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Water in California is controlled, stored, delivered, and managed within a complex network of interlocking and cooperating districts and agencies. Unraveling and understanding this system is not easy. This book describes how the current system works (or doesn't work) and discusses the issues that face elected officials, water and resource managers, and the general public. Using the Los Angeles area as a microcosm of the state, environmental activist Dorothy Green gathers detailed information on its water systems and applies the lessons learned from this data statewide. A useful primer on watershed and water policy issues, this book provides reasoned, thoughtful, and insightful arguments about sustainability.
Acknowledgments ix Introduction 1 A Land and Water Overview 4 Climate 6 Our Rivers Today 9 1. Los Angeles Area Water Supplies 14 Local Surface Water: Rivers, Streams, Lakes, and Reservoirs 14 Groundwater 22 Imported Water 33 Conclusion 50 2. Water Management: Who's in Charge? 53 Water Suppliers--Wholesale 55 Water Suppliers--Retail 70 Groundwater Management Agencies 82 Wastewater Management Agencies 92 Stormwater Management Agencies 96 Water Quality Regulatory Agencies 100 Associations of Water Agencies 104 Water Management Accountability 105 The CALFED Process 109 Conclusion 111 3. Water Use Efficiency 113 Conservation--Current Practices 114 Reclamation and Reuse 132 Conjunctive Use 151 Watershed Management 155 Ocean Desalination 164 Conclusion 166 4. Drinking Water Quality 170 Drinking Water Regulatory Overview 171 Drinking Water Standards and Monitoring Requirements 179 Water Treatment Processes 183 Potential Types of Contaminants in Drinking Water Sources 188 Water Quality Issues, by Source 191 Coordinated Efforts to Clean Up Drinking Water in the Los Angeles Area 214 Conclusion 216 5. State Policy and the Los Angeles Area 218 Statewide Uncertainties 219 Projected Shortages at Each Aqueduct System 224 Statewide Efficiencies 228 Water Rights, Costs 237 Water Transfers vs. Water Marketing 239 Planning Processes 249 Political Consensus 263 Conclusion 265 Elements of a Sustainable Statewide Water Policy 269 Glossary 273 Native Plant Resources 285 Websites of Interest 287 Suggested Readings 293 Index 297
Dorothy Green is founding president of Heal the Bay and among the founders of the Los Angeles & San Gabriel Rivers Watershed Council, of which she is also president emeritus.
Offers much food for thought about the complex world of water management in the Golden State. Provides reasoned, thoughtful and insightful arguments about sustainability.--Salinas Californian "This is not a book just for Californians but anyone in the US."--Botanical Rsrch Inst of Tx, Jbrit "A highly valuable resource manual... Useful for practitioners and concerned citizens ... who want to familiarize themselves with water issues."--California History