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September 2013
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Bay Delta Conservation Plan: A Foundation of Southland’s Long-Term Water Plan

Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta

For Southern California, stabilizing the region’s traditional imported supplies, expanding our local sources and lowering demand through conservation and water-use efficiencies are all important water management tools. What’s equally important is how one is not in competition with another.

Metropolitan District staff recently outlined for the board of directors how the emerging effort to stabilize imported supplies from Northern California is central to having a broad “portfolio” of reliable, sustainable supplies.

“The cornerstones of that portfolio approach are stable, reliable imported supplies from the State Water Project and the Colorado River,” said Deven Uphadyay, manager of Metropolitan’s Water Resources Management Group.

In 2010, Metropolitan updated its 25-year plan to maintain reliable supplies that depended entirely on new local supplies and new local conservation to meet the future demands of population growth. While the district’s traditional supplies from the Colorado River and Northern California (via the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta) account for more than half of all Southland water supplies, that percentage is expected to decrease over time as local resource investments expand.

Metropolitan’s 25-year Integrated Water Resources Plan includes more reliance on conservation,
recycling and local supplies.

The Northern California supply remains vital because a single wet winter can help refill Metropolitan’s expansive storage system via the State Water Project and thus provide a cushion during drought cycles. The ability of the State Water Project to meet this mission is currently severely compromised because of pumping restrictions in the southern Delta. New water intakes in the northern Delta and a new conveyance system would address this bottleneck and promote more natural flow patterns in the estuary. These improvements are part of an emerging state-federal effort known as the Bay Delta Conservation Plan.

If successful, the BDCP will provide the water reserves for dry cycles. Meanwhile, the water saved in Southern California by lowering demand will be greater in the future than water imported from Northern California in an average year.

Click here for more information on Metropolitan’s long-term water plan.
Click here for more information on the Bay Delta Conservation Plan.

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