Los Angeles is running out of water, and time. Are leaders willing to act?
In Los Angeles’ rush to approve a massive water grab last month, elected officials who are supposed to be in tune with the public lost control of the water system.
Water and power, two of the city’s most valuable resources, are sold to voters, in this case at the ballot box. Water, which is used to make the world’s most powerful weapons and the plastics that allow for the daily life of L.A.’s residents, is auctioned to a foreign company, with the threat of a price hike to come in the future.
This kind of water grab is so commonplace that the city’s website features an animated banner that reads, “It’s time to fight for water.”
But it seems like the city’s leaders have no interest in fighting for water, and no interest in fighting for a waterway that once served as a vital resource for L.A. neighborhoods, businesses and other communities — one that’s long passed its design limits; and one that’s now endangered by the city of Los Angeles’ overuse and pollution.
The mayor’s office has taken water from Los Angeles streets, diverted it into the ground and sold it by the foot, and the Los Angeles City Council (the only entity allowed to approve any water transfers by the Los Angeles City Council) has voted to increase the amount of water that can be transferred for profit to more than eight times its current limit, or more than 1.2 billion gallons per day. And we’ve seen the water system become dangerously overstressed.
The people of Los Angeles are fighting back. The people of L.A. are fighting back. You are being watched — the mayor, the council — this water grab is happening behind closed doors, and no one is listening to the people of L.A. about it.
A water shortage is a serious problem — and it’s not limited to Los Angeles. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that in 2016, 5.4 million people were affected by water emergencies, which means water was cut off. And according to The Verge, there are more than 30 million people across the country who live without access to clean drinking water.
“I think there is water here in South Park, and I think there is water here in the Alvarado neighborhood, and