Authored Articles & Publications Dec 09, 2014

City of Angels the City of Water

By Eric Garner and Wendy Wang

Los Angeles and all of Southern California have made dramatic progress in water use efficiency in the past decade, and it is encouraging to see Jacques Leslie’s article in the New York Times, “Los Angeles, City of Water,” describing the changes that led to “a straightforward environmental victory” and the City’s transformation from the so-called “water archvillain” to “a leader in sustainable water management.”

Fortunately, this year all of California received two additional tools to help further maximize efficient use of its water resources.  First, the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act gives local agencies the ability to comprehensively manage their groundwater resources.  Groundwater is a crucial part of California’s water supply, especially during drought years, and must be well-managed so it is available when needed. The second tool is the State Water Bond approved by the voters in November.  It contains funding for projects such as groundwater cleanup, storm water capture and recycled water use.  California must take advantage of both of these new tools. This is because, despite the progress that has been made, it will take better groundwater management and more use of recycled water and storm water to meet California’s needs.  As Mr. Leslie aptly describes, much progress has been made — but much remains to be done.

Note: This article originally appeared on the now-defunct BBKnowledge blog, where Best Best & Krieger authors shared their knowledge on emerging issues in public agency law.

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