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Water Shortages

December 9, 1987
Californians who are assaulted almost constantly with news of real and potential water shortages may be surprised to learn that the federal government is preparing to put 1 million acre-feet of water up for sale on an annual basis. That is almost enough to supply two cities the size of Los Angeles with their entire needs, and about five times as much water as the city of San Francisco receives each year from Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in Yosemite National Park.
April 20, 2014 | By John M. Glionna
LAS VEGAS - Deep beneath Lake Mead, a 23-foot-tall tunnel-boring machine grinds through stubborn bedrock in a billion-dollar effort to make sure water continues flowing to this thirsty resort city. For six years, the Southern Nevada Water Authority has been building an intake straw below the reservoir's two existing pipes. Due for completion in fall 2015, critics say it may not provide a long-term solution. An ongoing drought and the Colorado River's stunted flow have shrunk Lake Mead to its lowest level in generations.
May 26, 1995 | JEFF McDONALD
California needs more reservoirs and better water-management practices to brace for a population increase to 50 million people within 25 years, a panel of water experts assembled Thursday in Ventura concluded. By the year 2020, the state's water supply could be short as much as 9 million acre-feet a year--almost 1 1/2 times the amount of water now stored at Shasta Dam, California's largest reserve.
April 16, 2014 | By Shan Li
The vast majority of Californians believe, unsurprisingly, that the state is in the throes of a serious water crisis. But many disagree about what can be done about it. About 54% of Golden State voters believe farmers could cut down on their water with no real hardship by changing crops and being more efficient, according to the latest Field Poll. Separately, two-thirds said they support voluntary water rationing, while only 27% favored mandatory cuts in water use. Opinions also were divided when people assigned blame for the drought.
A collision between increasing populations and wasteful irrigation practices will produce shortages of water and food in some of the world's most populous countries during the 1990s, the Worldwatch Institute warned in a report released Saturday. Although the situation in the United States is less dire, the inexorable growth of Western states and their increasing demands on limited water resources will force more of the nation's richest croplands out of production, the institute reported.
July 1, 1991
With the wet season now officially over, state water officials are hoping that cool and mild weather will prevail this summer and lessen landscape and agricultural water needs. Precipitation in the Sacramento River basin (a key indicator of the state's water supply), was only 61% of normal for the season. In the Eastern Sierra (an area important to Los Angeles' water supply), combined rain and snowfall produced less than three-fourths of the wet season's normal precipitation.
March 21, 1989 | From Associated Press
Okinawa's worst water shortage in seven years has forced officials to cut water supplies throughout the southern Japanese prefecture for 24 hours every other day, officials said Monday. Water in two reservoirs averaged only 11.5% of capacity, while five reservoirs were averaging 44.6% of capacity, a local government official said. An Okinawa weather bureau official said only 0.78 inches of rain fell in the prefecture in February--17% of normal.
January 17, 2002 | ROBERT M. HERTZBERG and RONALD R. GASTELUM, Robert M. Hertzberg (D-Sherman Oaks) is speaker of the California Assembly. Ronald R. Gastelum is general manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.
Most people think about water only in that brief instant before they turn on a faucet. When the water flows, as it almost always does, they simply go on with life. But what if it doesn't? In the coming year, both weather and politics could affect California's water supply. We need to take decisive action now to avoid a water crisis like the energy crisis. In urban Southern California, the average family of four living in a single-family home pays about $30 per month for all the water they need.
August 18, 1989 | JIM CARLTON, Times Staff Writer
Not since the early 1960s has Orange County experienced such water shortages as it has this summer. Concentrated in the rapidly growing South County, the shortages have resulted in requests to contractors and landscapers to curtail their water use in some areas. A "water cop" was even hired by one district to patrol for violators.
January 23, 1988 | NORMAN KEMPSTER, Times Staff Writer
Before the end of the century, possibly as early as 1995, Israel and its Arab neighbors will face such severe shortages of water that they will either have to cooperate in solving the problem or go to war over how to divide the dwindling supplies, according to a private research project.
