Adel Hagekhalil, general manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, issues the following statement on U.S Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Camille Touton’s testimony today before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on the severity of the Colorado River drought and need for short- and long-term drought solutions across the West:
“The worsening conditions on the Colorado River represent the extraordinary strain the historically dry conditions are having on water resources across the state and the Southwest. Together with our partners on the river, we’ve invested billions of dollars to slow the decline of the Colorado River system reservoirs. The accelerating drought now has us at a turning point. We must do more to respond to the decades long drought that continues to stress our infrastructure, causing storage levels in Lake Mead and Lake Powell to plummet, reducing the river’s water supply reliability and threatening the loss of power generation. We remain committed to pulling together with the seven Basin states, federal government, tribal nations and Mexico to address this crisis and promote long-term sustainability of this shared water source that is vital to our communities, farms and environment.
“In Southern California, we’re pushing our residents and businesses to cut their water use and seeking federal and state support for projects and programs that help us adapt to drought and climate change by investing in local supplies, storage and increasing the flexibility of our water system to allow us to reduce our reliance on our imported water resources.”
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is a state-established cooperative that, along with its 26 cities and retail suppliers, provides water for 19 million people in six counties. The district imports water from the Colorado River and Northern California to supplement local supplies, and helps its members to develop increased water conservation, recycling, storage and other resource-management programs.