Murky Water


Will there, or will there not, be a water shortage?

I’m a little confused from stories which have appeared in the L.A. Times concerning water supplies here in Southern California. Perhaps one of your readers from the Metropolitan Water District (MWD) could enlighten me.

If I understand correctly, no water shortages are now expected in 1989. Anticipated supplies will be sufficient to meet anticipated demands.

But sometime soon (around 1992) Arizona will begin taking its full Colorado River allotment. Apparently, we here in Southern California have been sustaining ourselves (partially, anyway) on that same allotment.


Mr. Jim Melton of the MWD predicts that this loss will necessitate “some very severe long-range conservation requirements.”

What exactly does that mean? Is the MWD service area already overbuilt based on the safe sustained annual yield of its assured water supplies? And, if so, why does the MWD continue to guarantee water supplies for all new developments?

I think we deserve a clearer definition of this shortage.


San Diego