L.A. predicts enough water for 2001 despite lower snowpack

The last major snowpack survey of the year indicates that there will be adequate water deliveries to Los Angeles this summer.

LOS ANGELES, Calif., April 6, 2001 — The last major snowpack survey of the year indicates that there will be adequate water deliveries to Los Angeles this summer.

But with forecasts for snowmelt runoff at 79 percent of normal in the final reading, Department of Water and Power officials today encouraged customers to continue to use water wisely.

"Runoff from the Eastern Sierras snowpack is a critical source of water for the city of Los Angeles, normally providing about 65 percent of the city's water," said S. David Freeman, LADWP general manager. "While a runoff forecast of 79 percent is lower than we'd like, the LADWP will still deliver an adequate supply of high-quality and affordable water to Los Angeles residents this year."

Accurate snow measurements are vital in order to forecast each year's water supply. Each winter, LADWP hydrographic crews provide the data needed for forecasting by conducting snow surveys. By actually measuring the depth of snow and amount of water content in the snow at specific locations over a period of many years, forecasters can accurately predict the amount of runoff each year.

The Department of Water and Power relies on a number of sources to provide quality drinking water to customers, including local groundwater, water from the Metropolitan Water District and runoff from the melting snow of the Eastern Sierras that feeds into the Los Angeles Aqueduct. By diversifying its reliance across a number of different sources and strategically managing its resources, the LADWP is able to ensure that Los Angeles will have enough water to meet its needs even in dry years.

Nonetheless, the Department continues to recommend care, conservation and efficiency in using water now and throughout the year. Water saved through conservation reduces the LADWP's need for other imported water sources that can be used to generate power elsewhere in California. If L.A. residents were to reduce water consumption by just 5 percent, it would save enough energy to meet the annual needs of nearly 19,000 households.

"Fortunately, our water conservation and water storage strategies over the last decade have left us better equipped to deal with shortages that arise in drier-than-normal years," Freeman said. "At the same time, with L.A.'s continuing growth and drought always a lingering threat, we cannot overemphasize the importance of using our water resources wisely. From installing low-flush toilets to monitoring lawn sprinklers, consumers can play an important part in safeguarding L.A.'s water resources for future use."

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power serves more than 3.8 million people in Los Angeles and was established almost 100 years ago to provide water and electric needs to the city's businesses and residents. The LADWP has been a leader in promoting water efficiency and conservation efforts, through programs including rebates on low-flush toilets, water recycling and consumer education campaigns.

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