Do you know where your drinking water comes from? The truth is, most people don’t.
This is because unlike roads and bridges, water infrastructure is typically out of sight and out of mind. However this hidden infrastructure is far more vast than our highway system. Furthermore its age, increasing local population, and perpetual droughts due to climate change will pose challenges to our water supply and continue to be LA County’s greatest struggle.
LA County gets roughly two-thirds of its water from a variety of outside sources, from the Sierra Mountains in Northern California to the Colorado River in the east. Delivering water to our taps requires a massive infrastructure network. Without it, LA County would be a sparsely populated, dry place.
Many of the largest water systems in the country, including LA County’s, were built in the 1800’s or early 1900’s. Climate change is putting pressure on aging water systems and they are ill-equipped and ill-prepared to manage extreme weather events. Over the next 20 years, California’s drinking water infrastructure will require $51 billion in additional funding.
Access to clean, safe, and affordable water is a human right. Moreover without it, one-fifth of the U.S. economy would grind to a halt. The American Jobs Plan proposes investing $111 billion to improve water infrastructure and $50 billion to improve resiliency. It will help us in our struggle to reliably and responsibly provide water to the next generation of Angelenos.