Record Rains and Heavy Snow Boosted Total
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) hydropgraphers performed the final snow pack survey for 2019 in the state’s eastern Sierra Mountains. In an April 12 press release, a spokesperson said the snow pack measured at 171 percent of normal. By comparison, last year (a dry year), the snow pack registered at 66 percent of normal and in 2017, it was 203 percent–the second-best year on record.
The snow pack measurement is important because it determines how much water the DWP can expect from the LA Aqueduct and how much it will need to purchase from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD).
In an average year, the LA Aqueduct provides about half of LA’s total water supply. For much of this year, the system will flow at or near full capacity and in the following 12 months, it will provide 70 percent of L.A.’s overall water demand.
“This year’s much needed rain and snow is encouraging for our short-term water supply. However, we know that droughts have become increasingly frequent and more severe and the next one is likely right around the corner,” said LADWP General Manager David H. Wright. “Our customers have been doing a great job of conserving water, and we encourage them to continue to ‘save the drop’ by using water efficiently even during wet years.”
Richard Harasick, LADWP Senior Assistant General Manager of Water System, said “We’re looking at all opportunities to further develop local water supply including investing in stormwater capture by expanding and enhancing groundwater replenishment at the existing Tujunga Spreading Grounds stormwater capture basins.”
Mayor Eric Garcetti recently announced that LA will recycle 100 percent of its wastewater by 2035.