The Long Beach Water Department is currently developing a Water Resources Plan to anticipate the investments needed to provides safe and reliable water for the next 30 years. Local community members were asked to attend a series of meetings, to help create a plan that reflects the perspectives, needs and values of the people of Long Beach.

The Long Beach Chapter of Surfrider Foundation is one of the community stakeholders that has been attending the meetings, represented by Executive Committee member and Ocean Friendly Gardens Coordinator Kai Craig. Two out of three scheduled meetings have already taken place.

The first stakeholder meeting familiarized attendees with Long Beach’s water supply. About half of Long Beach’s water comes from local groundwater and imported sources, about 40% is imported through purchases from the Municipal Water District, and another 10% is recycled water used primarily for irrigation of parks. The meeting concluded with a set of objectives for the Water Resources Plan that include protecting and enhancing our local environment and raising public awareness as well as providing a safe, reliable, and cost effective water supply. Surfrider endorses a watershed approach that captures and cleans stormwater, and promotes conservation and water recycling to help meet our demands.

Imported water is projected to rise; Background shows relative cost of groundwater, reuse, and desalination.

 

Projected water shortages in different scenarios.

The second meeting focused on projecting water needs in the future and how much supply will fall short under different scenarios. Depending on factors like rainfall, climate change, population growth, conservation measures, and the likelihood of various water projects throughout the state, Long Beach is likely to face water shortages of varying magnitude in the future without further investment.

The final stakeholder meeting will take place sometime in the next few months and will seek to prioritize projects that will help meet the objectives that have been laid out. The Long Beach Chapter of Surfrider Foundation will continue to advocate for solutions that protect our coastal environment and its enjoyment, and will keep you posted as the plan develops. If you have feedback or questions, please contact Kai at OFG@longbeach.surfrider.org.