Hiram W. Wadsworth (1862-1939) is known as the father of
Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. As the mayor
of Pasadena, he called for a regional partnership of
municipalities to bring water to Southern California. After
initiating the Colorado River Aqueduct Association and being
elected its president, he directed the campaign from 1924-1929
that led to the establishment of the district. The pumping plant
at Diamond Valley Lake, located 90 miles southeast of Los Angeles
in Riverside County, was named the Hiram W. Wadsworth
Pumping/Hydro-generating Facility in his honor.
William E. “Bill” Warne (1905-1996) had a career for the record
books that prominently featured water issues at state, federal
and international levels.
He served under Governor Edmund G. “Pat” Brown as the second
director of the state Department of Water Resources (DWR) from
1961-1967 along with also being the first Resources Agency
secretary from 1961-1963 at the beginning of the construction of
the California State
Wastewater management in California centers on the collection,
treatment, reuse and disposal of wastewater. This process is
conducted largely by public agencies, though there are also
private systems in places where a publicly owned treatment plant
is not feasible.
In California, wastewater treatment takes place through 100,000
miles of sanitary sewer lines and at more than 900 wastewater
treatment plants that manage the roughly 4 billion gallons of
wastewater generated in the state each day.
Water conservation has become a way of life throughout the West
with a growing recognition that the supply of water is not
Drought is the most common motivator of increased water
conservation but the gradual drying of the West as a result of
climate change means the amount of fresh water available for
drinking, irrigation, industry and other uses must be used as
efficiently as possible.
California’s 40 million residents, the farmers who produce $50
billion a year in agricultural commodities, the industry that
helps power the fifth-largest economy in the world and the
plants, fish and wildlife that are a vital part of the state’s
environment all depend on clean water to survive.
In California, home to nearly 40 million people and a desert
climate in large parts of the state, efficient water use is
critical. In the face of such demand and a limited supply, water
recycling is increasingly common throughout the state. Major
water recycling plants are already operating or in development in
places like San Diego and Orange counties while a
multi-billion-dollar plant has been proposed in nearby Los
California’s growth has closely paralleled an evolving and
complex system of water rights.
After California became a state in 1850, it followed the practice
of Eastern states and adopted riparian rights – water rights
laws based on ownership of land bordering a waterway. The
riparian property owner—one who lives next to the river—
possesses the right to use that water, a right that cannot be
transferred apart from the land.
Adjudicate -To determine rights by a
lawsuit in court.
Appropriative Right – A right based on physical
control of water and since 1914 in relation to surface water, a state-issued
permit or license for its beneficial use. Appropriative
water rights in California are divided into pre-1914 and
post-1914 rights, depending on whether they were initiated after
the December 19, 1914 effective date of the Water Commission Act
of 1913. Post-1914 rights can only be initiated by filing an
application and obtaining a permit from the state. The program is
now administered by the State Water Resources Control
climate, characterized by
warm, dry summers and mild winters, is considered one of its
great attractions, but it also can be unpredictable with flooding followed by drought and few years of “normal”
precipitation. [See also Hydrologic Cycle].
The message is oft-repeated that
water must be conserved and used as wisely as possible.
The California Water Code calls water use efficiency “the
efficient management of water resources for beneficial uses,
preventing waste, or accomplishing additional benefits with the
same amount of water.”
A watershed is the land area that drains runoff – snowmelt and
rain – into a connected system of lakes, streams, rivers, and
other waterways. It typically is identified by the largest
draining watercourse within the system. In California, for
example, the Sierra Nevada
is one of the state’s major watersheds.
The atmospheric condition at any given time or place, measured by
wind, temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, cloudiness and
precipitation. Weather changes from hour to hour, day to day, and
season to season. Climate in a narrow sense is usually defined as
the average weather, during a period of time ranging from months
to thousands or millions of years.