Integrating Management of Ground and Imported Water in Los Angeles County
As the demand for water grows in southern California, more distant sources of surface water must be utilized (at increasing costs per unit), and it becomes increasingly essential that the management of imported supplies and local groundwater basins be closely integrated. The recent Supreme Court decision on the Colorado River jeopardizes the area's future supply of water from the river and intensifies the importance of making full use of southern California's quota while it is still available. For at least a few years following completion of the proposed aqueduct from northern California, import capacity will likely exceed that needed for current use. Construction of facilities for importing surface water is only one step toward stopping the overdraft of groundwater basins in Los Angeles County. An opportunity exists for building up groundwater levels while excess import capacity is available. Major institutional changes are necessary, however, for efficient joint utilization of local groundwater and imported supplies of surface water needed to accomplish this objective.