Los Angeles is running out of water, and time. Are leaders willing to act?
It’s getting harder and harder to convince residents of Los Angeles to dump their taps and conserve water instead.
The city may not have enough raw water for the next half century, due to a drought that is affecting Los Angeles County and southern California. Officials are looking to expand a network of desalination plants in the hopes of supplying more water to Los Angeles’ residents in the years ahead.
But some of the water’s quality has been tainted by saltwater intrusion. Residents have complained about health impacts and have been asked to reduce their showers and flush.
Those requests have made many of the city’s residents uncomfortable, and one official said that many believe it’s time to let residents drink from plastic bottles and cook with their tap water. But that hasn’t happened yet. Los Angeles has a drought.
A handful of homeowners have been using their wells to save water. But in April, a group of residents filed a lawsuit asking the courts to shut off the city’s water intake systems. The group claims that the city has a legal right to use the water supply of its well-water for drought-related projects.
The group plans to turn on a motion detector light that they say is being used to track residents’ water usage. They also want to ask the city’s attorney to issue an order that prohibits the city from using water from its wells for any reason other than the water supply for its residents.
At a July 3 hearing, U.S. District Judge Samuel Conti said the suit has to be dismissed because residents haven’t followed the rules of civil law.
“The court is told the plaintiffs followed the rules, the city followed the rules, and the plaintiffs don’t know the rules,” Conti said.
The judge said the plaintiffs had the right to file their complaint but