Los Angeles has big, big plans for revitalizing an 11-mile stretch of the [Los Angeles] river over the next several years, at a price tag that began at $1 billion and soon bumped up to an estimated $1.6 billion. But is the water clean enough for recreational use, or to be a draw for people to live or work along the banks of what amounts to a drainage ditch for urban storm runoff and treated sewage?
In September 2013, Giovanna Melton purchased a 1950 home in Valley Glen that was situated on a charming tree-lined street filled with traditional homes and lawns. At the time, it was Los Angeles’s driest year on record, but Melton didn’t have to worry about watering her lawn.
In 2010, Los Angeles used enough water irrigating lawns to meet the needs of nearly a half-million average households for a year. That’s according to a new study by scientists at the University of Utah, who conducted what they say is the first city-scale assessment of water consumed by landscaping.
Rainy seasons over the last two years were the driest in downtown Los Angeles since record-keeping began in 1877, and forecasters now say the El Niño that had been predicted to bring some relief may not materialize.
As an annual deadline looms for Los Angeles to pay nearly $4 million to a controversial pair of Department of Water and Power affiliates, one city leader announced his refusal to sign the checks and another sued to have a court-appointed receiver take over the nonprofits.
Los Angeles city leaders are suing to have a court-appointed receiver take control of two controversial nonprofits affiliated with the Department of Water and Power whose managers have refused to show what they’ve done with more than $40 million of public money.
The decision to drain most water features at Getty Center in Los Angeles and the Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades this summer may not be going over well with some visitors, but the organization says thousands of gallons a day have been saved as a result.
From the Los Angeles Times, in a commentary by Gary Polakovic:
It’s been 40 years since the June 20, 1974, opening of “Chinatown,” the fictionalized drama about power, corruption and what is arguably L.A.’s most crucial resource: water. The iconic film was Hollywood’s make-believe version of an undying reality: In L.A., you have to follow the water.
On Tuesday, some of Los Angeles County’s most prominent labor and community leaders were out demonstrating in support of a troubling idea: that the public has no right to know how public money is spent. Transparency, apparently, is not so important in Los Angeles government.
The dispute between top Los Angeles officials and one of the city’s most powerful labor leaders intensified Tuesday when Department of Water and Power union boss Brian D’Arcy warned that the city was asking for “trouble” if money is withheld from two controversial nonprofits he co-manages.
From the California Department of Water Resources (DWR):
“The water level in Castaic Lake in northern Los Angeles County continues to fall during California’s drought and is now too low for boaters to use the lake’s west boat ramp.
“The lake provides recreational activities for Southern California and, as a key component of the State Water Project (SWP), serves as a reservoir for water that’s distributed to nearby local communities.”
“Glowing from the approval of a $1 billion revitalization plan, Los Angeles City Council members proclaimed Wednesday L.A. River Day, hailing its pending rebirth and the possible return of endangered steelhead trout.”
“The decision by the Army Corps of Engineers to proceed with a more expansive remake of a stretch of Los Angeles River creates a historic opportunity: It allows the city to reorient itself away from 20th century development patterns and toward a greener and more habitable urban future.”
“Federal officials gave a major boost Wednesday to the city’s plans to turn the Los Angeles River into an urban oasis for recreation and an inviting locale for new commercial and residential development.”
“On a recent trip to the nation’s capital, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti made sure to call on Jo-Ellen Darcy.
“As assistant Army secretary for civil works, Darcy is critical to the city’s efforts to win federal approval for a costly and ambitious plan to restore Los Angeles River habitat and provide recreational opportunities along an 11-mile stretch of the waterway north of downtown.”