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March 2013
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Record Dry Conditions Impact Water Supply

Sacramento – San Joaquin Delta

What started as a promising water year in California has turned dry—very dry.

The high supply potential suggested in November and December, when precipitation was about 200 percent of average in the Northern Sierra, never materialized.  In fact, California ended February on a low water supply note, with the state setting a new record for the driest January-February period in recorded history, dating back 90 years.

The Northern Sierra snowpack index, used by the state Department of Water Resources to calculate runoff and allocate water delivered through the State Water Project, registered only 2.2 inches of precipitation during the first two months of 2013.  The average for the period is 17.1 inches.

With no significant storms on the horizon at the beginning of March, snowpack in the Northern Sierra stands at about 60 to 70 percent of normal for this time of year. 

Fix A Leak Week

The average household’s leaks can add up to 10,000 gallons of wasted water each year. Nationwide, that’s more than 1 trillion gallons wasted annually. These startling figures are the impetus behind the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s “Fix a Leak Week” running March 18 – 24. The week serves as an annual reminder to check household plumbing fixtures and outdoor irrigation systems for leaks.

EPA provides a simple to-do list: check for leaks, twist fixture connections tighter and replace if the dripping can’t be stopped. Click here for a more detailed leak-busting guide.

News Events

Watering Index
Spring is just around the corner so use the index for better outdoor water efficiency. Click here to bewaterwise.


Member Agency Highlights

LADWP Celebrates Centennial of the Los Angeles Aqueduct

Aqueduct Opening in 1913 Led to the Growth and Prosperity of L.A., and All of Southern California

Nov. 5, 1913 - Opening Day of the Los Angeles Aqueduct Cascades, when water first arrives from the Owens Valley to Los Angeles before a cheering crowd of 40,000 people.

The Los Angeles City Council has officially declared “2013: Year of the Los Angeles Aqueduct,” joining the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to launch a centennial celebration marking 100 years of continuous operation of William Mulholland’s great engineering achievement, bringing water to Los Angeles from the Owens Valley 233 miles away.

The city proclamation states, “the completion of the Los Angeles Aqueduct 100 years ago is a significant historical event that led to the growth and prosperity of Los Angeles and Southern California, helped spur an economy that today rivals many nations’ and supports a distinct culture synonymous with invention, creativity and entrepreneurship."


Metropolitan At Work

Achievements in Conservation, Recycling and Groundwater Recharge

In February, Metropolitan released "Achievements in Conservation, Recycling and Groundwater Recharge." This annual report provides a summary of program goals and accomplishments in these areas. As noted in the report, Metropolitan anticipates that over a two-year period, concluding on June 30, 2014, it will have spent $40 million to fund the water conservation program and $66 million to provide incentives for water recycling and groundwater recovery projects administered by its member agencies.

The report also highlights other Metropolitan programs related to improving water supply and water quality.


Shutdown Season Recap

Upper Feeder Repairs

With water-saving help from Los Angeles County foothill communities, Metropolitan continues to successfully complete planned upgrades and repairs to its complex delivery system as part of the district’s annual shutdown season.

As February drew to a close, Metropolitan returned to service a major regional water line delivering supplies for up to 1.7 million consumers in foothill cities and communities in Los Angeles County, from Glendale to Pomona. About 27 miles of the 10-foot diameter Upper Feeder was taken out of service for eight days starting Feb. 21 for a series of upgrades and repairs that are part of Metropolitan’s ongoing investment in infrastructure reliability.


At A Glance

Spring Green Expo 2013 – May 16

Please join Metropolitan at its 6th Annual Spring Expo on Thursday, May 16. You'll learn how you can live and work in a more environmentally-friendly way. Spring Green takes place at Metropolitan's Headquarters building adjacent to Union Station in downtown Los Angeles from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. This year’s expo will feature:

  • “Green” exhibits highlighting technology, products, services and programs
  • ECO Innovators Showcase, highlighting sustainability projects created by Southern California college students
  • Seminars on informative and timely sustainability topics
  • Water-themed photo exhibit in recognition of Water Awareness Month
  • MWDiscovery contest

To learn more about Spring Green Expo 2013 click here.


Solar Cup 2013 – May 17-19

Students from 40 high schools in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside,
San Bernardino, San Diego and Ventura counties are participating in the
11th Annual Solar Cup - May 17, 18 and 19. The three-day event at Lake Skinner in Riverside County near Temecula is the nation’s largest solar-powered boat competition. The competition allows students to apply their skills in math, physics, engineering and communications, while learning about Southern California’s water resources, resource management and alternative energy development.

To learn more about Solar Cup click here.


This newsletter is produced by:
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
700 N. Alameda St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012