Term Paper: Los Angeles Department of Water &amp Power

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¶ … Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (LADWP) and the Colorado River Aqueduct. The city and county of Los Angeles' water needs are changing, and reliance on the Colorado River Aqueduct for a major portion of the region's water needs is shortsighted and could lead to water shortages in the future. The flow and amount of water is the Colorado River is decreasing, and managing this decreasing supply will take skill, new technologies, and other solutions to make sure Los Angeles has enough water to supply its needs in the future.

The water management issue discussed here includes the LADWP built the Colorado River Aqueduct, and today, the Metropolitan Water District (MWD) manages the aqueduct, and it is their responsibility to distribute the water to member water agencies throughout the region. The problem is that more water is going out of the Colorado River to the seven member states that receive water from the Colorado River Compact than is being replenished by rain and snowmelt, and so, the river is on its way to drying up, along with Lake Mead, the major storage facility for the lower Colorado. One water district manager says, "The problem is simple, with nine million acre-feet a year [going] in and 10 million acre-feet a year out, the system will ultimately go bankrupt or, in our case, Lake Mead will empty'" (Hofer, 2008, p. 1). In addition, as the water level in the river goes down, the delta at the termination of the river is rapidly disappearing, and the river itself is just a trickle where it used to be a wide, flourishing river and delta system (Warrick, 2002). Thus, the river is running out of time, and people who rely on it need to find alternative sources of water and water management.

Historically, the Colorado River Aqueduct came to being in 1922 with the 1922 Colorado River Compact that allocated water rights to the seven states that share Colorado River drainage. A journalist notes, "The 1922 Compact, forged by the states and stamped by the U.S. Congress, remains the foundation for the river's operations. It divides the use of the waters of the river on a 50-50 basis between the upper four and the lower three basin states, allotting 7.5 million acre-feet to each basin" (Hofer, 2007, p. 2). The Compact is the first historical milestone in the story of the Colorado River Aqueduct. It apportions the river "between two groups of states -- the Upper Basin, comprising Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico, and the Lower Basin, comprising Arizona, Nevada, and California" (Schulte, 2002, p. 14). This was necessary to ensure that California did not appropriate nearly all the water from the river, as it had a history of doing.

The next milestone is the construction of the aqueduct itself. The LADWP Web site notes, "In 1925 the Department of Water and Power (DWP) was established and the voters of Los Angeles approved a $2 million bond issue to perform the engineering for the Colorado River Aqueduct" ("The Colorado River," 2008). Construction began on… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Los Angeles Department of Water &amp Power.  (2008, February 25).  Retrieved December 10, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/los-angeles-department-water-power/73332

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"Los Angeles Department of Water &amp Power."  25 February 2008.  Web.  10 December 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/los-angeles-department-water-power/73332>.

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"Los Angeles Department of Water &amp Power."  Essaytown.com.  February 25, 2008.  Accessed December 10, 2019.