Even with the recent rain, we have a long way to go before California’s drought can be considered over, with nearly 95% of the state is still in “severe drought.” That is why TreePeople is offering our support to help achieve the goals set out in LA Mayor Garcetti’s Mayoral Directive, issued in October, “Emergency Drought Response – Creating a Water Wise City.”
We believe that our city can achieve water-security in an increasingly water-variable future, and that this Directive is a bold leadership response to a critical need. According to the Mayor, in 2014, the drought led our City to increase use of imported water to over 80% of consumption. Not only is imported water costly, but it’s vulnerable to earthquake and other disasters which could disrupt the intricate network of infrastructure responsible for piping the water to LA. It’s also vulnerable to the impacts of global warming, which include a reduction in the Sierra snowpack, the key water supply for much of California.
The Mayor lists numerous actions to achieve the following goals, including:
- A reduction in per capita potable water use by 20% by 2017.
- A reduction in the Department of Water and Power’s purchase of imported potable water by 50% by 2024.
- The creation of an integrated water strategy that increases local water supplies and that improves water security in the context of climate change and seismic vulnerability.
These goals are in line with TreePeople’s mission and our focus on creating a water-resilient LA and we fully support them — in fact our work is dedicated to making this a reality. Our commitment is based upon 40 years of work to prove that LA can meet its water needs with local and secure water sources. Over the decades, TreePeople, along with numerous agency, nonprofit and academic partners, has conducted research, led and supported demonstration projects, and worked on new sustainable water approaches that the City can draw upon. This year we are actively sharing and transferring exciting concepts and results gained from our leadership of a policy delegation to Australia last fall. There, we gathered lessons and strategies the country deployed to survive its 12-year Millennial Drought.
Here are some specific ways TreePeople is supporting the Mayor’s goals:
- We are holding numerous drought-response workshops, tours, rain barrel distributions. Learn more.
- We are leading Angelenos in adopting and caring for drought-stressed trees. Learn more.
- We work with policymakers and our partners to create laws, policies and incentives needed to get LA to be water-resilient. Learn more.
- We reach tens of thousands of Angelenos through our blog and social media, showing the way to a more water-reslient LA. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
LA needs this bold leadership by the Mayor, and it needs all of us to step up. You can do so with TreePeople by supporting our work financially, as a volunteer, and as a concerned Angeleno (hook up a rain barrel!). Stand by as we announce new initiatives to wean us off imported water and move into a more secure and sustainable future.
Read the full Mayoral Directive.