The news this past year has been dominated by stories of ever-reliable city water systems failing. Whether it’s ongoing drought so severe that California cities like East Porterville have completely dried up, or major metropolitan areas like Flint Michigan discovering their drinking water isn’t safe for drinking, one lesson of 2015 and early 2016 may be that water is one resource we absolutely cannot take for granted.
Those issues might still seem distant in Los Angeles. We’re the second-largest city in the United States of America – should we really be worried that our water may not be dependable?
In a word, yes. The news in the past year has been filled with incident after incident after incident ... *sigh* after incident of major water mains bursting. Besides causing flood damage to surrounding homes and businesses, all these burst pipes also dump millions of gallons of clean water into the ocean, wasting a resource made all the more precious in this time of drought.
And the bad news doesn’t stop there. Los Angeles has hundreds of burst or leaky pipes at any given time, and the problem will grow over time as the aging pipe infrastructure wears down with age. Why not replace all the outdated piping? Because we’re looking at a billion dollar endeavor, and the powers-that-be in the city of angels just aren’t willing to spend the money. Apparently it’s preferable to flush the water away.
The worst part of all this is that Los Angeles isn’t the worst transgressor in the water-management debacle Olympics. As wasteful as this city is, at least we’re not poisoning our citizens. And it’s that fact, more than anything else, that signifies that the time has come to stand up and demand change. We shouldn’t live in a world where “at least we’re not poisoning people” is a bar that needs cleared. We shouldn’t live in a world where hundreds of water leaks per year and billions of gallons of wasted water in the midst of drought qualifies as a reasonable cost-saving method.
Will you take a stand with us?