March 1, 2014 | By Robert Faturechi
Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Saturday to free up the state's water supplies and aid residents who face hardship because of the drought, according to a release from his office. More than $687 million will go to drought relief, money that will fund housing and food for workers directly affected by the drought and projects aimed at more efficiently capturing water, the release said. “Legislators across the aisle have now voted to help hard-pressed communities that face water shortages,” Brown said in a statement.
February 27, 2014 | By Christine Mai-Duc
In the midst of what is expected to be Southern California's wettest storms in two years , Long Beach officials took steps to restrict water usage citywide. In a unanimous vote Thursday, the Long Beach Board of Water Commissioners declared an imminent water shortage. Residents will now be  barred from watering their lawns except on Mondays, Thursdays, or Saturdays, and restaurants cannot serve water to customers unless they request it. In addition, Long Beach has ongoing prohibitions on watering between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. and hosing down sidewalks and driveways without specialized hoses.
February 25, 2014
Re "Drought in a state of denial," Feb. 23 Sure, California has had severe droughts in the past, but we haven't been here before. We have not been at 400 parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere the entire history of human existence. The damage has not fully "matured. " Yet our sweet sirens of the carbon age will croon: "We've had droughts before. " But if a 100-year drought occurs now every few decades, could we recognize it and respond accordingly? Or would we allow ourselves the false comfort of saying, "Well, gosh, we've had these droughts before"?
February 21, 2013
Re "Is desalt plant a drop in bucket?," Feb. 18 The article about the desalination plant in Carlsbad missed several important elements regarding the San Diego County Water Authority's decision to pursue this water supply. - The plant is a multi-decade investment. Its water initially will be more expensive than other supplies, but projections show it will be cheaper than supplies from the Metropolitan Water District as soon as the mid- to late-2020s. - Energy is a major component of all major water sources and will contribute to the rising cost of every water supply in coming years.
January 21, 2013 | By Richard Fausset, Los Angeles Times
MEXICO CITY - It turns out a partial solution to this unwieldy megacity's vexing water problem may have been under residents' feet all along - albeit a long way down. Mexico City government officials Monday announced the discovery of an aquifer more than a mile below ground that could provide enough water for at least some of the metropolitan area's 20 million residents. Officials say the aquifer could reduce the city's dependence on water pumped from outlying areas and reduce the strain on the region's shallower aquifers - the over-pumping of which is causing the city to sink precipitously, in some cases more than a foot each year.
November 30, 2012 | By Bettina Boxall, Los Angeles Times
An earthquake that shuts down water deliveries from Northern California for a year could devastate the Los Angeles County economy, costing $55 billion and wiping out a half-million jobs, according to a new study. The research by a team of economists attempts to gauge the effects of a major earthquake disrupting water deliveries from the Sacramento-San Joaquin delta, which provides roughly a quarter of Southern California's water supply. The report concludes that L.A. County could fairly easily weather a six-month stop in deliveries from the north by ramping up conservation efforts and using reserves stored in Southland reservoirs.
January 3, 1991 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Israel faces a serious water shortage if a two-month drought persists, officials warned. Comptroller Miriam Porat blamed not only the weather but also poor planning by the government. She said the nation's water reserves have been drawn down by 56 billion cubic feet, about what is used annually in the nation. Israel has had little precipitation in the last two months, normally the rainy season.
May 27, 2011
Through much of the 1990s, California suffered a money drought. By 2003, revenue had dried up severely and California seemed in terminal crisis. Then came the deluge of 2006. It rained dollars: Several big-time Silicon Valley investors cashed out, resulting in a huge boost in income tax revenue, and Sacramento was awash in money. In response, lawmakers doled out the abundant funds to interests who believed, often correctly, that previous budgets had left them unfairly parched. But the deluge quickly ended, and the state's situation became worse than ever because it had failed to either save the excess or change its spending ways during the unexpected year that it rained money.
July 5, 2010 | By Michael Hiltzik
The most striking sight greeting visitors to the Colorado River gorge known as Black Canyon used to be the great wedge of alabaster concrete spanning the canyon wall to wall. But in recent years Hoover Dam, that enduring symbol of mankind's ingenuity, has been upstaged by another sight signifying nature's power to resist even the most determined effort to bring it under control: a broad white band stretching along the edge of Lake Mead like a bathtub ring, marking how far the reservoir has fallen below its maximum level.
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