Adel Hagekhalil, general manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, issues the following statement on Gov. Gavin Newsom’s announcement to provide $38 million for Southern California water efficiency projects:
“The state funding awarded today is a testament to California’s commitment to ensuring a resilient water future for all. I am thankful for the state’s support and proactive approach toward addressing the ongoing challenges facing our water supplies as the climate changes. This critical investment will provide Southern California communities with opportunities to build on their progress in conservation.
“Specifically, these funds will help further Metropolitan’s commitment to changing the region’s landscape by increasing the amount of our turf replacement rebate for public agencies and the commercial, industrial, and institutional sectors – converting up to 30 million square-feet of non-functional turf into water-efficient landscaping. The grant also will allow us to help expand conservation in traditionally underserved communities by funding direct-install programs for high-efficiency fixtures in income-eligible households and purchasing water-recirculating units that conserve water while enabling local fire departments to train for the increasing threat of wildfires.
“With the state’s assistance, we can continue to make major gains in our conservation efforts that are becoming increasingly important as we face a drier, hotter future that may reduce the availability of water from our Northern California and Colorado River sources. As we work to reduce our water use, we must continue to invest in new, local water supplies, storage and the flexibility of our water system for the benefit of the 19 million people in our Southern California communities. Together, we can navigate the challenges of extreme weather and climate whiplash, securing a sustainable water supply for generations to come, with no one left behind.”