On September 23, 2008, the Aquarium of the Pacific and the Long Beach Water Department convened and facilitated a forum to explore how southern California could make-up for these losses in water supply from the Delta.
The situation is compounded by losses from the Colorado River which supplies an additional 15-17% of the region’s total water use and which has experienced a severe drought for the past eight years. The forum brought together water experts, policy-makers, water managers, and environmentalists. The forum consisted of formal presentations to provide context and to explore options for diversifying southern California’s water supply portfolio, and interactive workshop sessions to review, revise, and refine each of the options. The forum concluded with an opportunity for the entire group to respond to the findings and recommendations for each option and to modify them.
This brief report is a summary of the findings and recommendations. All have the support of most, if not all, of the participants.
Priming the Pump Report (320 KB)
The Aquarium of the Pacific sponsored a half-day conference and workshop to explore the topic, “Danger on the Delta: Is Southern California Betting Its Future on an Unstable Water System?”
The timing was triggered by the publication of the book, “The Edge of Disaster: Rebuilding a Resilient Nation” by Stephen Flynn, that contains a chapter on the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta entitled “Danger on the Delta”, and on Flynn’s offer to give a public lecture on this chapter, and to participate in the conference.
On October 5, 2006, the Desal Response Group and the Aquarium of the Pacific co-sponsored a one-day conference on ocean desalination that brought together more than 70 experts and activists on issues related to ocean desalination.
The stated goal of the conference was to provide a fresh, balanced perspective of the potential role ocean desalination might play in Southern California’s water portfolio in 2030. While some sessions might not have provided a fully balanced discussion of issues related to ocean desalination in the context of all other sources of fresh water, many important points of agreement and contention did emerge. This brief document is a summary of those points. We have divided them into three categories: major conclusions, points of uncertainty, next steps.
A watershed is defined as a specific land area that drains water into a river system or other body of water. The prominent cities in Southern California would not be located where they are today were it not for the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Rivers and the fertile soil around its watersheds.
For centuries these rivers were the sole source of water for its inhabitants. The rivers’ water not only helped make Los Angeles County and Orange County two of the richest agriculture regions in the nation, but also shaped its image as the “Southern California Eden”. Today however, the images of our watersheds contradict its importance to the history and development of this region.