Clean Water Program, which voters there passed, even in the face of higher water bills.
Officials contend that they are on pace to conserve as much water as their counterparts in Southern Nevada, who are tops in the country in water recycling and conservation.
“We are working towards that,” McCarthy said. “And if not on par with Southern Nevada Water Authority, very close to where those programs are.”