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October 2008

An E-Newsletter From Metropolitan
Keep up with important water issues easily by reading these timely and brief articles on water quality and supply issues, member agency news, board meetings, special notices and more.

California Drought Continues
The drought gripping California is different than any we have experienced before, caused by a confluence of issues that cannot be solved by rainfall alone. If the calls for water conservation seem like business as usual, think again. This is not a case of the common drought.

Lake Oroville - 2005                       Lake Oroville - 2008
In June, 2005 the elevation of Lake Oroville was 897.12 feet. By February 2008 the elevation had dropped to 719.86 feet. The lake lost 2,079,738 acre feet of water during that time.

“Our water supply is dangerously low due to record dry conditions and environmental factors,” said Metropolitan Board Chairman Timothy F. Brick. “We have entered a new and worrisome water era, where the problems of below-normal rain and snowfall are made much worse by water supply restrictions due to deteriorating environmental conditions. It is time to make every drop count.”

Read the entire story.



News Events
Integrated Water Resources Plan Forums
In Southern California, we share the responsibility of ensuring that we have a reliable and high-quality water supply. To prepare for the future, we are developing a new plan for a new water reality. Your participation in this planning process is instrumental to its long-term success. The process began in September with a series of stakeholder forums throughout Southern California. Please join Metropolitan, its member agencies and other stakeholders in the on-going IRP process. Click here to learn more about the IRP.

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Member Agency Highlights
Purple is the New Green
These days, everyone is going green. We recycle plastics, paper and electronics. We conserve energy. We save water. But it still may be a surprise to find out that something as mundane as purple pipe is keeping Southern California green in more ways than one.

The trendiest definition of being green means sustainable or environmentally-friendly. The word green also means, more traditionally, lush landscapes filled with soft grass and leafy plants. Putting greens. Green meadows. You get the idea.

Read the entire story.

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Metropolitan at Work
Arrowhead West Tunnel Breakthrough Summary

Click here to see a brief video clip.



Like out of a chapter from Jules Verne’s “Journey to the Center of the Earth,” in late summer, roughly 300 people witnessed a massive, mechanical mole emerge from under the San Bernardino Mountains. The 450-foot, 820-ton tunnel-boring machine burst through the Devil Canyon portal, to the cheering and roaring applause from the excited spectators, thus completing the nearly five-year passage through dirt, rock and granite up to 1,500 feet beneath the mountain range, as part of Metropolitan Water District’s $1.2 billion Inland Feeder Project.

“We’re just not breaking through a mountain; we are breaking through to the future,” said Metropolitan Board Chairman Timothy F. Brick. “This has been a landmark achievement for the Inland Feeder, a vital link in securing a more reliable, higher-quality water supply for Southern California.”

The 3.8-mile Arrowhead West Tunnel is the last of three needed for the 44-mile Inland Feeder, a high-capacity, gravity-fed water delivery system stretching from the foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains to Metropolitan’s Colorado River Aqueduct in the Riverside County community of San Jacinto.

Construction of the Arrowhead west and east tunnels presented many challenges, according to Project Manager John Bednarski. “Not just because of the physical extremities due to mining in difficult geologic conditions, but because of other hazards such as crossing earthquake faults, fires and flash floods.”

General Manager Jeff Kightlinger says that when complete in 2010; the Inland Feeder will provide Metropolitan the flexibility to deliver 650 million gallons of water per day from Northern California, when available, during wet periods—primarily during the winter when it rains. The feeder will also improve the quality of Southern California’s water supply by allowing a more uniform blending of water from Northern California with the Colorado River supplies, which have a higher mineral content.

“Southern California is facing increasingly limited periods of time when water is accessible in Northern California and can be delivered to our region,” Brick said. “So when water is available, we must be prepared to move large volumes of water during a relatively short time and then store it for use during dry periods and emergencies.”

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Answers to Inquiries
I’ve heard of a “carbon footprint” but what is my “water footprint?”

Your water footprint is the total amount of water you use in your home and/or business on an annual basis. You can make your water footprint smaller by becoming more conscious of your water use and learning what you can do to use water more efficiently. This will help ensure our water supply for the future. To learn more about saving water go to bewaterwise.com

Do you have a question or concern about water?  Please direct your inquiries to mwd-news@mwdh2o.com.

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

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