Supervisor Sheila Kuehl
[Supv. Kuehl] – The Board of Supervisors passed two motions Tuesday designed to ensure that the region has a secure water supply for the future.
The first motion, co-authored by Supervisor Hilda Solis, calls for creation of a Drought Resiliency Plan to increase local water self-reliance and drought preparedness, improve water quality to protect public health, and advance our communities’ ability to adapt to the effects of climate change. The second motion, co-authored by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, would enact a “net zero” water use policy to help ensure that future development will not increase our regional demand for increasingly limited water.
Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, author of both motions, said, “Because of our ongoing drought, residents of the County are increasingly realizing that water is a scarce resource. We currently squander most of the rain water that falls in our region, an estimated 162 billion gallons of rain water, enough to supply over 1 million families’ annual needs, which rushes off of our houses and roads and flows out to sea. In order to ensure that our region and our families have the water they need, we must adopt innovative water management practices to secure new local water supplies.”
Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas
The “net zero” ordinance will be developed over coming months with the input of the County’s Departments, its Sustainability Council, cities, water agencies, academic institutions, businesses, developers and environmental and community groups.
“We will ensure that Los Angeles County continues to be a leader in innovative water conservation practices,” said Supervisor Solis, co-author of the motion calling for a Drought Resiliency Plan. “Faced with prolonged drought, stricter water quality standards, and increasing public desire to access our region’s water bodies, we need to plan ahead and do more with less.”
Supervisor Ridley-Thomas, co-author of the “net zero” motion, said, “This motion sets the County on a path to more meaningful water conversation and re-use. While the ‘net zero’ name may sound audacious, it is responsive to a growing reality of water supply uncertainties.” Several local governments, including San Luis Obispo County, Santa Monica, Oxnard and Santa Barbara, have already implemented “net zero” water policies, as has the Federal Government, for all new federal development projects.