The ongoing and historic drought has many Valley cities declaring water shortages. In Mesa, the city is in stage one of its water shortage management plan. While they’re reducing water usage citywide, Mesa is also spending millions to boost its water infrastructure. Construction started on a 10.5-mile pipeline on Monday. The plan is to build out the Central Mesa Reuse Pipeline and it begins at Greenfield and Southern.
Lake Mead’s water levels have risen slightly as the record snowpack in the southwest continues to melt.
As of June 5, the Colorado River reservoir in Nevada stood at 1,054.42 feet.
The lake has risen sharply since the end of April when the Bureau of Reclamation released a vast amount of water from Lake Powell. The water ran through the Grand Canyon and eventually into Lake Mead, replenishing sandbars and beaches.
When companies think about risk, most of them don’t think about water. Historically, water has been available even in areas prone to drought, and flooding followed a fairly predictable pattern. But as the climate warms, the world is beginning to see more extremes — and that often means too little or too much water.
The Board of Supervisors Tuesday officially added Riverside County to a statewide coalition of interests promulgating steps by the state to expand water infrastructure and take other actions to prevent water shortages during cyclical droughts, including the current one. “Different (local) water companies are getting together on the same page,” board Chairman Jeff Hewitt said. “It gives me hope they’ll find solutions sooner than later.”
Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday said California must do more to expand its water supplies by building new reservoirs, desalination plants and recycled water facilities to address worsening droughts and water shortages from climate change.
Newsom released a 19-page plan that directs state agencies to accelerate permitting and offer increased financial assistance to local water projects as the state struggles with its eighth year of drought in the past 11 years.
Many small and rural communities across California are vulnerable to drought and water shortages as they lack the diverse water sources and infrastructure of big cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles. In some cases, these communities are forced to rely on bottled water or water hauled in from elsewhere, which experts say is costly and unsustainable.
Calling the regional drought a major emergency in need of long-term regional solutions, the Los Angeles City Council Wednesday requested a series of reports on projected municipal water supplies and expansion of efforts to recycle water and support long-term conservation.
“We keep talking about drought and, honestly, we’re past talking about drought, because drought implies temporary cycles,” Councilman Paul Krekorian said. “Water shortages in Southern California are endemic, long- lasting, almost certainly permanent.
Climate change and water shortages are in large part responsible for causing the drought within California in the US, as well as other western states. This has been an ongoing trend for three years now, and in 2022 alone, California has experienced 1,402 wildfires that have consumed at least 6,507 acres of land. However, there is also a weather phenomenon known as La Niña, trade winds that blow across the Pacific Ocean that bring warmer and drier winters to the western United States.
With California’s wet season nearing its end, snow levels across the state remain disappointingly low, and state officials are warning that a lack of melt-off will mean another year of difficult water shortages.
Officials with the California Department of Water Resources, who are scheduled to conduct their monthly snow survey on Tuesday, will find snowpack in the state’s mountains measuring less than 65% of average for the date. The reading bodes poorly for the scores of reservoirs that fill with melted snow — the source of almost a third of California’s water.
Despite San Diego County currently sitting at ‘moderate drought’ status and February bringing no rain so far, the San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA) says the local water supply is safe.
According to SDCWA Water Resources Manager Jeff Stephenson, they have analyzed the current supply and feel confident that there will not be any water shortages for at least a five-year period because of their preparedness, even if drought status remains.
“We’ve spent 30 years diversifying those supplies so that we have seven, eight different sources of water in the region, so there’s no danger of running out,” said Stephenson.