8 Dec 2016

Does LA have a shortage of water or imagination?

Tim Smith's ever helpful "notes on sustainable water resources" contained this tidbit:
Bureau of Reclamation's Los Angeles Basin Study looks at the changing demographics, climate change and competing interests for available water supplies and identifies options to meet the water needs of the Los Angeles area into the future. The study [pdf] found that there is a potential water supply deficit for the region of approximately 160,000 acre-feet-per year by 2035 and 440,000 acre-feet-per-year or 25-percent less water than the region is projected to need in 2095.
I'm always curious about these "needs" and "deficits", so I skimmed through the study, which uses "low, medium and high (business as usual)" projections for future demands that are 63 gallons/capita/day (gcd), 99 gcd and 136 gcd, respectively (page 34).

Translated in to liters/capita/day (LCD), you get 240, 376 and 517 LCD, respectively. Is this reasonable? Not when you consider that consumption is about 100 LCD in Amsterdam and 160 LCD in Australia's hot, dry cities.

Bottom Line: Los Angelenos can easily avoid water deficits and shortages by reducing their demands, i.e., lawns. How do you get them to do that? Raise prices.

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