Deven Upadhyay, executive officer and assistant general manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, issues the following statement on the California Department of Water Resources’ first snow survey of the season:
“While we are certainly grateful for the water supply and ecosystem benefits these recent large storms are bringing to our state, we realize that it will take more than one wet month to end the multi-year drought that has brought unprecedented dry conditions to communities and farms across California. We learned this lesson well last year, when we saw record precipitation in December followed by the driest January, February and March in our history. We also recognize that these storms and the flooding they are causing are having destructive and devastating effects on some communities and critical infrastructure; those immediate needs must be addressed.
“California has always managed through a dynamic hydrology, with dramatic fluctuations in precipitation from year to year. But climate change is bringing never-before-seen extremes – from record dry periods with temperatures reaching new heights, to intense storms that produce rivers of water in short periods of time. We must learn how to manage through these extremes. That requires investments in storage, conveyance, conservation and new local supplies. We have no other choice but to adapt so that we are more resilient to these conditions.”
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.